How to make 2014 a better online experience? #socialshare

2013 was the year of the social share…people using their digital and social spaces to share stories, information, and content they love the most. Big brands, politicians, special interest groups, and numerous other entities leveraged the online passion of loyal brand advocates capitalizing on the digital word-of-mouth. Why? They want to capture your data.

Big Data
Yes…big data is the wave of the content marketers’ future, capturing more than just your contact information…but your clicking patterns and social share tendencies. They want to leverage your digital presence to focus more “relevant content” into your digital life…capitalizing on your purchasing habits.

Yes…this is the perfect case study showcasing the power of the social share, digital pr, a mega-brand powerhouse, and the social share. Once the GQ article with Phil Robertson’s interview was released, a social conversation firehose was released. Polarizing conversations erupted creating digital clicks and crazy conversation beyond the context of the original article. All for ratings…Yes. The social influence and digital clicks will ultimately create large ratings for the January 15th season-five premier. To read more about this case-study…CLICK HERE.

Social Overload?
So…are we overloaded with too much conversation? Are people/brands sharing links in your newsfeed that drive you nuts? Are people sending you links to elicit polarizing conversation? Based on my research at Clemson as a graduate student, we know that people are much more willing to engage in controversial conversation online than in-person discussion. The screen and the keyboard creates a comfortable buffer to share thoughts normally not expressed during an in-person conversation/discussion.

Time to Streamline
1) Trim your online friends
Yes…get rid of those people that your conscious is making your question whether they are in or out. If they do not bring value to your life or your digital brand…give them the ax!

2) Think before you “Like”, “Share”, “ReTweet”, 1+, or post in your social outlets.
Your online spaces are your digital brand. People take this as your gospel, your truth…so use those filters.

3) Un-Like, Un-Follow, Un-Subscribe
Get rid of the brands in your social spaces that drive your nuts, cause un-wanted stress, or do not share content that bring value to your life.

4) Do Not Click or Like
Quit clicking links, pictures, and videos in your newsfeed that you disagree with personally and professionally. They are put there to elicit an emotion, which ultimately makes you want to click and comment.

Perfect example are outlets like They post links on their social outlets specifically to drive clicks without providing content. Why…so they can provide their advertisers click-thru reports showing impressions and traffic.

If you look at the image below, you will see the status update with most of the comments talking about no content after they clicked. They achieved their goal, every-time someone “Likes”…it shows up in their newsfeed spreading their digital brand. They are all about clicks not building a strong social community.

5) Define the purpose of each social/digital space you own
Yes…if you have a Facebook account or page, define the purpose behind the use of this page. Spend some time thinking about your audience and what you will share in this space.

Define Your Story
Your social space is your story. This is the storyline that showcases your digital habits. As you think through that lens, it will help you define what you click, share, and conversations you engage.

Brand Appreciation
Think about it…if you clean out the brands you follow that do not bring value to your life; and become more engaged with the brands you truly love…your online spaces become a more inviting experience. Plus…this provides better data for brand outlets that truly want to see which followers are truly engaged.