Friday, May 3, 2013

The Dirty Little Secrets of Social Media

I've been tweeting, posting, sharing, RT'ing, favouriting, following, friending, liking, blogging, google+ing, klouting, kredding, stumbling, digging, youtubing, pinteresting and redditing for a few years now and have only scraped the surface of all the social media's I could be plugged into.

What a ride it's been!

When I launched into the world of social media, I had visions of grandeur... Little did I know what was in store.

The follows and unfollows.
The tweets that lingered with no responses or retweets or favorites.
The posts that received no likes, comments or shares.
The 'friends' who 'unliked' or hid my page from the timelines
The announcements that weren't acknowledged.
The videos that weren't viewed.
The uphill battle to keep the Klout and Kred scores climbing.
The pins that remained pinless.
The emails that were never answered.

Then the dirty little secrets came clean and I grew a thicker skin.

In this MASSIVE sea called the internet, I discovered that we are really just a pebble along the shore, being washed in and then spit out; over and over again.

The 1% (this is an estimate) get trapped in a clam shell and eventually become pearls...then harvested and admired.
Okay, enough of the similes.

In spite of the odds, we sign up, create accounts, spend countless hours to get the likes, shares, faves, mentions, retweets, pins or comments. Maybe to spread the news about a cause; or a business; or an event. Opportunity won't find itself right?

And so we seek followers and friends to be noticed; to be heard. But who is really listening? World Internet Users Stats say that as of June 2012 there were 2,405,518,376 users (give or take a few).  That's a lot of people chattering. People wanting to be acknowledged.

Out of these numbers how many are using some form of social media?  The answer is here Digital Marketing Ramblings ... Overwhelming eh?

Social media in a weird way has become the dreaded popularity contest. How many likes do you have? How many followers? How many people are really paying attention to what you have to say? Well, there are certainly enough measuring tools and analytic's to tell you just that. Oops, there goes another facebook like and one less follower. But don't worry did you hear that you can BUY followers and likes? Cause it's all about the numbers; fake or real, right?  I prefer to go the road less travelled...earn the followers and likes, then work really hard to maintain them by providing interesting content, engaging them, giving back...hmmm, what a novel idea.

I could probably go on and on, but who is really listening? (Google analytics will give me the hard numbers) The whole phenomena of social media has been talked, texted, blogged, posted, tweeted (you know where I am going with this) to death. I figured one more opinion couldn't hurt.

What I take away is this; The hub of social media are humans.  This diverse group are all compelled by different wants, needs, likes and dislikes.  The scales will never be balanced because humans are ever changing, ever demanding and ever ready (pun intended) to click that button. A lot like the stock market or a 'box of chocolates' you never know what the day will bring. So with that said, I'm just going to take a moment to focus on the great part of social media. In that massive sea (internet) I have been washed in and spit out with many pebbles along the shore. These pebbles, I mean people, know the dirty little secrets, and like me, are willing to wade through a little mud to find the gems. For that, I am grateful to social media because without this ability to connect globally , I wouldn't have made such fabulous friends. :D  ... and 'that's all I'm going to say about that" (Forrest Gump)

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