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.