I am officially over the ever sought-after like, +, star, or what have you. Facebook, Google +, WordPress, Foursquare, your phony forms of interaction bore me and I vote have no relevance. Twitter, yours is ok. Not great, but an RT, much like a share, does indicate a certain attachment and actual interest in the information provided.
Why? I’m sure I’m not the only person out here to notice this, but most of those “interactions” are throw away gestures. If I show the picture below on almost any social network
I’m guaranteed oh, a lot of likes. Not because people actually like my dog. Don’t get me wrong, he’s cute, he’s dumb, and he’s mostly friendly, but you don’t know him from Lassie. You’ll just say “oh, cute puppy!”
When you like Dyson’s baby picture, you’re basically just reaffirming that you have a pulse. Not that you like dogs, want a dog, like puppies, want a puppy, want to learn more about dogs or puppies, how to train dogs or puppies, think dogs rule and cats drool, or even think he’s the cutest thing since… some other cute thing, you’re just the having the “cute puppy!” reflex.
As a marketer, what does that tell me? “Hey, my fans/followers/friends are all still alive and occasionally pay attention to what I post. Yay!”
Meanwhile, a share, a comment, or some other form of interaction can actually provide you with data. Let’s just make this simple and use Facebook as our example, shall we? As a page admin, you can see all public reshares of your posts. You can see what your fan/follower/friend even said when resharing it. As a Facebook user, when your friend likes something, it shows in your ticker. For all of 5-10 minutes, depending on how active your network is. When they comment? It can show in your news feed. When they share? It absolutely shows in your news feed, unless they didn’t want to share it with you.
This of course, is all dependent on each person’s privacy settings (stop laughing, there’s probably some privacy on Facebook. So what if it’s the same privacy ugly naked people have?) but by and large, the best way for your content to reach the largest audience possible, besides being laced with link/like/seo bait, is not with likes, +ses, stars, or any of the throw away gestures that some people think drives social media traffic. As with almost everything in life, it’s by real interactions.
Content has been called the king so often I’m waiting for it to want some sugar*, but content that garners interaction… well, since content is king, I guess interaction friendly content is the super king. Emperor just sounds pretentious. Why do you think many news services make you sign in with Facebook to comment on their articles?