Are you sacrificing trust for a following?
I’ve noticed a shift in my perception of folks on Twitter, FaceBook and other SM sites. I no longer consider follower count as a measure of credibility. A couple years ago I did.
It’s just too easy now to trick systems, especially on Twitter where several services exist simply to boost followers.
I can’t really go by blogs, either. Comments can be crafted and are filtered – much like LinkedIn recommendations, about which I wrote last week. Therefore, I don’t put too much merit on blog comments, particularly if they are too flowery.
Lately I’m left wondering if my new follower is simply “collecting” me to boost his/her numbers to build some sort of façade that will help him/her with the bottom line.
Trust isn’t automatic
Let’s face it, we’re all cynics. We don’t just automatically trust everything we see/read, even on a SM site. In that case, why try to trick people by collecting huge followings as opposed to a smaller following with which you have more credibility and an earned reputation?
Social systems, seasoning and authenticity
Online, offline, “new” way or “old” way, it’s still about credibility, wouldn’t you agree? So, the lack of a mention of you by someone I trust will outweigh any impressive statistic you offer every day of the week. And, what was that mention? Was it good, and in line with how you present yourself?
Some of my favorites don’t boast followings in the hundreds of thousands. In fact, most of them don’t. But they do have my trust. They earned it over time. Like any good effort, it took seasoning. So, not only have I heard of them, I’ve talked about them to others.