Posts tagged ‘social media’
October 26th, 2012
Back in 2010, I wrote an article about how we are at the mercy of free social network like Facebook and Twitter. I recommended that we all have a contingency plan in case they went down, to not give up on more stable marketing tools that are still working well for us, and that we support niche networks that help us reach our audiences and are hungry for our business.
Well, here we are two years later, still at the mercy of free social networks. Only they are all finding ways to add fees to what they offer which perfect sense – this is how they will stay in business and be able to keep offering us the free stuff. But what rubs me the wrong way is how some of them (Facebook) are manipulating the way their service works in order to convince (coerce) you into paying to promote your content just so it will be seen.
We’ve all been hearing about the changes in the EdgeRank algorithm – how Facebook gives specific types of posts with specific types of interactions an edge over other posts in people’s news feeds. Well, lo and behold, many of us are seeing precipitous drops in visibility for our posts, especially those of us not using the ever-changing best practices of engaging content publishing and interactions on one’s Facebook Wall.
To see how much of an impact Facebook’s Promoted Posts would have on my own Facebook Page, I ran a quick experiment. I put up this graphic:
Without promotion, it received a handful of shares and under 100 people saw it. Read more
January 4th, 2012
Having watched the proliferation of this inaccurate and oft-misunderstood term into our businesses and lives, I’ve come to realize that somebody has got to do it. Why?
Because we are all misusing and abusing the term and most people completely misunderstand what “social media” is supposed to mean and are acting on what they think it means then end up down a rabbit hole of relentless online activity that bears little fruit for the efforts. We are all going crazy doing things we think are “social,” and what we really are doing is alienating others in new, more powerful ways, including our customers and many of the people around us.
I blogged about the problem with the term “social media” back in March 2010 for GigaOm. I was struggling first to find the “right” definition of the term and went to Wikipedia to see what people had posted there. Here’s what it said back then:
Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.
Here’s what it says today:
Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” Social media is media for social interaction as a superset beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.
Am I the only one who sees the above as a bunch of mumbo jumbo?
The way we are defining “social media” and then acting on “using social media” or “leveraging social media” is creating mumbo jumbo in our lives. It is taking the natural human instinct to communicate and build community and turning it into a circus of untenable communications.
We as publishers cannot keep up. We as consumers cannot keep up.
So what do we do when we can’t keep up?
Right now, we are desperately seeking new tools to try to manage something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. We should never have defined the various tools on the Web that sprung out of early Web pages and called them “social” and made them into shiny, desirable objects that we all had to have in order to…to what? Be noticed? Be better at something? Be more popular? Be famous? Sell more?
What are really trying to do with “social media” anyway? And why is “social media” becoming the main focus – no, the driving force – of how we communicate with others online? It’s ludicrous.
“Social media” has NOTHING to do with humans communicating with each other. And half the tools we are assigning as being part of “social media” are inherently the antithesis of social, practically ANTI-social.
I’m going to explore this concept over the next few months, and will offer alternative terms and definitions. Good, bad or ugly, the term “social media” is probably here to stay, but I want to offer new language that more accurately describes what we are using and what we are doing – and trying to do – online.
With better language around online tools and activities, I think we can find better ways to leverage – and benefit – from them that are more in tune with our needs and our nature.
What does the term “social media” mean to you?
October 31st, 2011
I’ve been tweeting little digs lately about Klout questioning its importance and relevance…
I find @klout to be like the Kool-aid that none of us should be drinking but some of us do. I personally find it silly.
Wow, my @klout score went from 72 to 60 with the new changes. Quite the ego buster.
Why is everyone so caught up in their Klout scores? Why does anyone think Klout scores matter or actually mean anything important?
Geoff Livingston talked about the importance of actually being in the dialogues, in the communities you want to build through social media if you are looking to have success and be “influential.” Plus he noted that real influencers in the offline world we live in are not using social media to be influential. See: Wasting Time on Klout and Influence Metrics.
What any of us who gives Klout any real creedence seems to forget is that Klout, the company, is just like any other company looking for their business model, looking to make money for their investors, and looking to siphon off some of the millions now being spent on the new shiny object of marketing called social media. You can’t fault them for trying.
But you can’t call Klout’s mystery algorithms and scoring anything more than a novelty, a fun experiment, a game. And guess what? You get some cool perks by playing their game, too! Woo Hoo!
Klout isn’t any more measuring your success using social media or your influence over others any more than Foursquare is making you the actual mayor of anything. But we keep checking into places because its fun, because we get perks, and because we can compete with our friends to have the most points. Checking in on Foursquare doesn’t make us a better customer of the businesses where we check in and it doesn’t make our experiences at the places where we check in any more meaningful. It’s just a game we like to play.
Let’s all step back a moment and remember: Klout is a GAME. It isn’t really helping you become more proficient at using social media tools. It isn’t connecting you to others in meaningful ways. It isn’t changing your world in any way. It really isn’t measuring actual influence on anyone.
If you have to measure, you’ll get much more accurate results by tracking the activity (clickthroughs, conversions, retweets) on the links you provide in Twitter or by the actions taken when you post something to your friends, family and followers. That is, if they are genuinely interested in what you are saying and doing and take action on their own accord.
It is far more concrete to say that when you tweet something, you get retweeted 50 times, you get 1,000 clickthroughs and 300 people signed up for your offer than “I have a Klout score of 70.” We don’t even know what that Klout score REALLY means and Klout will never reveal that as they laugh their way to the bank.
No measurement tool out there will ever be able to gauge you real influence or capture the nuances of human interactions. And by the way, why are we so hung up on being influential? No wonder we pay attention to Klout. It is an EGO game!
Boy, Klout has got us there. We all want to be considered important and influential. We all want to matter.
Guess what? You matter. To someone out there.
So get on with your life and work and do meaningful things. Stop giving creedence to some arbitrary scoring game like Klout that oversimplifies HOW we matter in this world and in social media.
Do really good work from the heart, add value, be kind to others, and you get an “A” in my book.
How are you measuring the influence of your social media interactions? Or are you not measuring it at all and is that a good or bad thing?
October 26th, 2011
I haven’t had a good cup of coffee at Starbucks in years, probably since their massive expansions when Starbucks became less of a treat and more like an omnipresent reminder that we are settling for less. At some point, the pride taken in each cup of coffee turned into a factory line production of sub-par beverages and experiences.
What’s worse about inspiration and passion being squeezed out of the coffee-making? That we still stand in long lines waiting for our cup of mediocrity. Why do we do it?
Convenience, mostly. And bad habit.
When you start to do things en masse or by rote, some of the delightful and meaningful aspects of what you are doing can be gradually – or abruptly – eliminated. You can apply that to anything you’re doing in your life or your work.
Think of how you are using social media in your communications and interactions. Do you have a checklist, a daily calendar, an automated tool, and some theories that there are formulas to your conversations? Stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, and rethink your approach.
We are human beings wanting to connect. And eventually, we will get wise to the burnt coffee you’re serving up as fresh.
How are you keeping it fresh and real?
October 18th, 2011
I was about to say “No, not in social media,” but then I looked at the Twitterstream at large. Then I looked at my own.
The tweets that were mostly statements, sharing content, linking to other things – they were dominating and one-sided.
Sure there were some retweets and some @ messages, but more and more I began to notice that much of what we are putting out there and consuming these days in social media consists of broadcasting, not conversing.
I’m not sure how we fell into the trap of broadcasting again. Lazy? Overwhelmed? A combination?
We used to have mostly conversations when we adopted social media versus email lists and Web-based threaded messaging boards. But then the brands invaded our social spaces – just like they did with the Web – and suddenly the landscape of sharing and interacting became littered with ads and one-way communications. We seem to have started mimicking them. Shame.
We talk about the fact that social media is “social” and at least two-way if not multi-way, and yet how often are our own steams and feeds riddled with announcements about what we are doing, what we are reading, what we are posting, what we are thinking?
Count how many times you’ve interacted with others on Twitter today compared to the tweets you’ve put out there to “share” your information. In the last week?
In the last 6 hours, here’s my Twitter activity breakdown:
Annoucements (including sharing info, posting links, asking questions) = 16
RTs – 5
@ Responses – 10
@ to Initiate Conversation with someone else – 0
We all want attention.
What REAL attention are you giving to someone else?