I studied Marketing in undergraduate school and am now studying Psychology. The article is very informative and accurate; however it is limiting. Marketing is only one aspect of business and Social Media is only one aspect of Marketing. A good business strategy must include these elements and many others, working together to achieve the mission and vision of the business. The bottom line is not achieved only by one division but by them all collaborating and sharing information and resources.
I have seen and heard a lot of really negative conversation about the worthlessness of online reporting sites, and social media as a whole for small businesses. Transactional and bottom-line oriented perspectives are important to the whole, but when they exclude other more holistic approaches then they are flawed. Regardless of your religion, philosophies or methods, if you have business experience then you must recognize referral, relational, and reciprocal marketing. You may not close a deal directly from one lead; but it can indirectly affect other business, build moral, drive culture, reduce shrink and even strengthen a team which will lead to increased revenue.
The online influence measurement tools give a good look at who you are influencing online, what they are reading, and who else they are following. This information is invaluable for someone who knows what to do with it. I don’t mind that online reporting companies have additional ways to make money, market their business and make it fun for users that are not as serious about the information as I am. This is done offline all the time by credit bureaus, marketing firms and even government agencies.
It’s almost as though the big players in social media are trying to convince the novices not to support the start ups. Hmm, nah that would never happen. Well what they aren’t telling you is that large corporations are fully on board with the influence reporting sites and even using them to drive more traffic to their sites, launch new products and drive sales with discount offers. So if it’s good for them, why not you? But if you don’t get on board now, you won’t have a high enough score to use these exclusive features.
Don’t believe me? I can show you no less than 10 offers that I’ve been able to participate in as a business because of my influence. Not just free tickets, but also the ability to make edits to sites that others can’t, invite people to new programs that are closed and market myself at events that others have to pay for. How is that not real value? Well I guess it’s not if you don’t have the additional tools you need to capitalize or monetize these benefits right? Wrong! Does every need have to be met from a transactional contract? No! There are psychological contracts that are transacted everyday online and off.
One invaluable piece of information I have learned from companies such as Klout, PeerIndex, TweetGrader, and even the reports done by Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter opens up a whole new area of business for me. Maybe this is the that, which makes me unique, but feel free to use it. Most importantly these sites show me the technical literacy of my natural audience. I am able to see who is missing key areas of opportunity when they want to expand their business. I am able to accurately see how many people in my network (clients, sphere of influence, potential clients, customers, and volunteers) are really functioning online.
It’s not the reporting companies responsibility to know that or show you what to do with it. It’s mine. So if you still have not figured out how to translate your online influence into real world solutions, give me a call. I will be happy to show you… for a small fee of course.