Are our social media gurus Juking the Stats?
The expression Juking the Stats was made popular by David Simon, creator/writer of the highly successful HBO series, The Wire. Simon believes America is populated by people willing to manipulate the system, make whatever they are doing appear right to achieve their goals.
I am still learning when it comes to social media. Thanks to working with companies that are just beginning to formulate their social media movements, I have disciplined myself to research and experiment in this new media world on a regular basis. Candidly, I sometimes feel overwhelmed when I filter through all the information/data. However, I do concur with all the self-proclaimed experts (a.k.a. social media gurus) that we all need to listen first, act second. Listening equates to finding/building your community. I believe building a community requires hard work and you build an engaged community one member at a time. Others believe in loading the numbers or Juking the Stats. Let me share:
· Consultants are beginning to use third-party software to increase their client’s number of followers like uSocial for Twitter. The more followers you have, the more people instantly know what your business is about or do they? Better yet, are the followers in your target market?
· Rewarding fans for “liking” a brand on Facebook has become common practice. In my industry Einstein Bagels offered a free bagel to new fans. In three days their community exploded from 4,700 to 350,000 fans. Is this a prudent way to recruit an authentic fan base long-term? A recent ExactTarget Study on How and Why Facebook Users Interact with Brands revealed that 39% friend a brand to show support for a company; 40% do so to receive discounts or promotions; 36% to get a “freebie.”
· Be on the alert for Mommy Bloggers who have been recruited to be Brandies and become a Facebook fan. Recently I was monitoring a pizza chain restaurant that offered fans a free gift card if 100,000 signed up by October 31st. By the middle of October, I realized they were falling short of their goal. Then I began to read on their Facebook page that people indicated that the Brand Ambassador or TheMomMaven.com sent me; each new fan was welcomed. Out of curiosity I drilled down and discovered two Mommy Bloggers that posted a contest on their sites, enter to win $25 if you became a fan of the chain. Authentic? Faux? Your call.
· Beware of “Black Hats,” search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that are designed to achieve higher search rankings in an unethical manner – keyword stuffing or using hidden text or links.
Are you honestly building your social media community one member at a time or Juking the Stats?