Category Archives: Empire Avenue

Why You MUST Ignore Your Social Media Scores

Social Media Scoring

Social Media as we know it is still in its infancy and has a lot more growth in the works.  We are still learning and growing in the digital marketing space because the industry is still evolving.  The scoring of social media creates an almost old school atmosphere due to its push to GRADE the quality of our engagement.

There are a few different social media platforms that I am involved with that actively score content based on the companies preformatted algorithm. Klout, Empire Avenue and Kred all have some form of ranking, grading, or number placed upon YOUR social media activity. I am not saying that any of these algorithms are wrong in general but should we base OUR engagement and or activity on ranking higher with any of these platforms? Shouldn’t we instead focus upon providing content that is of interest to our friends and followers?

Like I said, I am involved with these platforms but I do not base ANY of my online activity on increasing any of these scores, ANYMORE. It is very easy to allow your own competitive nature to dictate the types of content that you promote from your brand based on increasing your score.  I have been down that road and it really is not a good path to be on. This is primarily because it diminishes the purpose of social media to a degree and cheapens the value of your content because the focus becomes about increasing your score instead of providing content of value.

I’ve notice that due to a change in whatever algorithm Klout is using these days, people have begun to “game” the system with mass Facebook photo tagging.  I’m not speaking of an occasional tag from a friend that you interact with on a regular basis, I am speaking of mass tagging, everyday from acquaintances whom you have little or no interaction with on a regular basis. I just had to block a person that tagged me on 6 photos all within 3 minutes and the kicker is that I very seldom had any interaction with this person.  It was so bad that I couldn’t find my own content or content that was shared by legitimate engaging friends and followers.

I am NOT speaking about friends or people that I engage with, I am talking about random acquaintances that tag you on multiple photos on a daily basis. I love getting tagged on genuine content that is of interest, that’s engaging or friends think that I would like.  This post is not really about that, but more about the person that specifically tags with the purpose of a score boost.

How does this kind of behavior increase your social media engagement, legitimately?  The score gamers, post content and tag you on the content, so the person tagged either feels that they shouldn’t be rude by not responding or they automatically “answer when called” as we innately do. So does this increase your ability to produce engaging content that has the ability to speak to people, touch their heart or is though provoking? Umm NO! However they did increase their Klout score because they tagged the same 45 people that they tag every day and the people that were tagged responded, which creates dialog on the post.  So, since there were a high percentage of people to comment to the post, they get a Klout score bump. Oh yay!  This, to me displays that the person creating the tags do not have a firm grasp on what social media is about and the purpose of creating content. I will even venture to say that it is a n00b move for the so called social media gurus.

As a Digital Marketer that is listed on Klout, Kred and a player of Empire Avenue I am aware of my scores on all platforms but I am not driven to perform any action to increase my numbers. It simply takes away from the genuine ability to engage and create content that I believe people are looking for when they follow me on my social media channels.  Additionally, it takes away from the enjoyment of social media when it becomes a game to get the highest score at all costs.

I am not a hater of any of these platforms because they do have value in the social media arena. However, I would like to see less gamed content with the exclusive goal of chasing a score and more genuine sharing of content that is of value to readers.

The take away:

Simply, provide great content and people will respond.

What are your thoughts? Am I on point?  Am I off  base? Or Meh? I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, good, bad ugly or indifferent.

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2012: How New Media Works, THE 12 Social Media Platforms Explained

2012
I was having a discussion with Michael Q Todd about Social Media and platforms that are really rocking. It was a very informal, laid back but very informative discussion but these 12 platforms that have been rockin’ for me. After working to get my social media strategy where I want it, this is what i’ve come up with.

12 Platforms you should check out for 2012:  

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Page and that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.
Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

Image representing StumbleUpon as depicted in ...

Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. It is still in Beta and by invite only so if you want, grab INVITES

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups, Social Empire, Team Zen,  XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things for 2012. Rock on!

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#Klout and Others: #Gamification and Scoring YOUR Social Media Worth

Everyone that has a business has their own individual agenda or game plan that they have modeled their business around. In an traditional and non Social Media related industry this would be considered a business plan or marketing plan.  This is honestly the norm, whether you select to go with creation of a business plan by way of three words on a bar napkin or a comprehensive 20 page plan created by a professional. Internet Marketing and or Social Media businesses are no different, there has to be a plan in order for movement or business to progress in a strategic manner. That’s pretty much the only reason to create a bar napkin or traditional business plan.

The creation of Anise Smith Marketing, the New Media Marketing consulting company, similarly has created a business plan and branded itself accordingly.   One of the goals of this Internet Marketing driven business has been to use a variety of traditional media channels and merge these channels with New Media Marketing techniques.  The business plan started and evolved while working in a traditional marketing capacity and attending Full Sail Universities Internet Marketing Masters Degree Program.  The strategy was to create a company that selected different avenues of utilizing traditional, print, web and marketing products to then merged those with QR Codes, iFrame Pages, Mobile Web, Virtual Worlds, Analytics and more. There are various strategies that are needed to continue the successful journey, this includes lots of tweaks, additions and subtractions to traditional and New Media Marketing platforms.   Due to the ability to offer such a wide range of services,  I’ve never considered it as a purely Social Media driven company but more of a company on the leading edge of Internet Marketing that uses Social Media as one of its optimized channel to engage friends, followers, potential and current clients.  Ultimately, as any business the goal is to provide products and services for clients while increasing company revenue. The bottom line is that most businesses are driven by sales and create goals to increase sales.

So, just as any other, businesses that measure Social Media based on their analytic selection have also created a platform and business model in which to brand their organization. These businesses created a platform just as any other and this platform is based on what suits the needs of their organization, for growth and increased sales.

Social Media as a tool for Sales and Marketing is relatively new as compared to some of the more traditional sales and marketing techniques. Since this tool is so new there has been a challenge for traditionalist to measure the ROI, effectiveness and all the analytics used to measure the usefulness of any platform.  This is one of the biggest hurdles to over come for companies interested in using social media and those that promote the use of social media as an effective business, sales and marketing tool.

Enter Empire Avenue and Klout both of which use algorithms to perform back-end calculations of the effectiveness of a social platform and then assign scores accordingly.  But wait…It’s really not as simple as it sounds because there is a human element to calculating, even with the use of algorithms. One has to determine what to measure, how to measure, etcetera and this is the part where a human bias enters the picture or algorithm as it were.  So one person or team of individuals determine which social media platforms are of importance to an undetermined amount of people? How can that be?  How can someone or team of individuals determine which social media platform is more important than another?  Further how can a person or team determine which social media platform is more relevant to myself, company and for my followers?  Suppose I gain new followers?  Is the same pre-formated cookie cutter algorithm still applied?  How is it that, one algorithm or set of algorithms can be assigned in a sweeping social media gesture that is inclusive to so many people? These people, I’m sure  have so many different variables in regard to social media content, followers and any number of individual and unique circumstances that would apply only to them and their unique business presence.  So we have a team of people with individual beliefs probably creating an algorithm based on a generalized set of beliefs about social media and creating a number based on those beliefs.  Then moving forward with assigning a number/score or set of numbers as a way to categorize the importance of another persons social media importance. Flawed people ( as we all are by nature) creating a flawed algorithm  producing flawed numerical results.

Ultimately, the assignment of an algorithm to social media activity and those that are in the business of doing so are promoting their business based on their business plan. Additionally these companies are filling the need of marketing traditionalist and industries that have a need to measure things related to social media.

The Take away: No one person or team of people can determine the importance of a companies marketing methods by way of social media, as it is always changing and evolving. Further, value, worth and/or importance in regard to social media cannot be based on a number created by a person or team of people that know nothing of you, your company or followers.

In a nutshell, look at the assigned numbers if you have to,  but I say just go for the Perks.

As usual I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So feel free to leave a comment here, catch me on Twitter or post directly to my Facebook page.

Headhunting with a new spin …Checking #EmpireAvenue first

 

Headhunter:  in search of a Social Media Expert for a HUGE Global client.
Does not want:

  • Guru
  • Wizard
  • Magician

The following is needed:
Must have a strong presence on ALL relevant  Social Media Channels

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr
  • LinkedIn

Must know how to blog using different platforms and have a strong presence on:

  • Blogger
  • Posterous
  • Tumblr
  • WordPress

Must have the ability to Prove that they are indeed a Social Media Expert. How can a person Prove it? How can employers find people to meet this criteria BEFORE hiring them? How do they scan a persons online credentials. Klout? Peer Index? Information BEYOND Klout is needed.

If I’m a Headhunter or Recruiter I am heading to Empire Avenue, YUP it’s more than just a game.  I’ve seen enough recruiters, headhunters, HR people and Venture Capitalists entering the game to know that they are viewing Empire Avenue as an opportunity.  Some people may think of it asFarmville for Social Media but I guarantee venture capitalist are not hanging out looking to feed cows or water crops, even if Lady Gaga has teamed up with the Farm game.

 

 

 

On Empire Avenue the recruiter has an opportunity to view the entire network of many candidates, visit the channels, read the blogs, check the Twitter feed and to see how the channel is scored from 1-100. That is HUGE.

 

 

 

 

So for me,when it’s time for me to partner with someone, I will be checking my network on Empire Avenue first.

 

 

As usual, I welcome comments, good , bad, ugly or indifferent. So feel free to leave a comment here or post directly on my Facebook Wall.

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