On Monday at the Social Fresh Charlotte conference, I was given the opportunity by the fine @phonebooth folks to make a call to a mystery twi-lebrity who they had waiting on the other line. They actually had a ton of kick-ass twitter peeps in queue on the other line. So, I stepped into the awesome red booth, picked up the receiver and…”Hello? You there? This is Scott Stratten speaking.”
Cool! Hi, @unmarketing!
Disclaimer: I have a tendency to associate everyone with their twitter handle and avatar and to, therefore, call them by their twitter names, even when speaking in person. I have accepted that this makes me highly uncool.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, @unmarketing is one of those people who, as we say, “gets it” when it comes to marketing and social media. He’s philosophy of “stop marketing. start engaging.” is spot on and has obviously served him well. I am not endorsing follower count as a valid metric for determining success, but it certainly says something that he has 61,872 followers (as of 08.19.10).
Where his greater success lies is in his ability to manage that many relationships. Every time I’ve sent him a tweet, he’s responded. What’s more, he’s gotten back to me in under 2 minutes. That’s impressive. Very, very impressive. It says something about him, too. For one, he practices what he preaches. Also, he makes relationship building a priority. You can’t build up that kind of following and interact on that level without dedicating serious amounts of time to it.
When I spoke with @unmarketing on the phone, I asked him about keeping up with such a large audience. Since he’s about to launch his unbook “Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.” (Sept. 7), he’s clearly going to be busy. So, what happens when your strategy takes you so far that you can no longer follow it? Aka, what happens when preaching real, authentic engagement makes you too popular to continue to do that with everyone who reaches out to you?
Just because you can’t respond as frequently as you once could, doesn’t mean you don’t still value the engagements from your audience members.
So, as we discussed, you’ve got to set some expectations. When are you available? What’s the best way to reach you? Some people are great about responding to every comment posted on their blog, while others use Twitter as their engagement tool of choice. It’s up to you, but be transparent so that your audience members aren’t expecting to get a response from you on a platform that you don’t use for that purpose. (Take Seth Godin for example – he doesn’t interact on Twitter, but does a great job keeping up with e-mails).
We also discussed @unmarketing’s ubertwitter addiction. Much like me, he’s checking twitter from his phone first thing in the morning and last thing before he goes to bed at night. (I must admit, I was shocked he’s on Ubertwitter, which makes him a BlackBerry user, but that’s off topic).
For any other Raleigh-Durham area folks, come to the next Triangle AMA luncheon, where @unmarketing will be speaking. I know I’m looking forward to meeting him IRL. Maybe I’ll even call him by his real name
In case you’re interested, this is a link to a photo of me talking to @unmarketing in the Bandwidth Phonebooth at Social Fresh.
And if you’re interested in more blog posts about Social Fresh Charlotte, click here.
I’d love to hear reactions from other people. Who else has engaged with @unmarketing? Who else do you follow who does a great job engaging?