By Sonia Simone
There is one highly predictable aspect to social media.
Your best results will come from the least predictable part.
An interview with Seth Godin revealed all of the smart, sensible biz dev deals he cut to promote Squidoo, and how miserably they all failed. Smart deals with media companies and major magazines, with celebrities and major sites, pfffft.
What worked, massively, was individual people picking up a useful tool and doing something unpredictable with it, then talking with their friends about how cool the experience was.
If you make something in the social media world that is highly useful to a bunch of folks, whether it’s a great content series or a fantastic new tool, you can guess you’ll do well, but you probably won’t be able to predict exactly how. That part isn’t up to you, it’s up to your community. Your part is to avoid getting in the way and to make yourself helpful at the right points.
The social media universe is an intensely chaotic system that’s highly susceptible to the butterfly effect. A butterfly flits its wings in North Texas and ten days later you get a hurricane in Singapore.
There’s some question about whether you can analyze social media at all. I know from experience that you can, but it calls for a special skill set.
Social media analysis calls for an exceptional ability to filter out irrelevant BS, an acute ability to sniff out patterns and undercurrents, and a thorough knowledge of butterfly ranching. The more butterflies you can get flittering, the better your odds of a hurricane down the line.
Photo courtesy of aussiegall on Flickr Creative Commons.