Stop Talking About Yourself

Guest post by Dan Zarrella (@DanZarrella), social media scientist at HubSpot

One of the easiest ways to explain social media to newcomers is to liken it to a networking or cocktail party. The behaviors that will make you the life of the party (or a pariah) will have the same effect in social media. And we all know how painful it is to listen to someone at an event just talk about themselves all night long.

I analyzed a number of Twitter accounts and found that as the amount of Tweets containing self-referential remarks increased, the number of followers an account had decreased. Talking about yourself constantly doesn’t make you the hit of an offline cocktail party, nor does it work on Twitter.

And when I looked at ReTweets, I found that they tend to contain a much lower percentage of self-reference than Tweets over all do. Talking about yourself is not only going to reduce the amount of followers you have, it’s also un-retweetable.

When I did a survey and asked people why they chose to read specific blogs, I was told that they’re looking for bloggers specific points of view. They don’t want to hear you talk about yourself, they want to hear you talk as yourself.

If you’re launching a new product, service or feature, don’t talk only about your company and your offering. Talk about how your customers are using it, or can use it to increase their bottom line. Talk about your audience, not about yourself.

For more social media data and mythbusting, be sure to register for the Science of Social Media webinar on August 23rd