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I'm passionate about ethical brand behavior & social media.
This really made me laugh. Well done. +1
Social media professionals are no more destroying social media than printing press experts destroyed the written word.
Those of us who strive to help values-led businesses learn to better understand their customers through new technology are absolutely NOT ruining social media. We are, if anything, advocates of the customer -- not the brand.
As consumers begin to understand the power of their networks, I believe they will demand certain standards of brand behavior. At scale.
These channels are still new and the risks of early adoption are what they are -- if a brand isn't prepared for the responsibility of cultivating community and behaving with the kinds of ethics that nuture that community sincerely, too bad. If a brand listens to snake oil salesmen (aka "social media gurus") who tell them to "engage or else" but don't take the brand's core values into consideration to determine alignment with their customers, that's on the brand and on the guru. And still -- too bad. Consumers will spend their money elsewhere. :)
It's refreshing to see someone approach this from an authentic place -- at some time or another, those of us who evangelize about "openness" and "being real" through social are pressured by others to "tone it down" or "be more professional." I'm glad to see that you've stuck to your guns, so to speak.
But what does it really mean to have high-ranking execs being "real" in the social world? I think it gives insight into company culture that might not exist otherwise -- to me, as a Millenial, it is a promising thing to see that a company or organization allows (or better yet, encourages) its employees to be themselves. As a prospective student/customer/new hire, it tells me that I'm going to be part of a culture of openness and accountability. And for me, that's a great thing.
Thanks for the post!
I use Spredfast to schedule (disclosure, I'm the Social Media Director for Jason's Deli, and we are a customer) my tweets, but each one is lovingly hand-crafted. Why? Because it is extremely obvious when you're auto-posting and no one cares what robots have to say about anything. If my answer sounds cheeky, that's because I'm sick to death of hearing about how "social at scale" involves automation. Sorry, that's not scaling social. That's automating what should be a human endeavor. Scaling social means putting the right resources in the hands of the right people within your organization. Yes, that often means using a SMMS like Spredfast, HootSuite, or SproutSocial. What it doesn't mean is that you get to remove people from the equation. And that's just from a business perspective! If you're managing a personal brand and you can't make the time to craft posts and schedule them, you're not using the most efficient strategy and you need to look at your goals and your tactics again until you don't feel pressured to stop being human.
Rant over! Thanks for the GREAT post!
I feel like the best advice Klout could give its members (and the best way to gain the trust of those who doubt the accuracy of the black box that is their scoring algorithm) is this:
Stop paying attention to Klout. Do what you do. We'll take care of the numbers.
The problem with Klout is the same problem Google has had with their search algorithms for years -- stubborn, influence-greedy system gamers whose main purpose in life is to get ahead by cheating. Klout is going to have to stay innovative and in touch in order to stay one step ahead of those folks, and I don't yet trust them to do that.
I'm not syaing I'd bet against them, but based on their behavior so far, I think they are interested in being an interaction platform themselves, and that's where -- in my opinion -- they've gone horribly wrong. A +K should not factor into your score whatsoever, unless that +K can be given anonymously (but still have proper weight according to Klout).
In a nutshell, I think the gamification of influence is !@#$ing stupid and counter-intuitive. Klout plays to this concept and IMO, that's their fatal flaw. If they want to be seen as true measurement gurus, they need to quit asking users to game their system (without really saying it).
Wonderful post -- thank you for sharing it.
When I consult with executives on ways to personally brand themselves online, one of my first bits of advice is to comment on the blog posts they reguarly read for personal development. Why? Because if you Google someone's name and a bunch of insightful comments pop up, that's credibility.
I also often recommend that they create a Disqus account and follow people they respect. This is a great way to acknowledge that someone else makes great comments and often has engaging threads -- it's also a great way to find new blogs. If this sounds crazy time consuming, that's because it is -- but it's a time investment that pays off. You build relationships, build authority, and learn. All at one time!