I get asked a lot about which social media channel is "the best" and of course my answer is always "it depends," and you should ask your customers But this week provided a fascinating contrast in the types of conversations that go on in each space.
On Tuesday, I hosted a Social Media Chat (#sm47) on the topic of measurement. TodayI spoke to the Portsmouth, NH Social Media Breakfast(#smbnh) on the topic of tracking success. Both events generated a remarkable amount of chatter on Twitter. Most of it was what KDPaine & Partners would categorize as "expressing support" (one of our 27 types of conversations). Most of the tweets would be rated by almost any system as positive in sentiment, except of course the tweets that called me "Wicked awesome" and "Sick" -- unless someone has figured out an algorithm to detect local slang. But in general the discussion was essentially agreeing with my premise that social media CAN be measured, and can be tied to measurable outcomes.
At the same time, I was also engaged in a variety of conversations on Facebook. Mostly having to do with either politics or music and people I adored in the 70s. It was fun, and silly and made me laugh a lot.
And then there was Linked In, where I've been fighting a battle over AVEs and counting hits should be a valid metric for PR. The gist of that conversation is that the measuring clips and mentions is all that needs to be measured.
I've also noted that I can say the exact same thing in my blog and get almost no response, but put the same post on My Ragan and get a dozen comments violently disagreeing with me.
Obviously the responses and the level of dialog are determined by the knowledge level and background of the audiences. And I haven't decided yet what this means for my social networking activities or what to do with this information, but it's pretty clear that we need to set different levels of expectations, and thus different measures of success for different channels.