Feigning authenticity

As I continue to navigate the choppy waters of social media, I am struck by the dichotomy between the intended purpose and the reality of action.

I thought social media is supposed to be about real conversation; that it’s a place where you or your brand can reach directly out to prospects, consumers and clients to share your knowledge, listen to others and engage in two-way conversation.

But how do you “listen and engage” with 7,000 or 21,000 or 600,000 followers on Twitter?

I followed a couple of people with 1000s of followers and sent them a direct message asking that question. One didn’t answer. One admitted that he can’t listen and engage with all of his followers. (Though he was nice enough to reply to my direct message.)

And how do you get those many followers? Some people, like Mitt Romney, apparently buy those followers. I can only assume that more followers makes you appear more important. Why, in a world in which you are supposed to be authentic, are people buying followers and not listening to them?

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