Gaming, Points, Rewards, Likes – Where is the Meaningful Engagement?


You get kudos for having umpteen-thousand followers on Twitter – it’s working for Beiber. On Facebook “social media experts” gloat about their number of subscribers. On YouTube comments, likes, shares, favorites, and subscribers all mean something (sort of), on G+ you count the number of Circles you’re in, and on LinkedIn you are considered “successful” if you max out your connections.

So where are the tangible results? If Twitter followers = success, show us the money. If the number of Likes a brand has on Facebook show us the chart where that converted to transactions. In the end, from a social marketing perspective, I’ve rather have 1 transaction than 1,000,000 likes. And, in fact, the 1,000,000 likes are diluting the perception by the greater audience of the value of that 1 transaction.

What I mean by the above is if I have 1 connection and 1 transaction that’s 100% providing for the needs of those to whom I am connected. If I have 10 connections and 1 transaction now I’m providing for 10% and so on. One million really muddies the data.

The goal I have for the company for which I am currently developing a rather massive platform is to reward more meaningful engagement and place higher value on transactions and almost no value on connections. In fact, and I just had this thought while I was typing, I believe I’ll wilt meaningless connections so that people who not regularly engaged will be relegated to more of an “outsider” type relationship.

I have been assured certain games, which make a game of the user’s value across social media channels, are good for the social economy and urge “players” to make regular contributions to the socio-system. May be, but, what is the end result? Again, show us the transactions. Otherwise you are encouraging small business people to waste more of their highly valuable time and resources.

What is important to you and why? Meaningful engagement or “winning” at a relatively meaningless game made from social media interactions?