Which is more powerful - Social Media Kred or Street Cred?
I have just been engaged in an interesting Tweeting debate with a very well respected fellow FCSI consultant, on the value of high Social Media Kred versus high Street Cred. Social media is the marketing tool of the moment and of course has a very important role to play in business promotion but can it replace the value of Street Cred; the credibility of the person, company or organisation on the ground in 'real' life; the value of personal recommendation and referral?
As I understand it, and I am no expert on this and I may have got this completely wrong but the Kred rating measures the power of your social media campaign, the number of people you influence and the networking worth of your company. Kred state that 'scores reflect Trust and Generosity', the foundations of strong relationships and are measured by way of an influence score and an outreach score. The influence score is 'the ability to inspire action' and is measured by assessing how frequently you are retweeted, replied, mentioned and followed on Twitter and how often people interact with your wall content on Facebook. The outreach score 'reflects your generosity with others and helping them spread their message' and is measured by your retweet, replies and mentions of others.
Trust and Generosity are indeed the cornerstone of strong relationships (along with a number of other very important qualities one might add) but can that really be measured by a virtual online relationship? I 'get' the influence score since that demonstrates that you have something worth reading and that fellow tweeters find it valuable enough to share but how does the outreach score demonstrate your credibility? There are many consultants who simply retweet the news coming in from everyone else. Does that really demonstrate their knowledge and credibility in the market? Likewise those that engage in tweet conversations such as the one I had last night will up their score by virtue of 'replying' and 'mentioning' but does this demonstrate experience, knowledge, integrity, value and professionalism; all factors which your Street Cred are built on? Indeed many of the conversations I see taking place on Twitter have nothing to do with work and a lot to do with personal chit chat and banter. We are told that we should show our personality to the market through social media and this does just that but surely then your Kred rating demonstrates social interaction skills (all valuable of course) but doesn't necessarily provide a tangible measure of experience, knowledge and professionalism. So back to the case that Street Cred is surely more important.
Don't get me wrong I think social media is a great means of communicating but surely it is the means to an end. It is simply a modern up to date sales tool replacing telesales, mailings etc. and like every sales tool it has to be measured to see how effective it is. But isn't the proof of any sales campaign the amount of business you win from it? There will be those out there who argue that a strong social media presence has brought them countless opportunities that otherwise might not have existed and I do not oppose that. However, having a high Kred rating doesn't necessarily mean you have high new business win scores- or does it? Am I missing the point totally??
And isn't it possible to have a high social media Kred score and yet have a low Street Cred score in terms of your experience, knowledge, influence and professionalism face to face with colleagues and clients, when you stand on your own two feet? Like any form of advertising it is possible to deceive the consumer.
The strapline used by Kred is 'We all have Kred somewhere'. Well my argument is that credibility is not measured through social media interactive scoring but through the service you actually deliver, on the ground, day in and day out to clients or customers. So you have a strong Kred rating, great but surely it is how you are perceived by clients, colleagues and customers based on your actual delivery of your promise that is important. A high Street Cred results in referrals and recommendation. It is how we procure 95% of our new clients.
So what is more important to measure Social Media Kred or Street Cred?