by Richard Rowell, Article Writer for Hire
Have you ever thought about how likes, comments and shares on social media could be used as a form of currency? I certainly have! As it turns out, this has already been done before. One day, I found this article, Will Social Media Posts Become the New Currency? It was written in December 2014 in relation to an app called Chitter. The app still exists as recently as January 2018.
This mobile app uses “Chits” as a form of currency. These “chits” are special offers, money saving opportunities, incentives, or coupons available exclusively using said currency. It’s never really taken off, and the app couldn't find anything in my area at all. So as far as that goes, it’s a disappointment. But this article begs the question, can social media posts - sponsored or otherwise - actually become a viable currency of some kind?
I know that many companies offer incentives for re-shares and comments, mostly as giveaways. But social media has become such an important part of so many lives. I feel like we may be undervaluing it. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and other social media networks certainly know its worth. So how can we all better utilize it?
Awhile back, I wrote about how we can think of content as stock shares in our website. Contributor Phoenix Desertsong wrote about thinking of content as investment. Her main point was even if we only earn pennies a day from it, the small gains adds up. But how about social media investment?
Posts that “go viral” on Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media can do a lot of good. Of course, it’s not exactly easy for a post to “go viral.” People come up with all sorts of formulas for what makes a viral post. But that’s not what I want to get into today. I’m talking about making every post you make worth something.
Phoenix’s idea of a piece of content as a “penny stock” is a solid concept. Of course, a social media post is content, as well. So each like, comment, or share is considered an investment. When that social media update links to something else, it’s an even more valuable investment. Your updates and web-based content should be considered assets. But it’s not always easy to quantify just how much your website or social media page is actually “worth.”
I’m also not talking about “like for like” or “share for share.” Honestly, that just cheapens the whole concept of social media actions as currency. People always need to ask themselves, what will this do for someone? People really, really like free stuff, no matter what it is. That always does well, right? Well, there’s more to it than that. Photos and videos are some of the most valuable web content because most people are visual.
Every time someone likes, shares, or comments on something, it’s a sort of investment. A share is worth a lot more than a like. Comments are worth something in between a like and a share. Depending on the quality of the comment, some are near worthless and others are very valuable, especially ones that get up-voted. The more engaged people are with a given post, naturally, the better it does.
So how can we make social media updates work better for us? The Chit idea is one that I really like. There are plenty of sites that have tried to reward users for using social media, but it’s really more for market research purposes. As it is, social media sites use our updates for market research and that’s how they make the big bucks. So how do we as end-users get a piece of that? Is there a way to barter something like “chits” that can be used for everyone’s benefit?
How would a social media currency economy work? Would it be sort of a crypto-currency? There's that possibility. I love the idea of a currency like BitCoin driven by social media.
These days, many writers are paid on a per-page-view basis, usually by the thousands. Naturally, the more social media shares something has means it should garner more views. Obviously, your own shares count for something, too. So how do we quantify this to know what our posts are worth?
I’ve written before about figuring out what a website is worth using tools that claim to give you what it’s worth on the website buying-and-selling market. That’s a huge market, by the way. But I like to think on the micro-level.
It’s food for thought. At the moment, though, I don’t have any solid answers on how it would work. But it’s something to think about.
What do you think of social media actions as currency? Are there better ways we can utilize likes, comments, and shares for everyone’s benefit?
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