I think it might actually be one of the great questions of our age, how to navigate the rise of the personal brand. Busting up the old broadcast media machine and giving everyone a voice has turned us each into our own marketing department.
It’s natural for me to think about what numbers I can rack up on Twitter, but I need to think about promoting others, and about what we can build together. I dream of a social network where the focus is on the work being produced together, rather than personal brands per se.
Twitter has an enormous advantage over Facebook in one key area: while people on Facebook tend to friend their friends, people on Twitter tend to follow their interests. People use Twitter more like they use TV; they follow accounts they are interested in, namely celebrities and companies, and then they consume the content as a form of entertainment.
Good social content has two very important ingredients: value, and relevance.
If you can create content that is valuable to your fans, relevant to your brand and your fans’ interests – and you can present it in a compelling way – then you will have a highly engaged, highly active community. What they want from you is insight, expertise, information and inspiration.
The value of relevant social content is conversation, and the value of conversation is return on investment.