With the introduction of start-ups such as Pay with a Tweet, which touts itself as the first social payment system, it’s clear that social media is now for sale. Pay with a Tweet (and others) gives companies the ability to make their products or services available to those who tweet about them or otherwise promote them on social media.
Remarkable how quickly the Internet is evolving. It was only months ago that Google announced it would begin taking social sharing into account (how often your business was mentioned in social media, and whether users were sharing your message) in its algorithm to determine search engine ranking. Now that social media is for sale, tweets and other online mentions can no longer be assumed genuine; indeed, a business’ mention online might be nothing more than paid advertising.
So now that social media is for sale, how do you build your brand?
It’s a great question. But Google has already answered it.
For as long as I have been promoting the importance of Internet presence to my clients, Google has always said that websites that provide original, relevant content are the ones that would rank most prominently in search results. That’s one reason why I don’t endorse online services that sell inexpensive articles and content for your website. The sale of social media is no different. Unless you are creating unique and compelling content that is of value to your customers and clients, and they in turn are sharing your content with others, you aren’t building your brand online — you are merely gaming the system.
Google has stated that it would “consider” social sharing as one measure of relevance, but not the only measure. “Pay-per-tweet” and paid social sharing are the opposite of what social sharing is supposed to be — an informed and impartial source of information and referrals from people you trust.
Have an idea or business you’d like to discuss? Contact me.