Social media is more than number crunching

One of my favourite musicals of all time is Les Miserables about the story of Jean Valjean, at the start of the story prisoner 24601. The number and his past follows him through the story as he seeks to assert who he is as a human without the baggage of the number he was once known as.

I mention that as there is some debate happening right now about the change in Klout scores. Klout is described as a measure of online influence. Many scores have changed significantly leading to questions about the change in algorithm. (Authenticity – impact on my own score was a drop).

Whilst moving in social media circles you’re often asked to think about useful measures and ways to filter information, reflecting on all the posts about it have made me stop to think about how we can get focused too much just on the numbers and not enough on the positive outcomes that we can gain from social media.

Above all we need to use our wisdom here. We need to view the scores as interesting, but not as the full story. I am not my number (especially if it can change so comprehensively overnight!). I am more than my story on social.

Even on social whilst I can take account and interest of the numbers, I will do better when I concentrate on the outcomes that social gives me. Is the overall outcome positive, or negative for me? Some positive outcomes I may choose to focus are:

  • I helped someone out today
  • I learnt something new today
  • I made a difference today
  • I met someone new today / made a new connection
  • I reconnected with someone today
  • I deepened a relationship today

What positive outcomes will help you focus on what you enjoy in social, and how it influences how you work?

Claire Chapman is a social media expert. Claire's journey into social media has been one that has built up over time. When she trained as a coach, she started connecting with people on different coaching niche membership sites and forums, and started finding that these were a great way to keep connected to the industry and peers, as well as spotting potential coaching opportunities. Since September 2009, Claire has also been working part time for Intendance in London, a full service Web firm who offers a complete range of Web & design services as their Social Media Specialist.