With the arrival of the Facebook IPO, people are saying the social media bubble has arrived. Valuations are through the roof. Some who used to be skittish about social media are jumping on the bandwagon in droves. The future has arrived and it looks like Facebook.
But where has social media really taken us? Is it truly everything we hoped it would be? Is it all noise and mindless blabber? Is it nothing more than photos with inspirational sayings? Is it a popularity contest? Are businesses growing as a result? And more importantly, are people connecting in meaningful ways?
Or is it all just collective naval-gazing?
Having written the book on Twitter, literally, I have had a bit of experience with social media.
I signed up for Twitter in May 2007, just over five years ago and have over 74,000 followers.
I signed up for Facebook in May 2006, a brief six years ago. Today I have over 13,600 fans to my page.
I'm not sure when I joined LinkedIn, but it has been a while. I've got over 7000 direct connections which link me to over 18,000,000 others.
And I hopped on Google Plus early in the game. Over 17,000 people now have me in circles.
With all this connectivity, you would think that my social media influence would be quite high, wouldn't you?
It's not. At least not the way I see it. And there is a good reason for that.
I've not really used my accounts much over the past year or so.
Sure, there is the obligatory facebook post for friends, link to article on one of my sites on Twitter and controversial article on G+.
But I have a confession to make. Over the past year or so, my interaction on social media has been quite sparse. Due to other priorities in my life, I've just not done much to create and build relationship.
One day next week, I am going to conduct a social media experiment. I'm going to spend the better part of the day posting, liking, tweeting, commenting, plussing and interacting on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. It's going to be an all-out social media bonanza.
I'm going to track my activity and watch how my stats change as a result.
Does liking other's posts cause them to pay more attention to yours?
Does retweeting give you brownie points in the eyes of the community?
Will an authentic hangout session get you added to more circles?
These and many more questions will be explored as I dive in head first to a day of total social media immersion.
I won't announce the day, but it will be obvious for those who follow me.
I will be posting results of my great social media experiment after I've had a chance to evaluate the data.
Will I have more friends? More interaction? More followers? More circles?
The only thing I can say with absolute certainty is "I don't know."
How about you? What have you found to be the most successful social media strategies to find a larger audience and deepen relationships? Please feel free to share below and stay tuned for the GSME. (Great Social Media Experiment, for those who are acronym-challenged.)