The Value Myth of Social Media


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I was reading the post 7 social media truths you can ignore this morning when I was struck by one of the last things mentioned in the post which said, Provide Value.

As soon as I saw that, I had to get this thought out.

Scene 1.

You’ve been dating your significant other for a few months now and have decided to end it. Why?

They’re not bringing enough value to the relationship. Of course that translates better into things like:

  • They were slobs
  • The snored
  • They couldn’t hold a job
  • They cheated

What does that look like in the online world of social media? I unfollow you on Twitter because all you do is tweet out links and you’re not giving me enough value in the relationship.

What did I expect? I’m not sure. A business relationship? Maybe.

I followed you based on what your bio said. Oh wait, I followed you because you followed me. Similar to picking someone up in a bar isn’t it? You looked hot, we didn’t really talk much, mainly because it was so loud and dark; but on the surface you looked promising. So I had no expectations in the first place.

Value or perceived value is so subjective and so hopeful isn’t it? It always is in the beginning.

Shouldn’t the value that we want or expect out of others be commensurate to what we are putting out there? I’m trying, shouldn’t you? Or is it one way, or one sided?

Scene 2.

If I’m on a basketball team and I bust my ass in practice and during games, I should expect that of my teammates right? What if they don’t? Should it bother me? Should I complain? Should I say something to someone? What if we still win? What if each component functioning on its own and in its own way contributes to the sum total of the parts?

Should I demand value from my teammates? If I don’t get it, do I quit? or do I focus on my own game and do what makes me who I am and let it go? Is that selfish? Is it up to me to tell them that they are not bringing enough value? What if that’s the best that they can do?

If I expect value from every relationship or scenario that involves other people and I don’t get it, what am I going to do? I can abide by that mantra in social media, or try to abide by it, but to honestly and genuinely expect it from every relationship that I engage in in social media, is going to render us all sorely disappointed. no two relationships are going to render the same results. That doesn’t mean that it has to suck. Or that you end it.  You can cultivate the good relationships. Just treat the rest of the relationships for what they are. Just people being people.

I am wont to say from time to time that the value you take in social media should be equal to the value that you make. I still believe that and I still tell others that. It’s a good cornerstone. But sometimes I think we focus too much on the Utopian way things need to be in social media instead of the way things just are or will be.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Marc Meyer
As a Digital and Social Media strategist and CEO for Digital Response Marketing Group, Marc Meyer has been able to take technology, marketing and the world of all things digital and simplify it in a way that makes sense not only for the SMB owner, but also the discerning C-suite executive of a Fortune 500 company.


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