PRE – Your Social Media Stance

After identifying 6 Social Media presences you’ll meet in heaven (and there are probably more), today I’m providing a really easy way of managing them through a little idea I’ve had for some time that I call ‘PRE‘. PRE is being Personal, being Relationship, and displaying Expertise – and I have observed (feel free to disagree in the comments) that these three, in different proportions, are the bedrock for effective Social Media. Each of these adds value in it’s own right, and as a compliment, provide effective focus for your efforts:

Personal means you are a person, and therefore talk like a human. This means your tweets are not all auto-generated or business related, but you provide personal insight. Without being personal, you are seen as a bot or a spammer, unless your presence is for Passive Publishing or Monitoring, where you function on a service-related push model.

Relational means you don’t just talk about yourself and your expertise, but you engage with others and have discussion and conversation. Relationship is inherent in Social Media by definition. Very often you find those who are personal and have expertise but lack relationship are the ‘Social Celebs’ and celebrities on Twitter in general – like Oprah‘s Twitter profile – where there is a distinct lack of @replies. Of course, not being relational works if your presence is for Passive Publishing.

Expertise helps focus your personal and your relationship, by directing them to business-related goals of gaining your profile and reputation for your expert offering. With so many people using Social Media, it is surprising to see how few clearly demonstrate expertise in their area, and therefore, do not get much new business out of it despite their personal and relational efforts. Without expertise, you are a ‘great guy’, but just that.

Putting Them Together

Let’s look at how putting personal, relational and expertise together in different proportions relates to the 6 Social Media presences.

1. Leadership

When leading a community, there must be large amounts of P, R and E, but expertise in particular. Note that these are not exclusive of one another – displaying expertise must be done personally and relationally. The expertise here is the cause or commonality. This stance looks like this:

– Talking mostly throughout the day on your area of expertise, and doing so relationally – which means engaging in discussions
– Asking questions in your area of expertise and pulling others to your cause
– Signposting your followers to information and other thought leaders
– Being too personal here diminishes your stature.

2. Active Authority

Less expertise, but more relational and personal than Leadership. The reason for the reduction in expertise is because of the decreased frequency at which this profile uses Social Media when compared to Leadership. The increase in personal and relational is because this profile is often tied to a geographical area and therefore direct relationships mean business opportunity.

– Talking about expertise most of all, but done in a very personal and relational way, particularly through paraleipsis (the art of selling without selling)
– Publicly assisting individuals in your area of expertise (again, done by being exceptionally personal and relational)
– Being too personal here again diminishes your stature. The sweet spot is linking your personal to your expertise half the time, and being plainly personal the other half.

3. Solution Support

An even distribution of the three for this profile. A great example is @kristensousa  who supports @banksy6  in his Active Authority role. This is the strength of this role, and as such, the expertise takes a prompt from the Active Authority role.

– Equal distribution of work, hobbies, interests, etc.
– Often weekends will be more personal whilst the week more expertise
– Given that this role is associated with the company, too much personal and short updates without contextual meaning can ruin reputation. Solve this by making every update as whole as possible.
– Expertise quite often takes the form of Retweeting / resharing / echoing an Active Authority.

4. Passive Presence

This service-orientated profile is very relational with a high level of expertise, and little personal. Being a reactive model (as opposed to the 3 proactive models above), the relational and expertise only kick in when the customer has a problem.

Personal takes the form of humans solving the problem and taking initiative to solve it, as opposed to an automated service
Expertise can be used, while the account is inactive and not solving a pr0blem, to provide support information that links to the company website

5. Passive Publishing

A pretty much non-personl, non-relational service for broadcasting information, like @SkyNews  . This may well draw information from a Feed, or have a degree of human quality control.

Expertise is the sole aim for people following this account – because of the quality of the content, either in it’s frequency, immediacy, pertinence, etc. Therefore this high level must be maintained, and is the differentiation for this account to be followed against competitor offerings
– The structure of this account – frequency, linking, etc – must be consistent
Personal and relational elements only exist in extreme cases, or when directing followers/fans to an Active Authority

6. Monitor

A similar account structure to Passive Presence, but with less personal, and more relational, as this account monitors keywords and provides expertise accordingly.

– Using Google Blogsearch, Twitter search, and CoTweet, a procedure for discovering and solving is quite simple. Initiative is the main ingredient for a success Monitor presence.

Archived Comments

  • annholman

    At last someone is offering a structure to managing an online presence that’s simple and realistic. Thanks Scott, has given me something to think about which is always good on a Monday morning.

  • annholman

    At last someone is offering a structure to managing an online presence that’s simple and realistic. Thanks Scott, has given me something to think about which is always good on a Monday morning.

  • Scott Gould

    Hey Ann – Glad this is helpful.

    Looking at feedback from #likeminds and #media140, those of us who ‘proclaim’ to be leading social media need to deliver the actual models and frameworks – and not degree level but at a workable, understandable and implementable level.

  • Scott Gould

    Hey Ann – Glad this is helpful.

    Looking at feedback from #likeminds and #media140, those of us who ‘proclaim’ to be leading social media need to deliver the actual models and frameworks – and not degree level but at a workable, understandable and implementable level.

  • / Scott Gould

    Glad the model helps. The proportions are only a guide – but I do find, continually, that people have got their proportions way out of line.

    As you say, it is a lens. Given the fact that most people start by intuition, and then only tweak reactively, we need proactive thinking.

    I’ll be talking more about this at my consulting session on Social Media for Business…

  • Thank you for this post Scott. It’s a very strong model and really useful as a lens for analysing social network presence.
    One of my first reactions after reading was to question the proportions, but then common sense returned and I think that you have provided a model that simply works. Otherwise I wouldn’t have cared about the detail.

  • Thank you for this post Scott. It’s a very strong model and really useful as a lens for analysing social network presence.
    One of my first reactions after reading was to question the proportions, but then common sense returned and I think that you have provided a model that simply works. Otherwise I wouldn’t have cared about the detail.

  • Scott Gould

    Glad the model helps. The proportions are only a guide – but I do find, continually, that people have got their proportions way out of line.

    As you say, it is a lens. Given the fact that most people start by intuition, and then only tweak reactively, we need proactive thinking.

    I’ll be talking more about this at my consulting session on Social Media for Business…

  • Scott Gould

    Glad the model helps. The proportions are only a guide – but I do find, continually, that people have got their proportions way out of line.

    As you say, it is a lens. Given the fact that most people start by intuition, and then only tweak reactively, we need proactive thinking.

    I’ll be talking more about this at my consulting session on Social Media for Business…

  • You are spot on that proactive thinking will improve the social media landscape greatly. It has been fascinating watching the increase in impersonal old-media marketing presences on Twitter.

    But the great thing about social platforms like Twitter is it’s easy not to follow back.

  • You are spot on that proactive thinking will improve the social media landscape greatly. It has been fascinating watching the increase in impersonal old-media marketing presences on Twitter.

    But the great thing about social platforms like Twitter is it’s easy not to follow back.

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