The great thing about social media is word of mouth marketing through your network. If you like something, chances are that you will share with your network.
However, did you question how that content got to you in the first place? When I look at content, I ask myself, “Is this content genuine and accurate? Or is it SEO and linkbait popularity that delivered me this content? Linkbait is a term that gets thrown around in the online publishing industry about questionable practices to supercharge content so that search engines deliver the content to digital users. From a marketing perspective, SEO (search engine optimization) is great because it allows marketers and advertisers to really get content in front of readers. From a reader’s perspective, I suffer from a little healthy paranoia that makes me questions whether a controversial title has quality content behind it. Or is that title designed to let me click on the article, therefore giving it a hit and making it successful? In the latter case, I get really annoyed when the article has no quality behind it. It means the online publisher just took advantage of my time and my click to make that article a success even if it’s not all that great in quality.
The trick to all of this is training your eye and becoming an educated media user. Knowing how to evaluate content online will make you think twice about whether you want to put your personal brand behind it and share it online.
The only way we can take back our digital user experience through social media is to demand and consume quality content.
But is the way knowledge being shared through social media effective for the user, or just the marketer and publisher at the end of the day? Are we just giving vanity stats¹ to marketers and publishers? Or is this content really benefiting us 100% at the end of the day.
1. Vanity stats is a term I picked up from the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries