Don’t Believe The Data

There is a lot of new data flying around regarding the use of social media.

Those of you familiar with data know that its usefulness is often subject to the way it is interpreted.

There is one research company that does some wonderful work.  They provide data and studies that are sorely needed.

The problem is that if you follow some of their advice, you (and therefore, your business) are going to look like an idiot.  

Here is one example.

There is an expert that used Twitter data to determine that asking for a retweet was one of the best ways to get something retweeted.  This expert believes that you should only care about the data and the results so, if you want something retweeted, you should ask.

I tried this out and frankly, it didn’t feel like me.  It felt like I was begging and it felt like complete self-interest.  I didn’t like it when other people asked and, as I began polling people, neither did they.

There was one exception.  When people promoted a worthwhile cause, asking for a retweet seemed natural and justifiable.  Chris Brogan said what many of us were thinking when he confirmed feeling this way.

I won’t go into why the interpretation of the data, and the advice, could be flawed.  But I will suggest that you should trust your own judgment.

Feel free to experiment and test your theories.  Remember though, your bottom line is likely not retweets.  It’s probably something much bigger like sales, customer loyalty or brand awareness.

You might actually be subverting your ultimate business objective by following the advice of some experts.

Make sure that you know your business objectives and the message you are sending when you implement any strategy.  Asking for retweets might serve you well depending on your objectives.

Just be sure to consider that the interpretation of the data can lead to different conclusions.

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