Social relevance is how we refer to the online reputation of an organization or individual. Where there is discussion, there will be opinion — and that opinion is beginning to have a dramatic influence on what people think about you, or the brand you care for. Let’s examine these scenarios a little more closely.
Social media means different things to different people of course. Some will point out good things that have happened in their lives, in the lives of their friends, or wise decisions that they have made. Others will embrace it as an opportunity to have fun, ranging from pure escapism to the celebration of everyday mediocrity. The common denominator is that what a person says or publishes gets noticed. We all hope that our status updates, photographs, links and likes will be read. Few put forth the effort of publishing anything without the expectation of it being viewed.
Whatever we portray, we know it will be viewed and we know it will influence how we will be perceived. As social media guru David Meerman Scott wrote “You are what you publish on the web.” In the same way that people create and live up to an image of themselves, the same can be said for a company.
Our online reputation creates a set of credentials. Social media technology represents this in a couple of ways and various companies have devised tool-sets for managing credentials, typically called “online reputation management.” Organizations should care about what people think about them but it is the insight that these tools generate that can help companies work to improve their brand and reputation. Thus, managing company relevance is a vital component of social media engagement.
Online rating systems are now commonplace with systems that rate everything ranging from small businesses, eating experiences and movies to company employment experiences. You can get ratings for practically everything which can be unsettling since we all tend to worry about being exposed in areas where we have less competence. These days, a judging panel on wheels follows your every move whether you’re an Olympic gymnast or a beer enthusiast.
Some web sites of interest are:
Klout — a system for measuring social influence
Glass Door — a crowd-sourced company rating and review website
Wikipedia — perhaps the best example of collective knowledge sharing the world has ever known. Taken one step further into the social sharing area, they recently launched a ‘rate this page’ function