It’s About the Conversation, Silly!

By Li Evans

As a social media “junkie”, I get a lot of questions thrown my way. From “Why can’t I succeed on Digg”, to “Why can’t I get my page stumbled?”, to “What the heck is the value of this social stuff?”. There are a lot of people that look to social media as a way to boost SEO rankings, and gain links into their sites. However, if that’s all that you are looking at social media for, you’re missing a whole boat load of added benefit.

Social media is about interaction and conversation about something. That something could be a video, a photo, an article, a web page, a podcast, a game or even a song. The possibilities are endless for what that interaction and conversation could be about. So you are now probably wondering, “So why should I care if they talk about me?” You should care because its YOUR brand, YOUR product, YOUR service, or YOUR company. It’s amazing how things on the internet can get so turned around so quickly, and social media tends to increase that rate of speed tremendously, and if you aren’t paying attention to that conversation before you know it you could have a surprise situation on your hands.

Here’s a few reasons why you should care about these conversations going on:

  • Are They Getting it Right?
    A lot of misinformation is out there, has your company or brand fallen victim to it? Did someone misinterpret what one of your company spokespeople said at a conference or in a presentation? Is what is being linked to, to describe your product or service correct?

    If you aren’t keeping an eye out for these type of situations, before you know it, you could have a mess on your hands that even your Public Relations team will have a hard time digging you out of.

  • Stalkers & Trolls
    Lets face it, companies will piss off someone at one point or another. In some way shape or form, someone will be angry with the service they received, quality of a product or receiving an answer that isn’t to their liking. With today’s day & age of technology, it’s even more easy to tell the world about your grievances than ever. That’s when you need to approach with caution, and figure out if they really do have a legitimate gripe, or they are just being a “Troll” for the attention.
  • Jackpot! Evangelists!
    On the opposite of the Troll Spectrum lies the Evangelists. These folks LOVE you! They talk about how great your product / service / brand / company is. They lavish links and traffic to your website. They unload heaps of praise on your efforts and guess what, they tell their audiences that you are Awesome! So, now you say “Great!” and just walk away? Wrong! Capture these Evangelists’ enthusiasm and use it. Thank them publicly, heap your own praise back. Remember it doesn’t take much to turn your most loyal evangelist into someone who can turn the world against you.
  • Who’s Talking About Me?
    Not only should you care about what’s being said, but you should be mindful of WHO’S saying it. Is it a newspaper columnist, is it your industry publication, is it your fan base, is it a troll, is it your grandmother? All of these people (and more) have varying degrees of influence over their own audiences. Knowing who’s saying something, whether it’s an article, a forum post, or a comment on a social site, is just as important as knowing what’s been said.
  • There’s a lot more to social media than links and page rankings. Understanding that and knowing how to capture and utilize it, is a whole different strategy all together. Is your social media strategy reaching its full potential? If not, maybe you need to rethink who’s handling it!

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