Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Social Media "Influence"

The current social media conversation on Influence is something I really shy away from commenting on. And for good reason. I only joined Twitter and Facebook to do two things: promote my blog and meet great people. I believe I've done a fair job in that department.

But the other day, Todd Weiss, a great tweeter from New York City posted this on his feed: "If you want to be a person of influence, be of value to someone." Indeed, this completely sums up my thoughts on the matter. As we all know, social media started as an avenue for people to share. So it makes sense to use Twitter in this way. I love seeing people recommend folks in different fields or in various cities. When I log in, that's what I do. And when I log out, I take pride in knowing that I've helped enrich the Twitter Experience, and in a small or grand way, honored the roots of social media.

So let no one tell you differently: when any of us inspire, empower, share, connect and educate through social media, we are influential. Millions value this sort of engagement, so its a brand that should never be discarded. Never.

I don't mind talking about Influence. But I'll never let conversation about "what it is" get in the way of sharing practical ways to use social media influence for the greater good. That should be the ultimate goal.


  1. Ever since becoming more involved with social media especially Twitter, I have learned a great deal from others from what they post and share. I try to share and connect with people and not be so self-absorbed. Great blog post!

  2. "Influence" is a subject matter I've always been uncertain about, hence like you, have shied away from. What or who are we trying to influence? Why? But as you have so poignantly illustrated, the purpose of influence is to bring value...positive value in this social sphere we live in. Thank you for sharing your insightful viewpoint! And may I add, Sean, you bring tremendous value and are a positive influence to many.

    A Big Fan,

  3. I think it's also of value to think about who is influencing US, and why, and what we take away from those engagements and discoveries. I think my social media experience teaches me much more than I could ever teach others.
    You are definitely someone who influenced and encouraged me from my early, tentative days and months on Twitter, Sean, and I thank you and credit you with introducing me to many people I now cherish for their wisdom, inspiration, and of course, wit. Keep enjoying - and sharing - the journey. Thank you for this thought-provoking post. XO Gina

  4. I really appreciate your comments ladies. I've really struggled with this issue for some time. I know there will always be those who "measure" influence. They certainly have a place at the "social media table".

    Truly, we all have value. And therefore, we all value something about social media. I value EVERYONE, regardless of where you are, and what you look like. For me, its about how I can bring some of that amazing value to my Twitter Experience.

    My post above won't be the last word on social media influence. But it will be the first and last one I write on it. I simply wanted to let people know that whether you have 200 followers or 200,000, if you are connecting, sharing and educating in social media, you have influence. Enjoy it and use it for what's positive in the world.


  5. I think you have it right here. You need to BE influenced in order TO influence - it's all relative. Looking forward to more from your "awesome" <-- love that, blog. XO!

  6. Hi
    I joined twitter etc for similar reasons - to promote my charitable choir, The Stairwell Carollers. We already do a lot practically since we gift thousands of dollars each year to local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales. Sorry if this sounds like an ad -- just want you to know where I am coming from on the topic. Since I don't use the Stairwell presence for my own personal opinion sharing, I've found it tricky. I have to doublethink what to retweet and who to follow, trying to keep the proper face for our choir out there. Now, I have created a blog for the choir and I face the challenge of how much or even what to share in it. Don't get me wrong, I have fun and am sincere, but I have to think "what would the choir say or do?" before I commit a tweet or respond to a comment. I feel I am only scratching the surface in this media and hope I am not ruffling any protocol feathers along the way.
    Any advice would be so appreciated...
    Holly :)

  7. Seems we agree on this subject. I like to believe what I share on the social web provides something of value, positivity, or inspiration to others. I appreciate all that I learn along the way, and truly value the connections I make. We All have the opportunity to contribute and influence in our own unique fashion.

  8. We love to help others promote their causes and products through social media. We learn something new everyday from social media and those that share their influence.