Is your reputation based on popularity?

Last week I wrote about how I was rethinking the whole influencer thing and I wanted to explain what I meant. Actually what I meant can be explained in the title of this post, but I’ll expound just a bit more.

Because of the nature of today’s media and how it is packaged and produced, there has never been a larger premium placed on popularity. Unfortunately, because of that, authority loses out. So what happens? Reputations  are rooted in results  that emanate from the right media channels, total number of views, high follower numbers, saying the right thing at the right time, or  just not being vetted properly.

For example, someone that we should look to for trust, authority, leadership, knowledge and guidance, might lose out to someone like this…

Thus you and I may be putting value on something that may be a “Knock-Off”.  You know what a knock off is? The $10 item that looks like the real $500 one. No one knows the difference, unless you start to really “look”.

So how does one build a solid reputation in the social media world? How do you become a trusted source of information, a treasured resource, a valuable asset?  Maybe you can answer the question if we pull the term social media off the board. Pick any industry you want. Take the media out of the equation. How do you assign trust, leadership and knowledge?

How is it assigned to you?

You build it over time. It’s cultivated over time. It’s earned. Don’t treat your online relationships as commodities and don’t base the relationship you create on arbitrary numbers. And don’t let it define how you are perceived. You wouldn’t do it offline, so why do it online? If you want to be a difference maker in social media, it first starts with making a difference; and not with having more followers, friends and fans.

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