Social Media Club Des Moines

If you get it, share it

So when tweeting for your business or a new brand, assume you're still ramping up and gaining followers. A top competitor starts following you. What's your next move? Follow them back? Anyone hesitant about that? Would you go as far as to block that person? That's not where I'm leaning -- but I'm up in the air the follow thing. If they want to see my tweets they're out there in front of God and everyone.

Opinions?

Tags: etiquette, follow, twitter

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I think you should follow them back. Why not? Maybe they'll tweet something that you can learn from. They showed some gumption by following you, I'm not sure that they would take such a step to try to steal anything do you? Ya think?
We have a lot of competitors / peers following us both at @Love_Scott and with @TheBrandChef . Honestly, I see nothing wrong with it. We use Twitter to help educate and motivate and extend our brand. As long as we're not sharing trade secrets or client information (which i hope to GOD no one is), then I think it's okay. Heck they crawl through our website for portfolio and client info, so what more will they learn from Twitter except the fact that we like to read specific blogs and post on a weekly basis? I also think it helps build a stronger industry and community...

That's my slant... thoughts?

Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef
Absolutely, as Katie said, follow them back. Even though they are your competitor, they may have info that you can use to benefit your new brand. At the very least, following them allows transparency for your brand, which is something you want anyway. You may even want to RT some of their content if it benefits your brand. RT'ing will allow you the opportunity to reach their followers and, if your brands better, win them over.

To Andrew's point, if your brand is in a very niche market, helping spread info about your competitors helps the niche, as well as your brand.
Thanks for starting the discussion, Dan!

We follow competitors, they follow us. We are often amused when people block us from following them. If we were that interested we can follow them under a fake account. Plus, it makes them seem scared and threatened. I think when competitors block us, it shows their ignorance about the medium and makes us feel all that much better about our knowledge and usage of social media.

Andrew's comment below is on the money. He and I are competitor's but we're both well aware that sharing information and debating on Twitter back and forth moves the Des Moines community forward.

Good question!
This topic reminds me of the way recruiters treat each other on LinkedIn. Very seldom will one recruiter let another recruiter join their LinkedIn network for fear of the other person poaching candidates or clients. It's a scarcity model of doing business. I much prefer the abundance model that assumes there is enough for everyone.
Sharing information is very different then competing. Josh, Andrew and I are all in competing business but in the end, our clients are who choose us. If we remain loyal to them and help them remain loyal to us by offering top-notch service and results. Then I don't worry about any of my tweets or blog post giving the competition an upper hand, because we hold the ultimate upper hand, the relationship with the client.
Thanks all of you who jumped in on this -- all great perspectives. Now for a new challenge: just posted a similar topic in a new question.

Derek Pine said:
Sharing information is very different then competing. Josh, Andrew and I are all in competing business but in the end, our clients are who choose us. If we remain loyal to them and help them remain loyal to us by offering top-notch service and results. Then I don't worry about any of my tweets or blog post giving the competition an upper hand, because we hold the ultimate upper hand, the relationship with the client.
Just heard a great piece on NPR about the Roxy theater in Los Angeles and how they started using social media to make a come back. One thing they did was start to mention their competitors and the competitors then did the same. It brought people into the area (it was a local thing) and helped all the theaters.

I'm originally from New York and there's an old story about Macy's and Gimbel's (the latter isn't there any more). But for years they were two large department stores next to each other. People came because they knew they'd find what they wanted at one of the stores and the traffic helped both stores.

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