In my post on the SMUG Social Media Pyramid and the follow-up on servings and portion sizes, I recommended a basic level of each of the four basic social media “food groups” which are represented in this graphic submitted by Valeri Gungor (click to enlarge):
This led to some interesting discussion in the comments, which deserves fuller attention. Here were some of the themes:
- Isn’t this just a “maintenance” plan? If you really want your social media influence to grow, shouldn’t you be beefing up with a lot more than what’s recommended here? Or on the other extreme…
- Doesn’t 6-11 servings a day of Twitter encourage the kind of inane celebrity updates on personal minute-by-minute activities that give Twitter a bad name?
- This seems like a tool-centric tactical approach, not a strategic tailoring of the tools to the particular objectives of the organization’s social media program.
So here’s some amplification of what a “serving” means.
To qualify as a serving your tweet, status update, video or blog post needs to…serve. Others, not just you. Any “servings” that don’t serve are actually subtracted from your total…they’re the social media equivalent of what Mom used to call “empty calories.” No nutritional value whatsoever.
In the food pyramid a serving is something you consume. In the Social Media Pyramid a serving is something you produce. It has to be of value to others to qualify. Otherwise it’s a negative. Five good tweets plus two pointless, self-promotional or “spammy” ones gives you a net of three servings, not seven. And some might even say a bad tweet is worth -2.
So in answer to the first two questions, I would say that the more real, valuable servings you provide, the more your influence will grow. And the more garbage you post, the more likely your Twitter followers leave, your Facebook friends and fans bail on you and you lose subscribers to your YouTube videos or your blog posts.
The third point, about strategy vs. tool-time tactics, I’ll tackle in the next post. And maybe I’ll expand on the serving scoring system.
Does this “net servings” guide make sense to you? How would you change it?