There are some who consider it sacrilege to ever stray from a chosen niche. They are missing out on important, new connections. "I unfollow if I see people tweeting quotes or blipping music," some on Twitter warn. Why so harsh?
Without personality, social media is not social. In straying from the niche that may define us to some degree as a "thought leader", we open up our world to unexpected connections. Cast a wider net. Dare to show a personality and have some fun.
So what does the bizarre picture above have to do with all this? Earlier today, I tweeted the following:
Unreal: Aircraft Detection Before The Invention Of Radar http://bit.ly/fwHhNc #aviation #tech #photos
"Whoa", some of my social media purists no doubt exclaimed when they saw a tweet that bore no semblance of a relationship to the subject of social media. "Has he gone mad - again?!" "#aviation?"
What happened moments after I sent that wayward tweet? My screen was populated by some tweeps I had never connected with before, simply because I had dared to stray from my chosen niche. Social media should be about expanding our circle of social connections. Straying from your niche will help you achieve this.
Be forewarned, I sometimes share quotes I consider to be inspiring, videos I think are just fun, and even, occasionally, "blip" some music. (A word of warning, nothing seems to inspire a loss of followers as quickly as sharing some music does -- but chances are you'll also just a quickly discover you've added a few more connections.)
So, show your personality, have some fun -- and stray. Surprise us with wherever your wider interests may chose to take you. We'll be delighted to learn more about you and broaden our own horizons.
What about the losses? At the end of the day, I think you will find that you have had more gains and built a stronger, more interesting tribe.
Please join me on Twitter: @GlenGilmore