How many Kred points did you gain last week? Where’s your Klout score at? Is Vine worth bothering with or has Instagram going to do more for your social standing now it has video? Is Google+ anything more than a group of SEO geeks backslapping each other? Have your followers hit five figures yet? Does it really matter???
Social media is successful because it is what it says it is: Social and Media, not because of gamification, league tables or time-wasting apps.
Yes, they all add to the flavour but the key is the socialisation and the content production and accessibility. Without them, Facebook would never have wanted to know what University you went to and Twitter would never have trended, least of all hashed any tag.
Yes, gamification has helped more people get the bug for social but farmer requests, candy co-operation and music mental games also lead to many getting bugged and opting to move away from social media.
Yes, showing-off is a big attraction of social media and league tables always help if you are to of the pile. Yet, show-off or not, the reason you want to show off is to show others what you are up to. to share experiences. Share ideas. you want to be socialable and you want to communicate that. It is social media.
Yes, we all love to whittle away time checking streams, logging in, checking in, but why? Because we want to be social. We want to find out what is going on and share our own actions with our friends. It’s called social media because that is what it is. Not a game, not a toy, but a tool that you should be using in all the right ways- as well as enjoying everything else too.
So this weekend, as you tag your friends, re-tweet a comment or perhaps like a post, make sure you take a step back and see how that could actually be used – maybe indirectly, to boost your business. Even just keeping people aware of what you are up to and still on social networks is beneficial. Remember the key is that social media needs to be social and needs to be your communication tool. What message you put out there is your choice but don’t forget the best users of social media make their personal and business lives appear one big bundle of fun, while ensuring there still remains a high standard of professionality.