Wikipedia states that Reciprocity refers to responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions. As a social construct, reciprocity means that in response to friendly actions, people are frequently much nicer and much more cooperative than predicted by the self-interest model.
I was in a class dealing with social media the other day when the teacher brought up the idea of the law of reciprocity and using it in social media. Genius, I thought but then as we kept delving into the topic I realized how much work this could turn out to be if I wanted to embrace and use this thought in its entirety. But I decided to set up a small experiment and see what the results would be.
Since I think this is so much easier on Facebook our little experiment is going to take place on Twitter.
How many acts of reciprocity does it take to see an influence on Twitter?
In the class I was in we where challenged to do five acts of reciprocity for every three acts of self promotion done daily. I’m a lazy marketer and already had my queue done for my social media in hootsuite. While everything in there wasn’t self promotion there certainly wasn’t any acts of reciprocity. So with a sigh I headed over to twitter. (Join me over at twitter) and went through my list and randomly picked out five people and began my acts of reciprocity.
After you find a tweet you would like to respond to I was taught to look at their profile and see what they are into. And then hit the reply link and respond to them. One I picked the guy was telling a joke. So I went and found a corny short joke. Told him how much I enjoyed his joke and here was one for him and shared the joke. And I continued by responding to four other random people.
If a Retweet In Sent Will You Be Able to Hear It on Twitter?
So the results of my experiment are: the guy that I sent the joke to, he responded back with a retweet telling me my joke was a good one. Several others responded back thanking me for responding to their tweets. Did it do anything for me? My twitter handle was out there for them and their friends to see so exposure was given as I sent out some reciprocity.
Was my experiment a success?
I will let you decide that on your own. I know that I probably won’t be able to do this every single day but I do want to try to include it in my Twitter chores as much as possible. How about you? Do you follow the law of reciprocity and what have been your results?