In preparation for an upcoming conference*, I’ve been considering the paradox that social media creates.
The very technology, platforms, communities and widgets being used to bring us all together online can also keep us from truly engaging and connecting with each other.
You start noticing it in small ways. Consider LinkedIn’s invitation to connect. Far too often after I met a person at an event I’ll get the auto-invite and I’m usually glad they reach out and I accept the invitation.
But instead of quickly referencing the context we established a few hours earlier, the person runs with the form letter. Whether or not someone is collecting contacts, the form letter gives off this impression.
This is one of the reasons I tell people to eschew automation like this if they really want to establish a social media presence. The same goes for the automatic direct messages sent to me after following someone on Twitter. It’s meant to say “thank you” or "hi" but all it really says to me is “this is a transaction.”
As you get into larger scale efforts like media relations, databases like Cision can help you quickly pinpoint the people you should be talking to, their contact info and sometimes even their turn-ons and turn offs. Instead it appears far too many PR people simply do a keyword search and send a news release to the search results. It’s the only explanation for some of the pitches I get.
Cheap, Good and Fast: Pick Two
Building a reputation in social media takes time. Using robo-tricks to do this may initially get fast numbers for someone, but it won’t get them influence or a real connection with other members of the site, community or platform they’re gaming.
Impressive social media results do not usually come at impressive rates of speed. True progress with social media usually takes time -- think 401-(k) vs a lottery. But many people don’t want to hear that.
To me the opportunity in social media is knowing when to leverage the art/human aspects of it and when to leverage the science/machine. And yes, that takes time too.
Modern man angle 1 uploaded by GUANOdesign.
* SummitUp is a conference being held in October with a great line up including keynotes from Chris Brogan, Bob Garfield, Artie Isaac and Lewis Howes. I’m geeked out to be kicking off the day with a keynote.