An interesting thing happened. Yesterday, I happened to follow two new people on Twitter.
One had produced interesting content. A respected industry leader had shared this particular blog post, giving this gentleman an incredible opportunity: exposure to a wide and hungry audience. In fact, this is how I came to follow him. I respect and trust the industry leader and have read his book. I read the shared article. Liked it. Shared it. Followed the writer. Immediately, I received an autoreply thanking me for the follow and offering me a discount on any purchase I make from him. The Hard Sell. No Hello. No Welcome. What a turnoff. I unfollowed.
The second man I followed was also introduced to me by the same respected industry leader. I noticed that my beloved author and influencer followed this particular gentleman. This said a lot to me, and so I took a peek at his profile. His most recent tweets resonated with me, so I followed him. I received a message in my inbox which I can only guess was automated. Perhaps the fact that I am not 100% sure if it was in fact automated, or sent directly, is what adds to the charm. In the message he invited me to connect with him on LinkedIn. He wrote that he is happy to connect, endorse, introduce or help in any way possible. What a difference. I sent a LinkedIn invitation and actually do look forward to connecting. In one short message, the man has gained my interest and won my attention and even a bit of trust.
Out of curiosity, I checked back today on the number of followers these two Twitter Users have. I noted the first man hadn’t gained a tremendous number of followers, despite the amazing exposure gained. His twitter feed was flooded with autoreplies thanking people for following and offering the same discount. I scanned the first 20 or so, and noted less than half were still following!! Less than half. In a 24 hour period, he had gained – and lost – a number of followers. Perhaps potential customers. How? The hard sell.
The second man isn’t as easy to measure. His autoreply was done discreetly, through a private message. A quick glance at his profile shows how respected he is. 53,200 followers! A glance at his LinkedIn Profile only builds on the block of trust and intrigue he has gained from me. His twitter handle is @marketingcory. Check him out.
We are living in a new era. The days of the hard sell are behind us. There are too many options, it’s too easy to unfollow or look elsewhere. Relational, user-FRIENDLY marketing is the way of today.