The ongoing joke within my circles is that I seem to tweet all night. There is some truth to that. However, I’m not always up tweeting on my own timeline. The fact is that I have a secret life that I rarely, if ever, discuss as a social media manager for a few “high profile” accounts.
For over two years, I’ve posted tweets, blogs, responded to fans and even purchased followers. Yes, this practice most certainly does happen. I even have a weekly report that I submit to their managers that itemizes “the data”. They want to know about crowd interaction, search terms, time spent on pages, retweets, favorites, follows and unfollows. I also have to be mindful of the “heartbeat” of their brand…what twitter thinks.
Why is this important?
In the popularity-driven culture of entertainment, their livelihood and commercial earning power largely depends on it. The numbers are so important that their entire “message” shifts at times to cater to them…numbers.
This is why I know for a fact that following numbers can present a false reality. It’s the part of my “hobby” that I dislike most.
Numbers and EDU
When I talk to people about twitter, I always stress the unimportance of numbers. You don’t focus on followers. You focus on the conversation and your own professional growth. Be intentionally wise with your words and share yourself while expecting nothing in return. This is the same advice given to my non-edu clients, however something always changes that. It’s that same something that changes teachers from being focused on what matters to being focused on “being flown to the next event.”
When the conversation shifts from discussing matters of student learning or policy to who is the “most connected”, I no longer want to share those conversations. When the tweets of fabulous educators shift from being about the wonderful ideas from their classrooms into an influx of “in your face” tweets of self-promotion, it kills me a bit inside.
Don’t get me wrong. I fully acknowledge the doors that have been opened for some because of their social sharing…myself included. However, I have more respect for doors that led to a platform for change over those that led to the “numbers focused” change in the educator.
The moment that we started qualifying ourselves based on quantitative data like the number of followers, subscribers, readers or even podcast listeners is the moment that we decided that not every voice mattered…not unless “data” supported it.
I tend to lean towards leaving the “numbers talk” to those guys who worry more about the human capital that they “collect” versus the humans that they inspire.
I’d rather that did not become the existence of social media EDU.
I would love to hear your thoughts.