Quit with the Social Vomiting – Think Quality…

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I put mascara on for the first time in 3 months today. The female readers will no doubt understand the significance of that statement. For my male readers, suffice it to say, if a woman doesn’t have to put on and take off mascara it’s HUGE.

What does this have to do with Talent Management?  Nothing really, but I wanted you to know why I’ve not been around lately. Approximately 3 months ago, I had a baby girl and took maternity leave from FOT as I didn’t think anyone would benefit from sleep-deprived rants. Now that I’m putting on mascara and making it out of the house, I figured it was time to get back into the game.

The time away has given me an interesting perspective on the world of social networking. I spent more time than ever before on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn because I could multitask with my iPhone while feeding a baby at 3am! Because of this, I made an observation that really hit home:

Quality vs. Quantity RULES!

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve now hidden or turned-off because of the immense amount of social vomiting they do on a daily basis. You know what I’m talking about. There were those who continuously self-promote; those who posted every semi-humorous you-tube video of commercials, bands or cats; or those who simply retweeted everything they could without a single comment as to why I should take time to click on the link. On the flip side were people who were extremely thoughtful in their posts, blogs or commentary. Those who produced informative reads or insights that made me want to learn more. I really, really came to appreciate the QUALITY of the communication.

When you are trying to establish your personal brand, company presence, networking reach or just responding to a post, remember quality over quantity. While I may know your name because of the number of tweets you are tied to, if I associate your name with “annoying” I doubt it is the message you want to deliver. An example of a company that gets the quality concept: HomeAway. Two years ago they jumped off a big cliff and produced a Super Bowl ad with the much talked about return of Clark and the Griswold family. This year, it was the introduction of the Ministry of Detourism. They’ve tiptoed into other social media realms, and as such whenever I see the clever blue birdhouse, I tend to read what has been posted. Excellent example of company branding that emphasizes quality communication over quantity, which also happens to be one of the concepts they are selling to their customers.

As I fretted about leaving my newborn and whether going back to work made me a horrible mom, I had to remind myself of the revelation. The quality time I spend with her really is just as, if not more, important as how often I’m in front of her. Make the time you are in social networking land impactful, quit the social hurling and go spend time with those who are important to you!

FOT Background Check

Kathy Rapp
Kathy Rapp is a Managing SVP at hrQ in Texas, where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent or HR Consultants to drive business results.  Prior to joining hrQ, Kathy booked more than 15 years of human resources leadership experience working for such companies as Morgan Stanley and First Data Corporation.  A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent issues can be addressed via the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen  (David Lee/Sammy and sadly, Gary Cherone).

17 Comments

  1. I like this post, Kathy. It makes a lot of sense! Welcome back to the adult world.
    Diane (mother of 3)

    Reply
  2. Bravo! I especially like your last few sentences. It’s all about quality. Congratulations and we’re glad you are back providing quality on FOT!!

    Reply
  3. Fully agree, Kathy – the strategy you’re employing is really about attracting quality followers as well, not just quantity. This is important because early strategies of Twitter involved amassing as many followers as one could . . . yep, it was the hype cycle all over again. During the hype, everyone dives in excessively … until they realize that eating too many gummy bears at once is a bad thing :)

    Reply
  4. Dwane Lay says:

    Welcome back. :)
    Couldn’t agree more. I wrote a post last week on HR Thought Leaders. I think we’re being inspired by the same muse.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  5. First let me say congratulations on the birth of your child. How exciting for you.
    Second, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your post. I too have unfollowed individuals as I can’t nor do I want to keep up with the ridiculous amount of tweets posted.
    We get so caught up in the number of followers, friend, connections, etc. What everyone needs to remember is there is NOT a direct correlation to the number of (insert terminology) to your relevance or the benefit you provide. I have learned that the hard way and spent numerous hours unfriending, unfollowing, etc.
    Thanks for saying what many of us have been thinking for a while now.

    Reply
  6. Kathy Rapp says:

    Diane & Trish – Thanks for the warm welcome back! Always nice to see comments to a post first thing in the morning.
    @Josh – Ha. Too many marshmellows also will give you the same feeling!
    @Dwane – Is your muse about 13lbs and 24 inches? Congrats if so!
    @Lisa – I very much appreicate the nod of approval. Glad I’m not the only one thinking these thoughts (even if they do tend to happen at 3am!).

    Reply
  7. JennJBowen says:

    Great post Kathy! This seems to be a hot topic lately and I hope the true offenders of “quantity” are listening (and can take a no-so-subtle hint). Brad Feld wrote a post about Signal vs Noise that relates well to your thoughts:
    http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2011/02/signal-vs-noise.html
    BTW, I can’t agree more that quality time with your little one is much more important than quantity. You are WAY ahead of the curve having the revelation so early on. It took me years to get come to that conclusion and lose (the majority) of my guilt. Keep up the good work mama.

    Reply
  8. Joe Brooks says:

    I completely agree. When people are posting tweets or Facebook posts every few minutes, at best I gloss over them and at worst stop following them.
    And the dilution means that when the author does have something great to say, it may well get overlooked because other followers have switched off too.
    Regularity of content is great, but only when it’s really adding interest or values to the user base.

    Reply
  9. Kathy Rapp says:

    Thanks Jenn…and crazy small world. I worked with one of Brad’s former companies (The Feld Group) back in the late ’90’s. Always liked him! :)

    Reply
  10. Kathy Rapp says:

    Hi Joe – And is it just me or where in the world do people even find the time to post that much!?? Thanks for your thoughts!

    Reply
  11. Joel Kimball says:

    Kathy, congratulations, and welcome back to Blog World.
    1) Excellent observations, and couldn’t agree more. JUST got back on Twitter b/c the first go ’round was SO annoying with the mega-quantity of useless info. Trying to choose better this time whom I follow…
    2) The pic and alt text RULE. Although men only get the pain vicariously, as the father of three, my wife’s travails during pregnancy and after the kids were born are SEARED into my brain. Hope things have been and are [relatively] smooth for you!
    Again, congratulations on the birth of your daughter, and have fun watching and helping her grow up!

    Reply
  12. The most frustrating thing for me is when there’s someone who has really good content but fills my page with fascinating tweets like, “Good Morning!”, and “It’s FRII-DAY!!!” Surprisingly, I own a clock *and* a calendar.

    Reply
  13. Kathy Rapp says:

    Thanks for all the comments!
    Phil – No worries. A) This person really didn’t read and/or comprehend what I wrote and B)I can’t do anything but chuckle at someone who has named himself “Skippy” on purpose.

    Reply
  14. In the spirit of transparency, I should point out that he doesn’t call himself Skippy — I named him that. I agree that he has a real reading comprehension problem — but his problems run much deeper than that. :-)
    http://www.transparencyrevolution.com/author/skippy-the-contrarian-capybara/

    Reply
  15. Gina says:

    All too often we see candidates that put WAY too much out there- & it could be costing them opportunities if the potential employer has enough sense to just do a quick Google search. Our lives are very open to the public- or have the ability to be so if we put it out there. It’s so important to be mindful of the content others can find. It can mean the future.

    Reply
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