A Social Media User, in general, would be happy to share content, network with like minded people, and grow.
A Social Media Enthusiast will try to be in as many networking sites as possible, share his content (most of the time the same content).
A Social Media Newbie would try to analyze his/her scores, activity, and would always be on the lookout to improve scores. The most common example being Klout , HowSociable, Social Mention, and the like.
A Social Media Expert will never analyze his score or check his online reputation. It is majorly done by those who think they are experts/specialists, but aren't.
On Twitter, there are so many ways to increase followers, or post tweets with #hashtags to increase participation and improve scores, that there are thousands of users with 10,000+ followers, and come across as Experts.
They automatically come across as credible, real specialists. But the reality is far from truth. They are Re-tweeters and content amplifiers, or search engine optimizers!
Online reputation management is a challenge for many, and an Outsourced function for others. Bloggers outreach programs, advertorials, paid bloggers, and SEO strategies have been very helpful for managing reputation by paying enough money to spread goodwill. They help improve scores on the Net, which, I feel, is unethical.
There are so many real brands, true experts, and poor people with so much integrity, knowledge, and skill who are left behind by this ugly game of Social Media Monitoring.
If I were to launch a Monitoring tool, probably I would take into consideration the social media aptitude, experience, and knowledge by publishing surveys on a regular basis. For Brands, There would be a different rating scheme, in which paid forms are not taken into consideration. Plus advertorials are PR tools, in the paid format. That is how the wealthy brands get away from negative mentions!
Businesses have less content to share than users. But users don't have a platform to share authentic content. Exclusivity gets lost in most cases. But, sites like Mashable, SocialMediaToday, iMediaconnection,Econsultancy, have been pioneers of True content, and would always be doing so, without pushing content in a paid forms.
The best part about curated content is its authenticity, validity, and reliability. Plus, lot of exclusive content seekers get a place to learn and gain knowledge.
With the growth of Social media sites, networks, and genres, the unique user base is also increasing. The need for tools is also spiralling, especially free tools. On the other hand, users want a better rating, and hence create exclusive content for improving their online reputation. It is a cycle that is helping the social media space to evolve and dominate the digital space.
For brands, generating content, attracting new users, managing reputation, and improving goodwill is very easy in the short term, but it is not sustainable. Getting a fan on Facebook has become very easy, connecting with the target audience easier, and getting feedback simple. The only obstacle is pushing sales, capturing the customer's attention with relevant content, and understanding the unpredictable nature of potential fans.
There are a few questions that I wish to explore in the coming days:
- What is the most important ingredient of a content strategy, apart from connecting to the audience, and timing?
- How often can individuals measure their online influence, position, ranking, and where?
- Why do ranking differ if the activity is the same? Probably the tools measure different variables. But is there a need for so many tools?
- Where does good content come from? How to ensure quality and connect?
- How to be an expert and behave like one?
Probably I will explore the Internet a little more in the coming weeks to come out with inferences for the same. If you have tips, or answers to these queries, please share.
Reach me at: