As Americans, we are very familiar with the idea, ‘the bigger, the better’, with everything from food to real estate. The very same notion holds true for a person’s social media metrics. The more followers, the more badges, the more likes, or check-ins that someone may have, the greater the opportunity for a personal brand, blogger or digital content producer. In addition, if you happen to be that person with high social media metrics across many platforms, you may also gain higher social equity offline.
If I had a dime for every instance I was meeting someone for the first time IRL, and they happened to casually mention the number of Twitter followers that I have, I wouldn’t necessarily be a rich woman but I would definitely have more money in my pocket than usual. Without my full comprehension of this idea, it seems that the general population of social networkers have an assertive tendency to romanticize the level of digital clout that one may have. And recently, when a group of good friends were comparing Klout scores over swanky, New York cocktail conversation, it confirmed that a single person’s numerical digital influence is something real and tangible. Nonetheless, the public perception of a person’s digital influence is not as manageable.
Whether we would like to acknowledge it or not, we are not always in control of shaping our own digital identities. As we daily facilitate and engage in conversation, the messages that we send out to our audiences are received in many different ways and are given more attention if the messages are coming from a person with a high level of digital influence. Both online and off, audiences have the opportunity to formulate their own perceptions of who you are personally because who you have projected your identity to be digitally.
We’re still seeing social networkers with the most prominent of followings, being engaged by brands and offered rather unique opportunities. And although we have all become accustomed to the idea, the bigger the numbers, the better, I’m certain that this is a flawed system because it has been purely based on the height of numbers and not much else. Whatever happened to quality over quantity? A smaller yet proficient social network can offer far more benefits to brands that are looking to collaborate. A focused social network can mean a strength of specialization in a given niche area, which usually is attached with a highly engaged audience.
The brands and marketers that wisely choose to handpick those individuals with a lower level of followings but higher level of specialization can create a benchmark of distinction and value that can consistently surround the brand. With that in mind, the way we’ve measured digital influence and identities in the past still has some room for improvement in the future. Communication and content in the digital space has no need to be superfluous any longer but rather swarming with substantial value.
Photo Credits: Clare Siobhan