A social media reality check

It’s great to spend time with people who know a lot about social media. You’ll undoubtedly learn some things you didn’t know–maybe even something that will make a real difference for you or your business.

You know what’s equally as important, though? Spending time with people who know very little about social media, or who think all the hype is a little silly. There’s no question that you may find yourself frustrated by their stubbornness, and you may leave the conversation thinking they’re missing out on something important. There’s an equally good chance, though, that you’ll leave with a healthy reality check.

The next time you have a chance to talk to someone about something like Klout, for example, don’t talk to the person who has figured out how to game the system and earn real-world rewards. Talk to someone who has no idea what Klout is. Explain to to him or her that it’s a scoring system designed to rank your respective influence. Tell him or her how much time and effort it would take to “earn” an appreciable difference in your score. Try to convince him or her that doing so is actually worth it, given the opportunity to be awarded discounts on stuff you had no interest in buying in the first place.

If you find yourself within even a few seconds of self-doubt, hold on to it with both hands. That will serve you much better in the long run than even the most nuanced nugget of social media “wisdom.”

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3 Responses to A social media reality check

  1. Scott Howard says:

    I agree with much of what you say. All of us live in our own silos and circles based on what we do, our interests and how we know.

    Facebook is stupid was my original thought until I discovered that it was an easier and less expensive then paysites like Classmates to stay in contact with my fellow alumni.

    While everyone doesn’t need to be hyper-connected, or even marginally connected via social media, it’s important to have an awareness of these tools even though a person may not chose to participate.

    Your Klout example is interesting as it is an offshoot of social media, with limited value unless someone decides to evaluate others using this arbitrary set of numbers. And even those who know what Klout is have mixed feelings as to its value.

    Keep looking at the big picture and realize that social media is still just an option for the general public, not a necessity. Business is a different matter which we continuing to figure out.

  2. Tammy Davis says:

    Great thoughts, Anthony. The same kind of thinking can be applied more broadly; think “insiders” and “outsiders”. Some of my most insightful conversations on QR codes, for example, didn’t take place with other marketers or people applying the technology. They came from a 13-year-old boy who told me, “If someone is using a phone with a camera to take a picture of this thing that takes him to a website, you know he already has data capability on his phone. Why make him get an app to do this, when all he has to do is type in the web address?” Duh. Unless you have QR-specific content, he’s right. It took an outsider to crystallize that for me.

    Sorry to ramble.

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