There are those who purport themselves to be social media gurus. They are veritable who’s who of social media. The ones who have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, command performance speakers, prolific writers of thought leadership and who everyone would give an arm to have follow or to meet even if only virtually. They are the ones you salivate to have follow you back or to notice you even if only with a simple retweet.
Is it okay to target these sharks?
Is it proper protocol to follow them, retweet their missives, comment on their blog posts in hope of getting noticed by the golden ones? Will you be a social pariah for tailing them like a little puppy dog?
Of course, you should read what they write and absorb their strategies and techniques for in their words are nuggets of wisdom that will help you follow in their footsteps. Notice how much content they create and the kinds of content that has helped them garner their lofty place on the web: webinars, white papers, blog posts, interviews, conversation and more.
And who doesn’t live for comments on their writing–they will appreciate your thoughts on their topic. Pose questions to them, the sharks don’t bite and they just may respond if they truly are social media practitioners. Social media is about listening and engaging. I tweeted to Liz Strauss and said I’d love to interview her. She responded immediately to my surprise. And besides, what do you have to lose?
If you happen to have friends or business associates who know the web celeb, ask for an introduction. It’s fine. I once tweeted on a whim that I would love to talk to Randi Zuckerberg. Magically a follower of mine replied and made that introduction. We even exchanged a few emails. Yet another friend introduced me to Jeff Pulver and I ended up on a panel at his 140 Conference.
Will it help you gain followers? You might gain a few, but the social guru’s social graph is not going to jump to follow you. Just like the social media celeb, you will have to put in the time and the effort.
And yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to target a shark if you follow proper social etiquette. After all you don’t want to be labeled a creepy stalker.