Social Media and You – Part 02: Adding Value

20 Mar 2009  |  Social Social Media

As mentioned in part 01 of this post series, I will be discussing various social media platforms, how they can be utilised in business or on a personal level, and how to connect various social media platforms. Today I would like to take a short break from discussing social media services and discuss a phrase that is used widely across the majority of social media discussions- adding value.

So, what is “adding value” anyway?

Adding value is the core of social media. When, for example, a user asks a question on your blog or via Twitter, a constructive, useful answer (maybe with a link to a reference website or blog post) would be deemed as “adding value” to the discussion taking place.

So it’s about answering questions then?

Not entirely. Sharing your blog posts with friends (via Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook etc) could also be considered adding value. You are sharing information with the cloud (the internet and stream of users you are connected to) and, by sharing this information, you are potentially providing a resource of information from which other users can benefit. Photographs via Flickr, reviews via your blog, comments and questions via Twitter, bookmarks via Delicious- these are all ways to contribute – and add value – to the constant, general conversation online.

So posting a bunch of links is adding value then?

This is where the “quality over quantity” mantra comes into play. One link to an invaluable resource is more beneficial than ten links to average resources. If you see something interesting online that you believe other people will find interesting, share it. If you have photographs of a trip you took up the coast last year, share them on Flickr. Some people may never have seen the coast, or might like to visit and are unsure where to go or what to do, and your photography and comments could help them to decide and to potentially have a better holiday experience.

The above examples are on a small scale. They can be expanded and developed to make use of social media to advertise a service, showcase a work portfolio, or notify users of updates to your web application or service. The possibilities are endless, provided the time and appropriate approach to social media is taken… and provided you are adding value.

How do you add value using social media? Has it helped you? Please share in the comments.

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