A friend of mine told me a story about how he has been an avid user of StumbleUpon for a couple of years and of Twitter for about a year. He has a few friends on StumbleUpon, he says, that frequently send him stuff through the SU toolbar to thumbs up. My friend genuinely likes their blogs and reads them and thumbs them up often. Much less often he’ll send out something for those friends of his to read and review. They reciprocate in kind with their positive reviews and thumbs up.
Recently, on of those StumbleUpon friends joined Twitter and followed my friend. The friend sent a tweet to his SU buddy suggesting that he meet want to follow a second account that my friend also manages. The SU buddy wrote back “Will I get more retweets if I follow that account?” My friend responded, “No, I retweet what I like and that’s that.”
Interestingly, that didn’t go over so well. The SU buddy shot back, “Well, if you don’t retweet my stuff then I’m not going to follow you. The only reason I thumbed up your stumbles is because you thumbed up mine.”
You have to know my friend, but his response was effectively to tell his buddy to go blow. Did he do the right thing?
I think so. There are some new Twitterers who are getting into the habit of requesting reciprocating tweets and retweets. But I think that cheapens the tweet. The goal should be to share with your followers items that you like. Period. When you do that you’ll present yourself as a genuine marketer without a fake face. Keep it real and you’ll be respected.