Social media is a widely fascinating area for marketers. Primarily because it’s such a massively engaging area for users around the world. The “best practices” to apply social media for marketing and PR purposes are being developed in real time. Regardless, one thing that seems to be understood (rightly or not) is the game of generating lots of individuals who you can touch through any (or many) of the myriad social media channels. Robin Neifield takes a look at this and notes:
Legitimate business goals may include accumulating fans, friends, or followers, but the impact of those followers is the true goal, making the followers a means to an end — not the end itself. Social media seems to have descended into a personal popularity contest with thousands of self-proclaimed social media gurus all vying for our attention to their every thought and insight. Does it seem a little desperate to anyone else?
I would also add that this phenomena seems to be a social media translation from traditional media where “more is always better” in terms of readers, listeners, viewers, etc. And yet one of the compelling things about social media is the opportunity to engage specific users on a relationship level and/or in a specialized area of interest.
Neifield goes on to say:
In what other digital arena do we measure ourselves by our ability or proclivity to attract attention rather than produce solid results? Does anyone ever really use those measures except for ego gratification? Would you choose your business or media consultant or search or e-mail or creative partners because they had the most followers or pushed out messaging of questionable or irregular quality on a regular basis?
For that matter, would you choose your doctor, accountant, lawyer, or banker because they proved capable of accumulating the attention of strangers? It seems like a misguided and immature game some play with the end game being the scorecard, not the contribution. So how do you tell the difference between a passionate practitioner and an ego-driven pretender?
Neifield’s article further draws comparisons between 6 pairs of social media “Pretenders” and “Passionate Practitioners” with a focus on providing real value in the game of online social media marketing, which of course, has long been the way to establish and maintain solid business (and social) relationships.
From a marketer’s perspective that real value would be a reflection of generating more business for your clients, whether that be in terms of more leads, more sales, and/or more profit. Additionally, it could include better understanding what the more specific needs are for your clients and delivering such in a reliable and efficient manner. In fact, I would argue that real value would extend beyond the basics of what would be expected by providing extra value, which in this way, would allow one to truly stand out as a creative service professional.
Click the following link to read Neifield’s post published on ClickZ, entitled Desperately Seeking Personal Brand.