A few days ago I was looking through my mentions on Twitter and I noticed a rough correlation between the strength of relationship I have with a person and the frequency/consistency of their interaction with me. I also noticed that strength of relationship was in rough correlation to the medium(s) that I’ve communicated with them on. In other words, the followers who I’d only spoke to over e-mail or Twitter weren’t interacting with me as often as those who I’d met in real life.
It got me thinking: if the depth of a relationship impacts frequency of interaction online, and the medium in which I communicate with people on impacts the depth of relationship, is it possible to increase the loyalty of your followers by meeting them face-to-face?
How real are you to your Twitter followers? Image Credit: Aristocrats-hat
Meeting Face-to-Face Increases the Likelihood of Social Interaction, IF You Have Shared Interests.
When you meet someone face-to-face, you become more likely to then interact with them online, providing that you have shared interests and consider them to add value to your newsfeed. Having met someone in real life is a ‘filter’ that some people (subconsciously) use to prioritise who they interact with socially.
I decided to ask my followers what they thought about whether meeting someone in real life improves the likelihood of engaging with them on Twitter afterwards. The general consensus was that most people found meeting someone face-to-face does have a positive impact on interaction on Twitter.
Can Skype Increase the Loyalty of Your Audience?
Nowadays, the process of meeting someone has become more of a spectrum than a binary choice, as you can virtually meet people through video calls, instant messaging and audio technology.
Research has proven that the use of voice and video communications helps when building relationships. What this means is that hypothetically if you were to Skype someone, they’d be more likely to interact with you in the future than if you were to have solely had correspondence over e-mail or Twitter.
I personally love Skype and use it regularly as a way of getting to know new people whose blogs I find interesting or tweets I enjoy. I find that it adds so much more context to the relationship I end up building with that person, as quite often I will end up finding something I have in common with that person or learning about the interesting things that they’re up to.
Skyping with one person a week will increase your followers’ loyalty
I strongly recommend Skype as a means of getting to know your followers. Deepening your relationships with your followers will not only allow you to get to know your audience, but it will also increase the interaction you have with your followers and they have with you. I recommend trying to put aside a little bit of time each week to having a Skype call with your followers, even if it’s just one call a week.
Final Thoughts – How Many of Your Most Loyal Followers Have You Met?
I ran some data on my Twitter followers and found out that I’ve met 80% of my ten most loyal Twitter followers (those who retweet me the most) in real life. I asked around the office and on Twitter and the general consensus was that most people had met between 60 – 90% of their most loyal Twitter followers (the average being 76%). Although based on a small sample size, I think it’s fair to assume that for most of us, the people who interact with us the most are those who we meet in person. Which, if you turn it around, makes a lot of sense – those who we share the most interests with (and thus interact with online) are the people we’re most likely to meet and develop relationships with in person.