Social Media is about Influence not Relationships

I have a shelf full of overpriced books on social media. I say overpriced as most are just rehashed blog posts.

And most of them bang on about “relationships”, or “it’s all about the conversation”. As if yammering away about anything and everything and connecting with everyone and her dog is all you have to do.

Well that thinking is just a big bag of wrong.

Because, “IT” is not about the conversation, “IT”, is about influence or persuasion.

Sure, the conversation or having a rip roaring relationship that transcends all other relationships ever had in the history of humanity is something which social media does very well.

But, that is not the point.

It is NOT the goal.

The goal, is for people to be influenced into making a specific action.

For example:

  • Think positively about your brand
  • Buy more of your stuff
  • Hire you for a killer job
  • Make love to you in a Ford Cortina

And before you climb up to the pulpit to proclaim sex has nothing to do with social media or influence or persuasion. You may want to look at the fundamental nature of human beings.

I thought about this as Tina Jonasen questioned me on twitter.

@lyndoman Just wondering; you say you are a “Link Builder”, but follows nobody? Maybe I´m confused between Link- & RelationshipBuilder !?

Which is an interesting question.

Humans are those who link, therefore relationships are very useful. I tweeted back a few thoughts.

@ThinkInNewAreas A link can be a result of a human relationship built on following someone on Twitter but it’s not an effective or efficient

@ThinkInNewAreas The, “shall I link to this webpage” thought process only sometimes has a “does this person follow me on twitter” component

@ThinkInNewAreas Also, I want to suggest, it’s not about “relationships”, it’s about influence. Relationship is merely a stepping stone.

I think people get wrapped up too easily in the “relationship” part of social media. Which is perfectly understandable, but you have to step back and ask, “what am I doing here?”

“What is my social media strategy?”

It will stop you building relationships with the wrong people or spending all morning trading pictures of kittens who look like members of the Royal family.

Not following anyone on Twitter is a very interesting thing to do, as it removes a sedentary proclivity (natural urge to sit on your arse and be spoon fed information) and go on the hunt for useful bits of info.

It also highlights a few other things, which I may talk about later.

Comments

  1. says

    Yes! These were the words I was looking for. I do need to ask that question “What’s the strategy?” … And now I’m seeing the thought process of getting that done. Please, highlight away, because this the only place I know elaborating on this kind of intelligent social media use.

    I seek functionality – to get a retweet and I know why this person would do it. Or get a @ mention because someone’s genuinely going somewhere with the comment.

    What does information sharing look like on Twitter when it has a purpose and is between 2 or 3 people? I think that’s the core of what I want to do for my own situation. I think sharing that goes beyond that is a positive by-product. Am I on the right track with that thinking?

  2. Wesley says

    Thanks for the interesting post. I agree but disagree. To gain a business “return” from social media activity, you need to be influential in all of the ways you list and more. But everyone must begin somewhere, and that place often is through social media relationship building.

    A tweet isn’t a conversation. The only real conversation that occurs via social media unfolds over a matter of weeks, months, and years and is embodied by the things you provide that others find useful. Yammering, agreed, just isn’t in it. But a single tweet to someone specific about something specific is a hello, and sometimes a great primer to bringing someone important into your sphere. And this, over time, can benefit your quest for that “return”.

  3. says

    Thanks for the interesting post. I agree but disagree. To gain a business “return” from social media activity, you need to be influential in all of the ways you list and more. But everyone must begin somewhere, and that place often is through social media relationship building.

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