Reputation is a measure of your identity and the way that you are perceived by others. Social currency is the idea that reputation has tangible benefits… that relationships within your network or the community will lead to knowledge, access, or recognition that also has measurable value. In the 21st century economy, knowing how to leverage your social currency is critical to controlling the direction of your career or organization.
We now have the tools to put numbers to your reputation and compare you in real-time against your competitors. By running analytics on your website and social media services, you can monitor just about everything that you do online and gauge the success of any campaign.
The goal isn’t just to create a lot of numbers. You want to establish a baseline and then be able to demonstrate trends over time. If you don’t have these reference points, then you are flying blind.
The other really important factor to understand is that many of these metrics are publicly available and are not proprietary. So even if you aren’t looking at them, or paying to access them, your competitors may be able to pull up a lot of information about you or your organization. It is vital that you understand which pieces of data are publicly accessible vs. those which are private to your accounts.
Managing your brand’s reputation is more important than ever. This task requires vigilance and coordination because it has never been more challenging. The rise of technology in the workplace has been a tremendous opportunity for marketing, productivity, and other business functions; however it is a tremendous challenge to monitor and protect so many internal and external channels of communication. One misstep on social media or negative review and you can find yourself spending a lot of time and money to fix the avalanche that follows.
The biggest mistake that I see from small and medium organizations is that they often don’t have formal processes in place to monitor and review their branded pages, accounts, and other aspect’s of their online and offline presence. This results in:
- Questions unanswered on the company Twitter account
- Automated pages created for your company by Facebook or Google without your knowledge that end up in search results for customers
- Other strategic partners attempting to @mention your accounts without getting a response
Overall, at any given moment the organization can’t say with certainty what their social currency really is. That’s something that can be addressed and improved upon if the institution places value on protecting their reputation and implements that mentality across the board. Fixing this issue has to involve broad support from employees and all of your teams. There isn’t any one person or leader who can just manage the reputation. It is a cultural issue that has to be important across the organization and everyone needs to care about.
The term “influencer” gets thrown around a lot these days in reference especially to young people who become famous on Instagram or YouTube, however it is useful to think of everyone as having the ability to influence other people. Your social currency is really a measure of how able you are to do that…
- How big is your network? (How many unique people could you reach with a message across all of your accounts?)
- How big is your friends-of-friends network? (If every unique person connected to you shared your message, then how many unique people could they reach?)
In the workplace, prioritize professional networking opportunities and any chance to develop your LinkedIn profile. When working with your employer or strategic partners, look for win-win situations that enhance your profile while helping the organization.
- Write a guest-blog on a topic related to your discipline
- Contribute to a webinar
- Host a Facebook-live Q&A for the organization to answer questions from customers or clients on your area of expertise
- Make a YouTube “How-To” tutorial video for one of the company’s products
Just ask yourself: “What will make us both look good?” That’s where you start.