Why Social Media Works

Doesn’t really matter the platform: MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, various forums. People migrate from place to place. At one time Ryze was one of my favorites, now it is almost a virtual ghost town. You’ll find spammers, stalkers, scammers along with great friends. Old friends are reunited, business partners found, shared brainstorming (crowd sourcing). I mean, people even find their true love online. You have to use common sense and keep yourself and your computer safe from the bad guys.

So what is the pull? Why has social media increased over the past few years?

In this age of automation, “please press 1 if you speak english”, “enter your 16 digit account number”, people are hungry for what they miss, human interaction. Real people who believe that you have value, that you are special. Validation.

I believe that people go where they feel good, connected to others, where their voice matters. And when those needs are no longer being met, they’ll go elsewhere. People go where they feel important, where others care, where they can make a difference, where they feel validated.

Online or off, take a step back. How do you interact with others? Do you validate them as a human being?

Twitter Customer Care

Does it really matter how much your virtual stock is selling for on Empire Avenue? Who has the biggest fan base on Facebook? the most followers on Twitter?

Sure, if you are connecting with more people, chances are more people may be taking note of your business, what you are doing. My youngest calls followers, friends “stalkers”.

Some “game” the system. At one time, and still going on, are those who follow a bunch of people, week later, dump those who don’t reciprocate, follow more. Or go around on endorsing a whole bunch of blogs which they’re never even read, looking for ea brownie points?

I realize some people just don’t get social media. In truth, your time and resources only stretch so far. And with anything, it is all about how you use the tools. Yet, for any business, no matter how big or small, it is important not to ignore your brand on social media. Today I’m using Twitter as an example.

How much time does it take to set up a twitter account? couple minutes
How long does does it take to search twitter with your brand name? Another minute or 2? Of course if you’re quite popular and you check in several times a day, it may take a little longer. But how much time and $ does it take to do market research and gather the public’s opinion the old fashioned way?

My son, @creationix was impatiently awaiting the arrival of a new computer. Now Tim has been obsessed with technology since . . . Hmmm. Can’t ever remember him not. I mean, this is the kid, that as an infant, would sit in his crib and dismantle it, carried around a purse as a toddler packed full of tools, who I rushed to the ER for stitches after he climbed up the back of a rocking chair trying to reach the Commodore 64? (or was it the old Bally?). Never the less, he was impatiently awaiting the arrival of his new computer. And when it didn’t arrive as expected, he was bemoaning the fact on twitter.

twitter fedex

A sharp FedEx employee picked up on the complaints, offered to help, looked up the shipment, called the FedEx driver, and let my son know when he could expect his package, apologizing for any inconvenience. Soon Tim was happily setting up his new system.

Kudo’s to @FedExLaSheila. Instead of a an unhappy customer, complaining to his friends and family, or worse yet, waiting on the phone to talk to customer service, you have real time interaction, smoothing out a problem quickly. And those who saw the complaint, also saw how quickly the issue was resolved via twitter.

So bottom line, it may not matter so much the number of followers, fans you have, your virtual stock price; but how you interact with your customer base is priceless.

Virtual Stock Trading

Empire Avenue

Ok, I’ve been hearing rumors of this social media place where you can buy stock in people’s social media stock. Sounded interesting, but I’ve been busy, getting a new wordpress tutorial blog up and running, watering my plants in this hot Texas heat so they don’t die, eye surgery (cataracts – sure go ahead and correct my vision while you’re at it), girls out of school for the summer, chipping shredding tree which storms damaged month or so ago, etc. Finally, after an invite from @bwoodsdesign I decided to take the plunge.

Kind of reminded me of when I first dropped into twitter without the fail whales. Pulls you in, I did not mean to spend that much time over there, I was just checking it out. Other Empire Avenue members were quickly investing in my virtual stock, so I hung around a checked it out more. Having been there only a few days, I am by no means an expert the in’s and out’s of Empire Avenue.

(e)TXMOM on Empire Avenue

Don’t get overwhelmed, simply add your links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and a short bio. You can add your rss feeds and other social media links. The more active you are on the social networks, the more your value will climb.

As others buy your stock you have more money to invest in others. If you search around on the internet, you’ll find lots of advice for using Empire Avenue.

I like to think of Empire Avenue as your social media accountability partner. It grades your activity on various networks. And the more you interact with others, the better your score. You can see where you need to spend more effort and where you are doing well.

More later. But if your aren’t already there, you can sign up with my link: http://empireavenue.com/?t=my0xnt8c