SERIOUSLY? “Social Optimization”? Like, really seriously?

August 26, 2011

Say what??

Soooo, a few weeks ago, while spending a quiet evening with my WordPress dashboard, I almost choked on my lovely IPA when I came across the section on Social Optimization. In the infinite wisdom of those social media experts who’ve helped thousands chase their social media KPI, or Key Popularity Indicators (man I love this phrase coined by Jay Baer!), the suggestion was that I stop following people to improve the QUALITY of my Twitter profile.

Okay, let me say this. I may have 4,000 followers and follow almost an equal number, but I honestly accumulated that network one bio at a time. I do not wantonly follow people. I surround myself with only the best. Look at the list of people I follow and you’ll see for yourself, there are some darn cool and interesting people there! Most are events, hospitality and marketing people, but there are also futurists, technologists and even a sprinkling of horse people. I mean it…just look at a random sampling of a few of my friends:

Call me crazy, but these are some cool bios, right? AND, even with close to 56k followers, @ImadNaffa responded to an ADA question I had within minutes. He feels like a friend that I just check in with every now and then. They all feel like friends…so should I trade the basics of social grace and etiquette for “optimization” and quality of my profile? Sorry, that’s impossible, I’m a Montessori kid. (Social grace is one of the fundamental tenets of Montessori education.)

The thing is, we’re not talking about P/E ratios or some other financial calculation. We’re talking about relationships! I just fail to see how, besides as an ego boost, following less people than follow me is an improvement in QUALITY. I’m sure there are plenty of those expert/guru types who will have some SME opinion…but, for now, I’m not budging. I actually happen to like those 4,127 people I follow. So, optimization bubble, you can bite me. I’m going to keep my friends.

What say you, my friends? Will following less people improve my profile "quality"?