Are you crowdsourcing your audience or annoying them?

Social media is about engaging your audience, interacting with them, and creating a relationship or even a “trust” with them.  Something we see happen a lot is people posing questions to a large audience.  This is called crowdsourcing.   Crowdsourcing is defined on Wikipedia as “the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by (an individual), and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.”  Many times you will find people ask “Where should I go to eat?” or “Is XYZ movie worth seeing?” via their Facebook status or Twitter comment.  This is indeed a great way to get people to respond to you and get input for a decision you have to make.  But when is it too much?  Well, unfortunately, that’s a question you have to answer for yourself.  People do instinctively want to help, which is why social media is a great tool to do that with, but seeing someone constantly just “asking the audience” is going to categorize you as a “noise factor” and your online reputation could take a hit.  Doing homework is one thing, but not being able to ever make a decision is another.  As part of our coaching, Be the Bee looks to help people get over their fear of technology and put them in front of a potential audience to engage, network and even potentially do business with.  The amount of connections we have seen made over the past year is simply tremendous.  The stories we hear offline (and online) could fill a book (note: idea already being worked on!).  It’s important to engage your audience, peers, colleagues, and get them to interact as well as interact back with them.  If you find yourself asking questions constantly looking for direction, insight, likes or dislikes, then ask yourself this “Am I engaging people, or am I starting to cause them to tune out”.  What do you think?  🙂