Univeral Amplifier

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Amplifying the topics that power today's PR professional

Your Social Network: Does Anyone Care?

I’m just about to call the evolution of our “new” social networks complete. We have evolved to the point where many are posting, but few are engaging relative to the volume of content created every second. Human nature points to my belief that we have reached a social noise saturation point where few if any followers are truly listening and engaging with our networks.

Seriously, my company monitors the news and social media 24/7, a media monitoring company. The Media Analysis Department at Universal Information Services sees what is posted, what gets responded to, and what doesn’t. But I want to be clear, it is not the #newtools of social media that are the problem. The problem is the old #samerules. Again, we are lacking compelling content.

Of course to make this post worth reading I’m going to grossly generalize and overly rely on my personal opinion (like most blogs). In my opinion, which I believe to be the truth, the Twitter stream is mostly a regurgitation of the same messages. Excepting the enjoyable, yet occasional, virtual dialog, most Tweets, Facebook updates, and LinkedIn posts fall into a few categories.

“Here’s what I’m doing and outside of myself it is completely mundane to my followers”

“Here’s what I’m going to do, and it too is of little interest to those following me”

“Here’s something great somebody allegedly said about our company, and I’m going to share it with you so you think our company is great”

“Here’s a cryptic comment that only one person, if that many, will understand and the rest of us are left scratching our heads for a nanosecond before we read the next Tweet/Post/Update”

And then there are the informational posts that constitute about every 10th post and are designed to help us get more followers who won’t listen to us.

“Top 10 Tips to Get More Likes On Facebook”
“The 3 Best Strategies for Using Pinterest
“12 Ways to Use YouTube to Promote Your Brand”

And what is up with “Storytelling”? Yah, we get it. If you don’t have a compelling story to tell about why I should use your brand or service then I’m not going to pay attention. Guess what, nobody is going to pay attention if your headline, tweet, or update sounds like a thousand posts I’ve read before.

Now that we’ve reached the point where most are looking, but not engaging, what should we do? I may not have an answer for you, but I’m sure the answer can be found in the fundamentals of communication. The #samerules of communication, discourse, and community will always lead us to how to best communicate no matter what the network, tool, or device (mobile or otherwise). So before you touch that keyboard or touchscreen again, think “What will my followers care about?” instead of “What am I thinking?”.

5 Comments on “Your Social Network: Does Anyone Care?”

  1. 1 Amy said at 10:48 am on September 11th, 2012:

    I agree. I find myself still logging onto social media sites, just hoping to find that one piece of gold, among the garbage.

  2. 2 Trent Allen said at 12:15 pm on September 11th, 2012:

    Good article, and generally agree with the premises. However, engagement can be seen two different ways. Google would say I’m engaged with content if I share it, like it, retweet it. However, you see it as when I communicate with a product or person. The question is how much is a person actually engaged with content if they simply share it and clutter up everyone’s timeline? You would probably say no as it doesn’t seem like a true human reaction. I tend to agree. But, Google has changed their algorithm to where they define any type of share, or comment as engagement and will reward that piece of content.

    I don’t agree with your storytelling paragraph at all. Storytelling is making your headline, tweet, or update something you haven’t seen before. Storytelling is about being creative, not regurgitating used content.

    Demographics use these platforms completely different. Younger generations engage more peer to peer on these platforms than older generations. I don’t think the evolution of social media is over by any means.

    I would check out Reddit, 4Chan, & Tumblr who are creating those real types of engagement within very large communities.

  3. 3 Todd Murphy said at 12:25 pm on September 11th, 2012:

    Good comments, and I appreciate the thought you put into your response. Very true how Google views engagement, most anthropologists would not count that activity. But, for SEO I’m still going to engage and encourage the Google type of engagement. On Storytelling I may not have been clear. Don’t make me skip your compelling content because you’ve chosen a headline that doesn’t draw me in. Too many people are listening to the same tips indicating how you “should” title your posts. What you end up with is so many posts sounding the same. This also speaks to your point of demographics, which you’ll see in my next post. The under 24’s have all but abandoned Facebook in favor of real-time networks, think Twitter tied to Instagram.

    No medium is ever done evolving, the point of the post is that we need to now move to strategy 2.0 and 3.0, 1.0 is done.

  4. 4 Step said at 11:15 pm on September 15th, 2012:

    I agree with your blog. What will be interesting is to see how to quiet the noise of social media #newtools and find compelling in information to share #samerules.

  5. 5 Erica said at 7:45 pm on October 24th, 2012:

    Thanks for the encouragement in gttieng started with social media. You are right, today is a good day to begin something new within our social media efforts. Taking small steps is better than not doing it at all.

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