The Organic Tribe

I choose to grow my Twitter following organically. Why? First, I think it feels natural and not contrived. Second, I feel that what I offer to my own circle ends up bearing more weight and credibility. Plus, I get umpteen times more satisfaction when I know my follows pay attention to and engage with me. And the fact that they choose to do so, of course, means the world.

organic garlic

photo via Flickr from magic carpet ride 13

Grand Tribe
Twitter is a mega tribe. Within this large camp, each of us builds our own clan of followings. And yet the global cacophony is unrelenting in its ubiquity. So what do we do? We specialize our attention.

And, for me, it makes total sense to allow the course of serendipitous nature to be part of what defines my social media community.

I have two core thoughts that help me define what my community is about. These two elements are simple, yet they are the nitty-gritty sparks characteristic of organically nurtured communities.

The Lifeblood of Interaction
Having regular interaction with your community is key, and something I find sorely underrated. And interaction can be anything from a quick back and forth hello to a lengthy discourse on the state of the semantic web.

What’s the value? The time and effort each of us took to actually hear each other out and reflect on our respective points of view. It’s essentially knowledge-sharing. And lest we forget, information is valuable.

Spontaneity as the Face of Genuineness
Being yourself in the way you strike up a conversation on Twitter, injecting a sense of humour and simply showing your garden variety self will certainly help others understand where you’re coming from and make it smoother for them to relate with you (or not).

There’s nothing more satisfying to me than to randomly get a tweet out of the blue. It’s like a sudden visit, which ends up being a truly welcomed surprise. What’s the value? You got something you never expected to get: a laugh, a thought or something new you just learned. Information is undeniably invaluable to us all.

Tribe to Enterprise..come in Enterprise..
I had a wonderful DM exchange today with Twitter friend and colleague Fran Melmed (@femelmed ), which provoked both of us to view certain internal communications best practices in a different light.

It took all of maybe 10 minutes over five DMs back and forth. End result? We gave each other fodder for our next post PLUS we were able to see a new angle on internal communications within the transparent framework of the new social landscape and how such insight could be an upgrade to existing practices.

So pay attention to the nitty-gritty: the stuff that’s really on people’s minds when they want to share something with you. That’s how you build trust, credibility and the foundations of support within your community.

How does your tribe grow?

6 thoughts on “The Organic Tribe

  1. Dude, you are becoming the ultra communityguru meister. Haha. I know, you hate that crap but I appreciate your thoughts, specially when it comes to things people don’t always think about, like organic garlic! LOL No serious, great stuff man. Sean

  2. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your tribe grow? 🙂


    You do an excellent job of communicating with your followers on a daily basis. I know you make a huge impact on me as I am sure you do others and the information and friendship you offer is invaluable.

    For me, I have always tried to be nothing but myself. I follow people that I think I can have a mutual relationship with and try to engage as many people as I can in a day. Granted sometimes it isn’t easy to fully engage people every day but even making the effort is worth something. I agree that the only way to grow a tribe is organically. Social media is all about being open, transparent and most of all yourself so if you don’t gain followers organically then I think you’re going about it all wrong. Ask yourself why you are involved in social media. What do you plan to gain and give? Friendship, networking, information, ideas, trust – all these things are gained through being yourself. And when you are freely being yourself, others will be drawn to you and your tribe will blossom.

    Great read and true reflection of who you are!

  3. You are one of the most engaged, active, interesting personal contacts I know on Twitter. You have, and continue to be, a great example and teacher on how to engage more effectively on Twitter and beyond!

  4. hey, autom. it’s an interesting idea, spontaneity as the face of genuineness. how can one be false when one is acting without calculation? i like it. i also agree with you about the richness that comes from actual exchanges on twitter. while twitter seems to be set up to benefit the one-sided conversation, when i find that someone i’m following is not interested in a conversation but only in trumpeting out their information, i will often unfollow them. f

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