Strategic Human Media Integration Model

How can we work in social media if we show no interest for people, if we don’t consider their relevance? How can we be professionals in the field and, at the same time, ignore what happens afterwards? Can we learn to accept change without doing the work, simply expecting applause and a standing ovation? What changes can we implement in the digital world to connect with and change our own audience?

I created the first theoretical social media integration model in December 2009. What I find fascinating is how it has evolved over the years, until now, with 2014 just round the corner.

How has strategic integration evolved?

New skills in an interconnected environment, the adaptation to social platforms, the different approaches to new online tools, the change in strategies and tactics towards further interaction, engagement and the consolidation of relationships, perception and understanding of ecosystems in the social web, and the digital revolution, of course. All of this has made social media integration become a more direct, human and connected model, creating a more powerful social and human web. The start of Human Media.

I have been working for a while towards understanding and figuring out how the new environment works and how a new conception of all the above changes social media integration in the business environment.

Human-media-integration-theory-model

The meaning of this

Users generally prefer connections over sales, sharing over creating, resonance over influence and relationships over promotions. This is further amplified by the sheer number of elements that take part in the integration of online platforms and tools in any communication or marketing model today. Platforms that humanise, filter and select contents (content curating) improve the chances of a social object being shared by a larger number of kindred spirits.

Connectivity between platforms results from the users’ “shareability” ratio: the more relevant, emotional and segmented the content you share, the greater connectivity you create with kindred spirits (you can call them potential clients or community). This will inevitably lead to positive visibility and will make it easier for your brand to interact with the people in the community to which you have gained access. This generates a continuous feedback flow resulting from the high level of input generated from visibility to a potential audience, connectivity with these persons and the resulting interaction. However, such inputs are meaningless without perception, understanding, assessment, implementation and reaction to the feedback channelled from social networks and from actively listening to these platforms.

It’s convergence, it’s connection, it’s human

Integration converges with an ecosystem that focuses more on connecting with users than on bombarding them with promotions. A good handling and use of the feedback provided will inevitably generate more traffic and trust, as does sharing what you’re interested in with your audience (usually as a result of feedback), only that it will also afford you credibility and exposure, and a certain authority resulting from having something of value to offer. Authority is a good thing, something you wish to have. Something which is helped daily by microblogging services, geolocation services and online publication services.

A factor to be taken into account is how, as a result of the emotional, human and relational impact of this economy, platforms remain on the outside of such integration; even in the case of a vital element such as a blog: the effects and properties that favour the people remain on the inside and build a crucial system, a resonance between brands and people.

Is there a happy ending to all this?

Of course! The agents that truly strengthen, influence and act as a lever in this setting and all its different channels, aren’t the social platforms or tools. These are only the means towards strategic integration.

How do you think that the social web converges, collides and integrates with this increasingly human and interconnected economy?

Appeared first on Social Media Today.

Related Posts:

What to do with your online influence

online influenceAre you influential on the Internet and the Social Web or any other field influenced by this connected economy? Tip 1: all fields have been affected. Tip 2: we’re all influential to some extent or other. However, what do you do with this influence? Anything at all? Have you ever thought about doing something that benefits not only you but helps those who probably provide you with such influence?

To save you some time racking your brain, here are some tried and tested ideas that may help you return some of that influence to those who created it and deserve it –your audience, community, fans, followers, supporters, you name it. Clue: Lady Gaga, Calvin Harris, Avicii, Brtiney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, Pete Cashmore, Robert Downey Jr. or Sergio Ramos aren’t really considered to be part of your community.

Things you can do with your influence

So, here are some ideas that will help you know what to do with your influence so that you can contribute to helping the people who make you influential.

  • What about dedicating a section in your personal or professional blog to talk about the people around you who’re doing a great job? This can be local businesses, your own team members, stories from people you don’t know but who inspire you, stories that may also help your community and readers. You could do this on a set day of the week (Fridays for instance?) or every other week.  You can give it a special name to identify this series of posts.
  • Create a local event making the most of your reach, influence and network so that people with great ideas and best practices can take part, people who may not have 10,000 followers on Twitter or a fan page on Facebook. They may not even have a blog, so no one needs to freak out and start running. You may encourage them more than anyone else and, more importantly, make them known to people in your network who would benefit from meeting them. There are several options: seminars, round-table conferences, workshops or even online events.
  • Prepare a monthly video recommendation about the person who has contributed, helped, impacted, encouraged or influenced you and your people the most. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person who has done the most for you. Sometimes, someone will simply arrive and do something that no one else has done for us. It could be the polite way someone greets you or treats you at a restaurant or hotel, or a good morning smile when you’re going to breakfast or a sincere apology that was truly unnecessary.
  • Make the most of your YouTube channel to interview young entrepreneurs who know what they want. Let the businesspeople in your neighbourhood/town/city tell the story of how they started a business that is now the leader in online sales, ahead of their competition.
  • Talks and meetings with young people who’re off to university or university students who’re about to finish their studies. These two groups are often lost in this system. Your influence may become a beacon to them.
  • Share interesting businesses in your area or neighbourhood in your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts. I’m not talking about multinationals, but rather local businesses.
  • Use Foursquare or Yelp to leave tips or reviews about these businesses and share them with your community so that people know about them. Checking-in and sharing on Twitter will also help. Tip: it doesn’t take an invitation on their behalf for you to recommend them or post a picture on Instagram. You may offer before getting anything from them; it’s a great way of helping.
  • You can use a hashtag on Instagram to upload pictures of places, people or businesses you love and that you believe others should know about and visit.
  • Go all-out and gather stories, experiences, thoughts and practices from ordinary extraordinary people who wish to inspire and equip other people through such personal and professional narratives.
  • #FF people who’ve helped you in your work during the week or more anonymous people who’ve made you change the way you interact significantly, or simply people who’ve had a special consideration towards you, someone from your team or professionals who’re doing their job well. I’d love to see more #FF for “ordinary/extraordinary” people and not so many rock stars!
  • When you want to help by sharing, don’t just RT or ‘share’; this requires a special gesture. Explain why you’re sharing, offer a personal reason why others should pay attention to it. This is the fun part, you can’t do this truthfully if you don’t read or pay attention to what you share. This is what leaves many “influencers” out of the game.
  • Use LinkedIn to recommend those service providers, workers, employees or entrepreneurs with whom you’ve had a satisfactory professional transaction or interaction.
  • Create an eBook about the people who help you in your day, month and year; publish it as a blog, on Twitter or other places. And please, keep it free of charge; getting to know these people should be a right, not a privilege.

Self-absorbed or change?

One more thing before we finish: there’s a good number of ideas to make the most of your influence to favour others in a positive way.

So, as you can see, there are myriad ways to do it. What we’re sometimes lacking is intention and purpose in using influence as a way to funnel change and not as a resource for personal gain, becoming increasingly self-absorbed. Being that kind of influencer is clearly overrated.

I’d love you to share with us any ideas that come to mind to make the most of online influence, helping to make a difference in other people. Thank you.

Photo credit: Stuart Foster.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

How to make (anything) viral

how to make anything viralI find it interesting to listen to agencies, professionals, marketing directors or advertising specialists talk about virality. It surprises me when they decide to sit down and write something that will supposedly go viral. This turns into hilarity when they demand the video you launch goes viral, and it’s Utopian for them to think that the work they do will go viral. Improbability arises when we expect an idea/virus to go beyond our own world perspective. That’s why we constantly fail in our attempts to reach virality.

Virality belongs to the people

It isn’t brands, Facebook, Adwords, Twitter or YouTube that cause virality. Virality comes from your ability to create something unexpected; something that has an impact and catches your audience unawares. Virality belongs to the people outside your circle of influence.

You will never go viral while you expect to conquer the meaning of the term ‘viral’, working on it endlessly.

Amazing beyond amazement

Matinée’s latest video, Ibizious, has gone viral; everyone’s talking about it. When they thought about it, they didn’t think about doing a viral video; they thought about making a video that someone would like, which would then replicate to many. The true value was in creating a video that had an impact, something out of the ordinary that would draw someone’s attention, anyone outside the people involved in the project: managing to amaze someone beyond our understanding of amazement. The video created change. What no one gets to see is the entire year that the people behind the video worked on it.

Consider a single person as viral

Seek making an impact on people who see the world in a different way than you do. Have such an impact on them that they cannot get to sleep unless they choose to make it happen: sharing your message with others. Start with one person. Then you’ll start to become viral.

Next time you think virally, think about how not to let one person rest until they share your message. And by this, I don’t mean spamming it to death.

Unfortunately, our perception of what’s viral isn’t the perception that the world has about the meaning of viral. Luckily, we can’t control virality.

Viral isn’t a thing; it just happens.

Photo credit: esalesdata.

Related Posts:

Summary #SMMW13 – Chris Brogan: social media isn’t the answer

chris brogan #SMMW13This is the first summary of the second day at Social Media Marketing World 2013, recalling the most important points of the talk given by Chris Brogan. I’ll dedicate a whole post to this speech because it deserves it.

Chris Brogan: You’re not going to like this but social media isn’t the answer

This is probably the reason why I came to this event; being able to see the person who’s inspired me since my first day working in new media back in 2007: Chris Brogan. I remember his was the first blog I subscribed to and the first person I followed on Twitter. Since then, I’ve tried to read all his posts, every day, keeping also those I’ve been unable to reed (I have approximately 1,500 emails containing his daily posts.)

Chris is probably the most respected person in the Social Web. This is something you notice when you share a round-table conference with him and other professionals as important as Jay Baer or Mario Sundar tell the audience, “I want to be like Chris Brogan”. He went straight to the point and touched on topics and concepts that no one else talked about during the event. He explained techniques and uses, sharing his knowledge in great detail and depth.

He talks with self-assurance about what he does, sharing useful and valuable reflections with the audience. As the audience, you realise you’re seeing someone who is capable of changing everything. These are the most relevant points I extracted from Chris Brogan’s speech:

  • Stop 80% of what you’re doing and work on the 20% that is making your business happen.
  • Create more businesses, many.
  • Followers don’t stop you from having to pay your mortgage.
  • When Twitter makes you put on weight, lose time and lose control of your followers, then put Twitter on a diet, cut down the time you dedicate to it and stop following those you’re not really following.
  • 200,000 Twitter followers aren’t as productive as the 20,000 blog readers who receive my newsletter every Sunday.
  • Talk about stories that people wish to learn from.
  • Tools are unimportant. What matters is what you’re capable of creating and how this is useful for people.
  • Find the quickest way for your readers to do something on your blog. Ask yourself, what would you like to happen right now? The answer’s easy: for people to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Don’t work towards getting a larger number, work towards creating lists with the people who love you.

How to control your digital channel

  • If you’re not creating a digital empire, you’re missing your chance to reach the people who’re going to buy off you.
  • Foundations: a website that is responsive: we sell from our own site. However, we don’t simplify because we’ll usually do the following: “come to my store and then go on to any other page with all the information we publish to find distraction”.
  • Social test: Create a very human “About me” page. Connect and remain human.
  • Create a warm, human and simple landing page.
  • Measurements: there is only one measurement and it isn’t the number of newsletters; it’s the number of $$$ in the bank.
  • Empire: we need to improve in our creation of email lists.
  • Blog: my blog is important because more and more people find me because of the strange topics I talk about, not through social media.
  • Social Media: who cares? Time yourself and stop wasting your time on “the community”. Stop what you’re doing. Spend only a short time each day.
  • Sales: my blog produces money, it’s what I need and it also helps to sell my new products.
  • Community: mainly curation and engagement. No one wants to celebrate your victory, people want to celebrate their own victory.
  • Time: spend 39% of my time connecting with people and 51% doing business.

Create your digital platform

  • Blog (home base): here’s where all my effort is going to.
  • Video: I no longer do as much because it takes time and effort.
  • G+: I connect with my community.
  • Twitter: I create conversations and I’m human.
  • E-books: help to build email lists.
  • Podcast: I create community.
  • Email: I reach the people who love me.

Chris’s competitive advantage

During the Q&A after his speech, I wanted to ask Chris a question: “Chris, what’s your competitive advantage, besides your email subscription base?”. This was his answer: “The speed and skill with which I create content that is helpful and useful.” His answer speaks for itself.

Human

I was shocked when before I had time to introduce myself to ask the question, Chris said “My dear friend Isra García, thanks for being here”. That’s what I keep talking about when I refer to Human Media. However, what really grabbed me about meeting Chris Brogan in person was his honesty, humility, clarity and his commitment to giving the best of himself.

After the talk I wanted to greet him and I realised that he really puts his money where his mouth is: when I was going to shake his hand, instead, he gave me a big great hug, saying “We finally meet, it’s such an honour to meet you after such a long time. Thanks for being there always and thanks for reading me!” (This is what I was supposed to have told him, not the other way round! I did get to say it back though.)

He commits to his readers fully. He understands where the value of his brand is, what he does. And where the money in his bank account comes from. Undoubtedly, attending #SMMW13 has been worth it just by listening to and meeting Chris Brogan, as well as Guy Kawasaki.

However, another of the reasons to attend was to travel Route 66 and end up at Coachella, but that’s another story… and perhaps a post.

Related Posts:

Responsibilities and tasks of a social media professional

social media checklistMany still believe that a the job of a social media professional is simply to tweet once in a while, upload pictures to Facebook or videos to YouTube… but it’s much more than that! Moreover, I usually think that what people have in mind is a robot, not a person. Furthermore, if such a professional goes on and on about how cool they are and how great they are at their work (though not really working for anyone else but their own brand,) then it’s a #smokemaker we’d be talking about.

Tasks and Responsibilities in the Social Web

I think this is something that must be talked about. This will help clear our path, make it easier to understand for others. The following are some of the basic responsibilities, starting from a strategic standpoint towards one that is more actionable:

– Social Media Marketing: optimise, maintain, monitor and lead the platforms and any marketing strategies carried out in them: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Pinterest, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Google+, Flickr, etc.

– Content creation and management: content marketing.

– Interaction with users: community engagement.

– Social commerce: leads, calls to action and conversions in social media.

– Monitoring: online media, information sources and social channels.

– Measurements and follow-up: determining the ROI of the work carried out, justifying the quality of the actions taken and, of course, the results thereof.

– Fan building: based on achieving specific ROI objectives.

– Contests and campaigns: creative input, development, starting up and monitoring.

– Qualitative aspects: Sentiment reports, strengths, scope, virality, passion and effects for the brand online.

– SEO: website, blog and social platform (social search) optimisation, aimed at improving search results.

– Keyword optimisation and improvement in new SEO/SEM opportunities

– Email marketing: development, creative input, running, results and campaigns.

– Database: creation, management and maintenance of the database, making it larger and more streamlined.

– Website: content optimisation and stimulation, improvements within the website structure: functionality, usability, navigation by users. Developing and launching a mobile version. Promoting, marketing and communicating all the website’s contents. Measurements, monitoring and follow-up of results.

– Coordination and management of press and communication tasks: contents, interviews, website news, exclusive acts, etc.

– Video-marketing: optimisation, search, keywords, sponsored videos, marketing.

– e-Commerce: creation and generation of online sales opportunities.

– Reports: online sales, online positioning, online reputation, online results.

– Community: leading online communities, brand representation in different forums and communities.

– Online branding: searching, identifying and improving all brand-related aspects in social media.

– Adviser: playing a brand consulting/advising role with regard to the online environment: opportunities, threats, new initiatives, development of digital identity and online presence, identification of potential business and new digital transactions.

I told you we’d go in at the deep end! It involves much more than what people usually believe; I wish I was wrong about this last statement. This is a proper job. As such, it requires sacrifice, excellence, determination, passion, excitement, initiative and conviction. All this certainly leaves many so-called “gurus” out of the game!

I’m very possibly leaving something out. Will you help me complete this list?

Photo credit: webbr.

Related Posts:

Facebook Leads the Present and Happiness

I’m noticing more and more people talking about their lives on Facebook. It’s usually when you turn your head to a monitor or peek towards a smartphone or tablet that you realise that what you’re looking at is the Facebook homepage. I see mums and dads, sons and daughters sitting at a table and logging on to Facebook to see what’s going on. I experience dinners with friends, work colleagues or clients where the first thing they do is to ‘check in’, or update their Facebook status or send a tweet saying that they’re with the person they’re actually sitting next to. The funny thing comes when we decide to take a picture and upload it to Facebook for hundreds/thousands of people to see, or perhaps use Instagram. I’ll own up to the fact that I’ve done it and still do it, yet would prefer not to do it so often.

I’ll Exchange the Present for Facebook

We are so often obsessed by the social media fever –or, social networking- that we miss what’s going on in the moment. In a sunset I experienced very recently, I was impressed to notice that practically 80% of the people there were taking pictures of the moment for later. More or less 50% of them would be uploading them to Facebook; my curiosity took the better of me and I asked many of them, with most of them confirming my hypothesis. On the other hand, only a few were actually enjoying the sunset. They were all logged on to Facebook, following their friends’ and family’s lives.

Some time ago, e-mail was the top online priority. I wonder whether the social media have taken on that role now or, on the contrary, if they still come in second.

Facebook, the Verb

Here in Las Salinas, in Ibiza, where I live, there is a store 300 metres from home. I stopped there the other day to buy some water and fruit. There were two girls there who knew each other and seemed to have met there. One of them said (in English), “OK, I’ll Facebook you if we go out partying.” She didn’t say, “I’ll call you”. No, she said “I’ll Facebook you.” The verb.

How I See Facebook

I’m not a great Facebook fan. I like sharing my life with my friends. I don’t have an official fan page (though many have asked.) I’ll probably never have one, just like I’ll probably never be a superstar, an “Expert” or a “Guru” to have one. I do have an account with not too many friends, close to 2,000 (I’ve been on Facebook almost 4 years now.) I try to be selective and critical about my connections on Facebook. They’re my friends, those close to me, the people I want to share moments with. Not everyone. Sorry, I like to keep certain things about my life private to myself. I believe that almost all of my “friends” who are on Facebook –approximately 75%- belong to my inner circle of friends and family. Through Facebook I can follow the things that take place in their lives. I can take a look at pictures of their events, I can follow health-related news of the people I love. I can learn about their achievements, all those things we used to write letters or make a phone call about. That is how I see Facebook; at least in this context.

What about Facebook for business, as a professional or marketing tool? I haven’t reached that point yet. I still feel out of that game. I’m still trying to find out the magic formula.

However, I do believe that Facebook has changed the feeling of experiencing and enjoying the moment by the act of announcing to the world that you’re experiencing and enjoying that moment. It has changed your happiness by theirs.

Related Posts:

The Internet, Social Web and Human Media: an opportunity for change

The Internet has entailed a paradigm shift in our lives, not only professionally but also personally. Suddenly, a new world of professional opportunities opened up to us while we looked on at what was going on in disbelief. From a personal perspective, Internet provided a tool with which to express ourselves to the world; we began having a voice. This sent shivers to the status quo, as it threatened its existence.

System Interruption

If ordinary people (the only ones capable of extraordinary things in my opinion) have the means to express their own ideas, connect with people thinking the same as them, sharing their same interests, capable of moving the world through their own efforts, then there can be a revolution. Internet was the start of an interruption of the system we had been living until then. Internet was a disruption in the way we communicate, do marketing, sell, work, help and live.

People at the centre

Then came a revolution that was even bigger than the Internet: the Social Web appeared, with social media or so-called social networks. Paradigms were shifted once again, communication became decentralised, starting the decline of mass-market, intrusive marketing. The system we knew started to crumble. New values started to arise in communication: transparency, authenticity, coherence, commitment and emotional bonding. The core of this no longer involved the company but increasingly put people at the centre.

Creating and sharing significance

The real challenge in this online world in which we live is to create and launch something which has real significance, adding value to the world and helping people. We cannot create sustainable businesses if we don’t resonate with people behind these businesses. It had never been easier to reach anyone on the planet than right now. The online environment is the means and Social Media is the vehicle to achieve this.

The Internet and the Social Web is what we need to progress, grow and move on from the stage we’re currently at.

Stay human

You can now find work in a medical software development project with a company in New York, be appointed social media consultant for an agency in London, write for one of the most important online resources regarding social media or be hired to speak at conferences in Mexico, USA or Australia. It’s quite simple to explain, you only need two things: to be and stay human and to use the means available to you to make things happen. Are you going to create change simply by answering emails immediately, tweeting more often, “friending” lots of people on Facebook and staying at work an hour later than your colleagues? I doubt it!

We are walking towards a digital-human present, where interpersonal skills and competences developed in an online environment are increasingly important. This could be a great barrier; however, these skills shouldn’t end in the online sphere. I’m talking about the present. The future is just a distraction in my opinion, something that pulls us away from reality and from starting the movement we need to make: the rays of light that take shape in a start-up, personal brand or any other initiative. The future is only an extension of our present actions.

The economy we live in needs names. The Internet, Social Web and Human Media provides us with the opportunity of being one of those names.

Please don’t ignore the daily opportunities you have to change it all. It’s possible now!

Related Posts:

8 Ways to Increase Engagement of Facebook Posts

Brands have always accepted Facebook as a key marketing tool to generate engagement and branding. The question is whether Facebook creates more engagement, visibility, traffic and experience than other tools. Searching for an answer to this for some time leads to understanding how the different attributes of Facebook posts have an impact on the number of “likes”, comments and “shares” that a post gets.

How to Increase the Number of Likes in Facebook Posts

Below, I identify 8 ways to increase the number of “likes” a post receives:

1. Focus. Stay up to date. I’m talking about messages that relate to holidays (Christmas), festivals, gigs, world issues, relevant events, anything related with current affairs. Perhaps they won’t be directly related to the product’s or company’s essence but they will be perceived as something more personal and, hence, better accepted (more so, even, than promotions.)

2. Express yourself through photos. Every picture tells a story. A photograph communicates something personal in a fast, easy way. You also have to make an effort to match a suitable text to the picture. Images from your company’s product catalogue generate greater engagement than other types of content.

3. Share what we love. Sharing success stories and also failures, achievements, prizes, apologies or thanks make you more human, accessible and familiar to your community. Many will also identify with the brand. When they “like” a post, they’re telling their network of friends why they identify with the brand.

4. Branding. Don’t hesitate to promote the brand and its products. When your customer visits your Facebook page, they should leave with a good impression of your brand and products/services. The public will visit the walls of the brands they’re interested in.

5. Humour rocks. Laugh and everyone will laugh with you. We all enjoy a laugh. Make your posts fun as funny posts get many “likes” and will be shared a lot. For instance, funny pictures. Being funny is an art.

6. Humanise the brand. Inject emotion to it. Brand communication starts by using the “human” side of social media. The community loves messages that turn a wall into a living object that expresses human emotions in the form of videos, images, or real-time personal statuses, for instance. Facebook is a communication platform rather than a production channel. Shar0ing posts that contain emotions helps connecting with the community. In turn, they share these emotions with their network.

7. Educate and equip. Create content that is informative. Brands sharing content that is useful to their audience get greater exposure and engagement –more “likes”–, especially in the case of information designed to improve and enrich the brand’s fans. This education could include the company’s history, the product creation process or the state of the market, for instance. When fans interact with this type of content, they’re creating educational content which is shared in their network.

8. Ask to be “liked”. Ask and you will receive. It’s simple. If you ask to be liked, like for instance Veuve Cliquot does in their posts, you’ll get more “likes”. Ask in a polite, fun way, and don’t overdo it; otherwise, the cure may be worse than the disease!

What other ways can you think of, do you know of or do you implement to increase Facebook engagement?

Related Posts:

People, Online Tools and Social Platforms that Sabotage and Intimidate

I received a list that included the “Top Fake Artists” who had bought followers on Twitter. It included many well-known electronic music DJs, with their stage names and Twitter accounts.

Wait a minute! This is a very serious issue. You’re making information that could be very damaging, public. Is this damage really necessary? If this were actually true, don’t you think they’d be frustrated enough knowing that they’ve had to buy fans/followers, unable to get them through their own work and effort? When you’re prepared to make such a claim, you’d better be 100% sure of what you’re saying and make sure that your source is reliable enough to put your credibility, name and reputation at stake. Yes, that’s what you’re doing!

Otherwise, you’ll just be another “cheap talker”, someone who spends their time looking for a way to sabotage the work and dreams of others, simply because someone –even themselves– sabotaged their life. Please, don’t be that kind of person! Wouldn’t it be better to speak of things that can be changed or improved, things that should be empowered, trying to help or contribute.

Something Just Doesn’t Add Up

As a result of this, I started testing with brands, famous people, regular users and even my own clients, using a tool called Status People. This tool supposedly measures the level of “fake” fans that a user may have in Twitter. I was surprised that, according to this, many relevant, famous people with a large number of followers have many “fakes” in their accounts. For instance, Piqué had 30% “fakes” and Josef Ajram had 50%. 30% fakes of 4 million fans? 50% “fakes” in 120,000 followers? Something just doesn’t add up.

Another part of the figures shows inactive followers which are also a high percentage of many accounts. OK, but my question is: What do they base their calculations on to say whether a user is active or inactive? And fake?

You Cannot Measure What’s Not In Your Reach

I contacted them to ask whether their service was 100% reliable. They told me that their tool follows every tweet made by a user in their timeline as they cannot access the Twitter database. Of course they can’t. What this means is that this type of tool follows every tweet and if a specific user publishes nothing in a few days, they configure their account to “protect tweets” or if it is based on location (the tool doesn’t use geo-location), they define their user as inactive. Does this add up? It doesn’t to me.

Ego-System Tools

I think this is a clear example of what is causing social media distruption, making the ego-system we live in bigger, distracting us and preventing us from doing the work that really matters, doing something. These tools, like many others: Klout, Peer Index and a few others (I’m afraid they matter so little to me that I can’t even be bothered to remember their names), simply try to get users to subscribe so they can store their information. And what’s more, some of them even try to get you to pay for the service!!! Their service is poor and unreliable. Some will probably close and, others, simply forgotten.

If They’re Fake, the Big Ones Will Know

Facebook recently started a process which deletes fake fans from pages, as well as blocking fake users (spam). Twitter has already started doing the same thing.

If we get carried along and work like these odd assessment systems do, we’ll see that their Facebook page has 933 fans and no one “likes” their posts. So, we could say that their fans are inactive; that is, they’re also fake.

Lady Gaga has 28 million followers: 34% “fake,” 38% inactive and 28% good. Will she have really paid for all those millions of fans? (Is there an emoticon for über-sceptic?)

The only ones who can actually say how many “fakes” there are, are Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. I think there’s no further discussion possible; not from me anyway.

Opportunity Isn’t in Accepting

Forget about scores, ranks, points, bonus points or any other classification method. They’re just trying to fit you into a system. Once they have you, they’ll forget about you and try to find other sheep to get into the herd. Instead, stand upright, take a step forward, look ahead: we’re living amazing times, make the most of it!

As long as there are still people sabotaging, intimidating, frustrating and cheating, our job will be increasingly relevant.

Bonus: if you were wondering what the result of my “fake” analysis was, I did it while I wrote this; I wasn’t going to but I though it would be fun. So, there you have it: 6% “fakes”, 25% inactive and 69% good. I can’t afford to buy as many followers as Lady Gaga! (another über-sceptic emoticon here)

Photo credit: el Colombiano.

Related Posts:

How to make the social web work for you

I often receive email requests with a very specific question that, nonetheless, can involve something as wide as the universe itself. Questions such as, “What can I do with my brand/company to position it on the Internet quickly?”, “How can I reach all my potential public present in the social web?” or “I need some advice to make my brand/company grow on the Internet, help me!”.

How to make the social web work for you

I’m outside social media

I don’t really care how others are using the social networks or social media. I used to care but not anymore. What I care about is discovering new paths to make the social web and Internet work in such a way that new business may be fostered, designing new digital roads beyond the social media and making a personal brand, agency or company more useful, connected and valuable. Using the social web and the Internet to develop your knowledge and expertise towards creating change, leveraging your influence towards new opportunities, strengthening processes, people and brands, building scalable ideas and launching new projects beyond the digital noughts and ones. That’s it.

How to get “this” to work

That’s what takes up my time, making sure that you get the tools, platforms, channels, strategies and tactics that form the social web working for you. This is how I do it:

  • Build your own attack. Write posts for your blog, prepare videos for YouTube, create your own social news, organise hangouts, tweet. Anything that helps you get your story across. However, make sure you stay human and interact with people rather than beating them with your message.
  • Form an ecosystem. Segment platforms and define your core value: Facebook to find people you know. Twitter for having conversations, searching and interacting and so forth in other places where you set your online presence. One use, one objective, one action, that’s enough.
  • Create your own framework. No one should trust other people’s framework or job structure. Modify them, hack them if you have to, make them work to suit your needs. Tactics, strategy, time management, work timetable, vacations: find a strcuture that works the way that you work and make it work. As Hugh McLeod use to say “ignore everybody“.
  • Learn from the outside. Extract ideas, learnings and feedback, learn to learn from the social web.
  • Negotiate your time. Use any lack of attention in your favour and create a defined workflow the allows you to structure your personal and professional tasks so that you can optimise each step of the work chain.
  • Do, make and show. Work on your project or idea, experiment, check and then share what you obtained. Seek inputs that can improve your output.
  • Burn the handbookDon’t pay too much attention to any social media preacher. For instance: if you hear that so-and-so only publishes once, try publishing twice that, then thrice that and continue trying out and experimenting, analysing where the breaking point is. Perhaps some won’t like what you do (for instance, publishing too much or placing an interstitial in your website to increase your database) but you may gain visits to your website and end up selling more.
  • Jump on the bandwagon. Take a look at what is trending in social media and jump on the bandwagon by also linking to that content. It will probably help you too. Netiquette establishes that if you find valuable content from a large brand that someone has shared, link to the person, not the brand.
  • Online reputation and blah, blah, blah! Forget online reputation and invest the hours you spend worrying about looking great in doing work that has a great result.
  • Measure whatever makes sense. Focus on metrics that measure what’s important to you; that is, your ROI. Forget the likes, followers or RT unless your job is to collect nonsensical figures regarding an overrated action. Measure the increase in orders, percentage increase in sales compared to the previous year and the one before that. Active users in your database, how many join it daily and how many unsubscribe. How many App downloads you have every week or month and the income received if it’s not a free App. How often is the content you publish shared or how many leads are you capable of taking from your social platform to your point of conversion. Whatever makes your bank account grow will make a great indicator, it’s what you should be measuring.
  • Human sells. Are you selling something? Even if your blog’s main aim is to sell, remain human, be interesting, become involved in what concerns you and add value to your audience. This isn’t the Internet we used to know. Now we have amazing tools that remind us that in order to create digital business we must start by being human. Let’s use it in a different way.

You define it

You know the best thing about it? This sleeps with you every night. It is the product of your work. The best news I’ve heard in years: Choice and not opportunity define your work…or fate!

Photo credit: Ralph S.

Related Posts:

isragarcia.com - All Rights Reserved.