Social Currency is the total economic value of your relationships, both in real life (IRL) and digital. ~ Tamara McCleary
Last week, I wrote on the concept of Social Currency (read that article by clicking here). No less than 3 different websites and blogs wanted to re-publish my post in some form or another. I must have touched a nerve in the social media world!
Whether you’re an individual trying to sell your self-published book, or you’re in the C-Suite of a global company, social engagement is critical to impact your bottomline.
In the process of rewriting my post for inclusion at The CMO Club website, I took a look at rankings of CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) as published by PeerIndex (PI) in an article by Forbes. Knowing a number of CMO’s and their skill with engaging on social media, I was surprised and shocked that PI hadn’t included them in their ranking. I did some digging into PI’s analysis as compared to how I would rank the top CMO’s with respect to their social currency. May I say, I respectfully disagree?
The Forbes article (you can read it by clicking here) shares PI’s ranking of the Top Influential CMO’s. Influence doesn’t always denote skill. I don’t believe PI’s analysis of influence tells the whole story, particularly about which CMO’s are truly gifted at social engagement. PI uses an authority and audience score to augment their numbers.
While it is true that someone can acquire social equity through the power of association, for instance carrying a title from a Fortune 100 company, or the caliber and size of their Rolodex, but the supposition that this translates into Social Currency and influence through social media is a mistake. Someone may possess these things but lack an audience on social media through weak engagement. Titles and association are pieces of the social currency pie, but not the entire pie. If someone is poor at engaging the digital social world, their social media influence will be found lacking.
In the speaking world, we call it “butts in seats.” That means, you can be the most amazing speaker in the world, but if you don’t have butts in seats, you’ve got nada…nothing. In the digital social world, it’s exactly the same. You can have a big name, work for an impressive company, but if you have not created an audience, (a.k.a. no engagement), no one is being influenced.
[ctt tweet=”You can have a big name, work for an impressive company, but if you don’t have an audience, you’re not influencing. ~ @TamaraMcCleary #quote” coverup=”p5J4U”]
When I look at the raw numbers though the analytics engines of two companies, Twtrland and EngagementLabs, I find a different picture emerges of the most engaged CMO’s. When I speak of engagement, I’m talking about CMO’s who are experts at building Social Currency. You may have great Social Currency today, but if you aren’t actively building and maintaining your presence, you are likely to be passed by the next startup. Isn’t this true in the world of business in general?
Only 1 of PI’s Top 10, Jonathan Becher (@jbecher) of SAP, appeared on my list of best CMO engagers. An additional two of PI’s top CMO Influencers were within my own list of top 5 engagers, these were: Kieran Hannon (@kieranhannon) of Belkin and Harry Arnett (@HarryArnettCG) of Callaway Golf. The two CMO’s which stood out amongst the engager’s on my list, but did not show up on the PI list, where Margaret Molloy (@margaretmolloy) of Siegel+Gale and Hope Frank (@hopefrank) of Nexusguard.
Engagement is the key in any social situation. You can use your celebrity status (in life or business) to get attention, but if you aren’t great at engaging your audience, you’ll have a hard time moving people to support your book or your brand. In other words, you lack influence. This is exactly why, anyone with the desire to put in the time to build an audience and learn how to engage people, can rise through the social ranks and build their social currency to challenge even the most well-known people in the world. Isn’t this exciting? This is what I mean by the current rise in the Relationship Economy leveling the playing field. It’s a whole new world of influence. (click here to read my post, The Rise In The Relationship Economy)
Are you engaging your audience?
Are you including images and sharing messages which grab the attention of your followers? Are you asking questions, reaching out and connecting personally and sharing other people’s messages as much as your own? Do you have clarity and understand your own message and communicating a consistent, congruent message while sharing in the social space? These are just a few of my recommendations for being engaging in social media.
I’ve spent 17 years building a platform as a national speaker, and the work I do online is no different than offline. My message is congruent. Here’s to you, to your success and I look forward to seeing how you build your social currency and become a top engager in the near future.