In this era of social media I'm increasingly surprised at how few people seem to be engaging in two way conversations online. What I do see is many more people sending out information one way and not commenting on anyone else's posts. Is this you? I'm trying for it not to be me. This is the slow road to social networking success if you ask me.
I want to show a few examples and share some commentary on doing it right online.
Let's look at Twitter, where there are plenty of retweets, which I don't count as a 2-way conversation. Rather it's taking someone else's 1-way and making it your 1-way. It's a shortcut tweet IMHO.
There are twitterers who are actually really active in dialoguing back and forth with other tweeters. I'm impressed by them as they're using the medium as intended. One person I'm following who's doing this is @danmartell Take a look at his twitter profile and you'll see how to really work it. For all of you who are still scratching your head as to what to make of twitter, think about making it more of a 2-way conversation between you and your followers.
On Facebook there's lots of back and forth on the personal side of the site and much of it is merely "Liking this" and quick comments, which does contribute to friendships, but probably not so much to business.
On Fan Pages, it's possible to go further with the dialogue and further relationships. A good example of this is the Guerilla Marketing Coaching fan page (you may need a facebook account to see the linked page). On this page there's lots of action from Mitch Meyerson the page admin as well as other certified Guerrilla Marketing coaches and fans.
When it comes to blogging, it's hard for beginning bloggers to get comments because there are just so many blogs in the blogosphere. Even Denise Wakeman of BlogSquad fame is averaging only 3-5 comments per post with 3,905 subscribers to her blog on BizTips. This is a very quick survey of comments on a few pages of posts. (She may very well get much more during other times of the year.)
Make it a part of your online networking strategy to comment on blogs of interest to you. It's a great way to start a relationship with a devoted blogger as they typically really appreciate the few comments they get. (Like I would.)
The bottom line on this post is to think more deeply about what you're doing with your social networking. Don't make it 1-way only. It doesn't work in the real world. Why should it in the online world? Find the time to make it 2-way.
2 your social networking success!