It’s a crappy day. It’s miserable out, and I’m just in one of those moods where everything is stupid. My car is stupid. The traffic near the high school is stupid. My dog is stupid. (Well, that one never changes. Love him like crazy. But he spends most of his time proving to me that I made the right choice by having him fixed.)
It’s the kind of day where the mirror isn’t always your best friend, and you feed all those nagging little irrational thoughts. Essentially, you end up questioning your worth. The projects you’re working on seem lame. You can’t remember why you thought that blog entry was any good. You wonder if anyone is just annoyed by your tweets and Facebook updates. There’s a term for this new cyber self-doubt.
How much you’re worth online. Anyone who has a social media page any where wonders about this at one point. Does anyone give a crap? Did they take note that I re-tweeted that really awesome panda video, thus making me as adorable as a panda? I think of social currency as the modern day high school locker. You want to decorate your locker with really awesome pictures, intriguing band stickers, and photographic evidence of your communal activities. Why? So that when the jock walks by while you’re ever-so-casually fixing your hair, he becomes deeply enamored with your intellect. And awesome hair.
Companies suffer from high-school-locker syndrome as well. They, too, have crappy days staring at their Facebook page and wondering why no one talks to them. Now, most of us get over this quickly. We sigh wistfully, and five minutes later realize the “Jersey Shore,” is on, and suddenly life’s a blast again. Businesses evaluating their social currency can’t snap out of it quite so easily. They invent algorithms and formulas to expand and evaluate their cool factor. They hire companies to asses and create a plan.
There’s a fun little game they like to play called Klout. This service evaluates and ranks your reach and engagement within the online community. Wait a second. How does a computer judge the depth of engagement? How does it figure out when someone is feeling, “engaged”? Oh man, things are getting fuzzy! From my understanding, Klout even ranks your score based on the type of people and businesses you associate with online. Anyone else think that sounds like the fast-track to some really scary conversations?
I’m not the only one feeling this way. A Google search on Klout turned up this article as the third result this morning.
I’m going to attempt to give those frowny-faced businesses a little bit of unsolicited, unqualified advice. My background is in Public Relations. Which means…relate to your public. Complicated, right? You can crack a code and increase your social media currency. But what the heck did that do for your audience? Thats’s cheating.
Sometimes I feel like the best social media plan is also the simplest. Not easy, just simple. Be human. Realize that you have an awesome venue for speaking directly to your customer, and don’t blow it. I’m sure if you throw enough money at the problem, any one can increase their social currency ranking. Realize that the ten fingers typing out that mass e-mail or Facebook blast are attached to a person, and chances are you’ll put a little more heart into it your communications.
Really, isn’t that just what we all want? To be loved? Come on.
PS- **My dog is currently trying to mate with the cat, and she’s beating him up. SO glad he’s been removed from the gene pool.**