What happens when you stop responding?

+Taylor Swift (middle) and me (third from right) photo by +Sony 
If you were to poll 100 celebrity accounts with over 500,000 followers across social media, I think you would find something interesting. Most of them do not actively interact with their audience. Sure, they may call out an individual tweet or reply to an occasional comment, but for the most part, their audience interaction is limited.
For traditional celebrities, this seems very rational. +Taylor Swift probably doesn’t have time to reply to thousands of comments, and if she tried to, it would turn into a cascading time suck. However, if she started to reply to each and every fan, would it ruin all of the excitement for those that do hear from her?
Watching several “non-traditional” celebrities, more of the Internet type, writers, commentators and corporate big wigs, I’m starting to notice a trend, that people are more likely to engage with those that are less likely to respond. Take +Vic Gundotra‘s posts, for example. If you watch what he and his colleagues post, you will always see a myriad of responses, some form more prominent Internet figures. However, most of them know that the likelihood he will respond is fairly low. So why do they bother to comment on his content?
I’m wondering if there is a “critical mass” in terms of tribe size or follower count where content creators should limit their audience interaction in an effort to increase engagement on their posts. It’s a continuation on my theory of “manufacturing scarcity” but I think it also applies in the social realm.
I believe that in personal branding, we are taught to interact with as many people as possible as often as possible to help establish our authority in our particular niche. However, is there a point where well-followed individuals should curb their audience engagement to encourage more interaction with their posts?
Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about totally eliminating interaction, but showing your audience that you’re busy doing important things and can only interact occasionally. By creating this artificial scarcity, does the engagement become more valuable?
It sounds crazy, but I think it might just work…

#thinkaboutit

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