I’m a lurker.
According to the Forbes “Think Social, Act Personal” reading, “lurkers” are those who are not “vocal in your social media audiences”. Prior to this class, I primarily only used Facebook. I rarely post anything, but I do look at my newsfeed a couple of times a day to catch up on what other people are doing. I’ve read tweets, I’ve seen Instagram pictures (although I’m still trying to figure out the point of making pictures of your dinner look vintage ), I’ve pinned some images and articles, and I’ve even checked-in to save a couple bucks. However, I’ve never been a Mayor, I’ve never blogged, and the number and quality of followers on my personal Twitter account is pretty pathetic.
So why am I here?
I understand the importance for businesses and brands to connect to consumers, employees and others through technology. I work at a consumer insights company called Communispace. We use private online communities to help brands connect to consumers. Having 300 of your consumers providing candid feedback 24/7 about everything and anything is so valuable. These consumers not only have a 2-way dialog with the brand, but they also connect with each other through their common interests.
I’m a hypocrite, I know. I work with social networks all day long, yet I don’t consider myself a strong participator outside of work.
Communispace communities are private though, and the feedback these members provide isn’t broadcasted publically for the world to see. They have an intimate setting where they feel comfortable engaging with the brand and other consumers. That’s why I’m a lurker – everything is too public. I think there’s a time and place for both private and public communities and I’m excited to learn more in this class about connecting publically. I want to be better informed when I’m helping my clients with their social media strategies and help answer the question: how can brands engage consumers through public social media outlets?
While I’ll be using Twitter for the next few months and blogging every other week, it’s yet to be determined whether or not connecting to others this way is for me personally or if it’s too far outside my comfort zone.