Social Media is essentially a medium for dissemination.If people like what you are talking about, they are happy to pass on.In fact the very pillar of human existence is based on socialism.
I eat at a restaurant. if I like the food , I tell my friends about it. They in turn tell theirs and the social wheel churns. One wonder’s what would happen if I provided bad reviews about a service or a product ? How would that affect the perspective of general public ?
Social Media also depends on the mood of a conversation. For example humour and anger are likely to be passed on most frequently than other human sentiments.Do you remember the Chk Chk Boom girl ?
Let’s consider the famour BP oil spills.
People used social mediums including Facebook and Twitter to vent their anger. Confronted with a few hundred thousand users, BP public relation faced crisis and crumbled. One would wonder did BP have any idea how social media would change the issue at hand ? Did you ?
Facebook group called “Boycott BP” has accumulated 843K fans. A Twitter account perceived to represent BP started posting comments lacking intellect and yet managed to accumulate 150K followers ?
Why does a #vote and #voter trending along with BP, gulf and oil. sounds – suspicious ? Maybe expected ! ? People find it increasingly comfortable in finding value by devaluating others !
One wonder’s did BP actually miss the opportunity to leverage the situation at hand ? How could they have done any better ? For days the only possible update on the issue was available by calling independent agencies working to help BP clear up. Would BP have done much better if they had actually served information through their portal. Even less , provided updates via Twitter ?
Did Dove(Unilever) do any better when they started their campaign in 2004.Doesn’t Unilever’s other brand Lynx really contradict the campaign for natural beauty ? Were they trying to avert attention from the problems they had at hand ?Promoting lotions to reduce cellulites and then talking about real beauty ?
Did Dove just find a bigger opponent to put their blame on ? Did they really avert the social spectrum to other incidents ?
Why do we still see lower/minimal engagements on social media from Multinationals and large corporations ?
Social media has known to destroy value. The larger the size of the organization, the more vulnerable it feels.Imagine the amount of resources and effort a company as big as Microsoft needs to furnish to tackle driver errors ? On twitter ?
Would organizations rather put social responsibility and morale before business paradigms ?
Think about this for a minute. Would BP have done any better by considering it their moral responsibilities to prevent a disaster than cure it ? Would a larger corporation do better by obliging to the social responsibility before Twitter or YouTube forces it upon them ? There are plenty case studies out there where the negatives were converted into positives. Conversion wise the value of SEO and or the adwords are identical if your positives are not reflected appropriately.There are some really intresting case studies for an example like the one of Euro Solar
The obsession to better search placements is valid. Without placement in search engines, you will hardly be seen ! Search placements defines your visibility. The very first law of usability – “If people cannot find you , how do they buy from you “.
Does search placements guarantee better conversions though? Let us honestly sit back and think for a while.. A better search placements guarantees better visibility – does it promise better growth?
A lot of search consultants will argue that having a better search engine optimization strategy is the beginning to a better growth. A better SEO startegy will bring more visitors. However without proper engagement, do these visitors promise more returns? Even more do these visitors actually mean growth?
From an SEO perspective
Let us look at a very recent example of a video that just went viral. You all know of the Cebu Pacific airlines flight attendant dancing to lady Gaga. Doing a simple search returns 10 pack sitelinks for the particular website. However, I have never visited or used this airlines website before. After watching the viral video, what was the first thing I did? Visit their website. And so did many of you!
Think about this for a second. For a larger multinationals like say Mcdonald, would optimizing their content bring them more customers ? The biggest myth amongst SEO “experts” I believe is that they believe traffic is directly proportional to the amount of sales/growth.
I doubt, as an end user, I will start eating more McChicken after going to Mcdonald website. Infact the only reason I would want to go to McDonald website is to see how healthy their food range is. Which is even worse because McDonald may loose me as a customer if I find their food is unhealthy.
From a Social Perspective.
If I engage my customers via social mediums, listen to what they have to say about my product and actively interact with them – I will take the first step towards growth.
As a small company, would you rather spend $xxx on improving your website visibility ? How about spending the same money on your product after interacting with your audience in social mediums ?
Wait. The very first rule to social media is – “Listen“. That’s right. Would you rope in a few hundred thousand dollars and a team of analysts to find out what your customers like best ? More likely open a free account on Twitter and directly engage your customers for more actionable data ?
A very crude example is when a guy meets a girl for the first time.
You may wear nice clothes, have the best perfume on and look handsome. she on the other hand may have quite fascinating eyes , charming hairline and brilliant personality. Without interacting with each other , how can you predict the compatibility ?
SEO is all about the technical things of what to wear and do on an given occasion. Social media is however the interaction and the resultant growth that will take place from actionable insights.
Remember – The first rule to SEO is not optimise your content or 301 redirects ; it is ask your customers what they want !
I am no social media expert . I write things from an end user perspective. I encourage you to comment and provide your opinion on the subject ? What are your thoughts ?
If you tweet a lot, you probably are aware of the amount of spam that comes your way. No of people start following you on a day to day basis and after a while it becomes increasingly difficult to write a personal message to each one.
What do you do ? The social media and the human pattern of behaviour on social medium has caught some trending patterns. Lets put some trends into words and see what are the social implications.
1) You follow me and I follow you
This is the most socially awkward and totally unacceptable behaviour of the social media ecosystem. I know all of you will jump and flame this post. However , lets consider some of the reasons why this is not acceptable
Every ecosystem on earth is based on a leader and followers mechanism. A leader may / may not listen to his followers. He is the leader because he has tremendous amount of will and knowhow to lead.
You may have already read how social media exerts tremendous pressure on seo. If not I suggest you do it. Peer pressure and the amount of misinformation created by retweeting wrong information can cause a industry expert to loose both interest and confidence.
It just shows that you are not having time to either individually thank them or you are just that not into social media.
I am sure there are other ways to thank your followers on social media. Which we will also discuss later.
2) Follow someone because they work in your Niche
I have seen a lot of my followers do this. as soon as they search a hash tag, they immediately start following all the people associated with thatÂ hash tag. This gets them a lot of other followers or people reciprocate their own gesture.
Consider you are waging a war against Rome. Would you take 10,000 ordinary farmer, carpenter and labourers with you or just 300 extraordinary soldier’s. (Ok credit to 300)
Social media is a war. War of knowledge. You had better have a solid knowledge to back you up or a 10K ignorant users are never going to open your website after following you.
3) Thanks them and Never follow up.
This one is the most important and defines the social spectrum. If you like something you read. Retweets it. Sending visitors to people you read about or like is a great gesture.
I have seen people only tweet about their blogs. Ok I have done this too. However my social observations suggest that retweeting someone else’s articles gets you more Retweets on your own.
Most users do send you a personal message , and then forget about it totally. There are gazillion softwares out there for twitter.Make sure that you remember each user at least once a month. Once a year if you have 10k followers. Personal messaging and touching base is a quality of leaders.