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Earning and Spending Your Social Dollars

If you haven’t read my “Building and Banking Your Social Dollars” posts over at the MyBlogLog blog yet, go ahead and read it because this post builds on the “social dollars” you’ll accrue and how best to use it.

A lot of people think “money” is the big thing that will give you freedom in life.

That’s not the case.

Think “social influence”.

The most powerful man in the free world, the President of the United States, makes about $200,000 a year from what I’ve heard…yet he’s able to invade other countries, cut off the oil supply to countries he doesn’t like. I’d say that this social influence is way out of proportion to his salary.

Although guys like Richard Branson, Donald Trump and Warren Buffett are probably making about a thousand times more than George W Bush, their social influence is much less. Their ability to shape reality is much more limited.

Let’s look at another example of “social power”, Steve Jobs isn’t in the same category as some of the tycoons, but his social cachet in dreaming up the iMac and the iPods give him unprecedented social power in shaping popular tastes (About 9 out of every 10 MP3 players sold is now an iPod).

On the Internet Marketing arena, you’ve heard me bandy the terms “social traffic” and “social networking” about. Is it the same as Web 2.0? some have asked.

On the surface of it, it looks similar, the Web 2.0 (or social media guys) use Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Craigslist, forums – these are the same tools I use.

Where we differ however, is my focus on the “inner game” of Internet Marketing.

Social power can be simplified in the following manner: You are either an influencer OR a follower.

Influencers tell you to do something, and you’re likely to do it.

Is this the same as power and authority?

Not quite – authority is something that’s given to you because you’re a police officer or a judge or a senator, social power is conferred, it’s informal, and at the same time it can be more powerful than formal power.

Are you lost yet?

A lot of people think they understand social marketing/social power, and they think it has to do with email or site spamming, but it’s actually a whole lot more than that.

I’m planning to get a speaking slot at Affiliate Summit West, where I’ll talk more about the inner game of Internet Marketing.

14 comments on Earning and Spending Your Social Dollars

  1. Ruck
    September 6, 2007 at 2:01 pm (4976 days ago)

    Very inspiring Andrew,

    Pretty much covers all the points on kind of why I stopped putting the hammer down on sites like Myspace and Craigslist. Wish I could make the Affiliate Summit to hear more about this, but hopefully you will throw some breadcrumbs out there :)

  2. Nenad Ristic
    September 6, 2007 at 2:21 pm (4976 days ago)

    Interesting article, and it does make a lot of sense. I think that money is overrated as a measure of power (after a certain limit, a lot lower than most people think)… social influence is important… Wish I could make the affiliate summit, but nobody seems willing to pay for my plane ticket.

  3. BeachBum Michael
    September 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm (4975 days ago)

    I never thought of social marketing as a fdorm of power. looking at the top blogs on MyBlogLog I see how they could influence others to take action.

    Which is better power or money? Could Donald Trump pay The President to do something?

    BeachBum Michael

  4. Andrew Wee
    September 6, 2007 at 10:02 pm (4975 days ago)

    No worries, you can look forward to some interesting stuff coming up.

    The affiliate summit is in Vegas in Feb next year, and you’ll find that your time spent there will be well worth it.

  5. Andrew Wee
    September 6, 2007 at 10:04 pm (4975 days ago)


    I pay for my own ticket too.

    It takes some enlightenment to see beyond the cost alone to realize the benefit you’d get…

  6. Andrew Wee
    September 6, 2007 at 10:11 pm (4975 days ago)

    Hi Michael,
    Social influence, and by extension, social marketing is more than just a popularity contest which is what rankings tend to be.

    If you’re popular, you can get people to take action.

    If you’re unpopular, you might get even more people to take action.

    social influence is not related to popularity, which is fickle and changes from day-to-day (and sometimes hour-to-hour on the Internet – go look at the technorati top tags for example).

    As to whether power or money is better, you can find the answer reading the post again.

    Hint: neither “power” or “money” is better because there’s something even “better”. it’s mentioned in the post.

  7. Chris Jacobson
    September 6, 2007 at 10:35 pm (4975 days ago)

    I’ve been using social sites to promote for a while now, except for Facebook. I don’t want it to turn into another MySpace, which is overloaded with spam by internet marketers who don’t quite know what they’re doing.

  8. Amit
    September 7, 2007 at 9:35 am (4975 days ago)

    Hi Andrew,

    Great Post! Social power is indeed very real. Look at top blogger like John Chow, and Shoemoney. There are many internet marketers out there who make more than them, however, they don’t have ANYWHERE near the social power that these individual have.


  9. Cay Cole aka Jael @ WF
    September 8, 2007 at 5:46 am (4974 days ago)

    Andrew, I tried the link at the top of this article to see the Bloglog posts. Appears to be not functioning. I’ll go try to find it another way, but you might want to fix it when you have time.

    Looking forward to hearing more and making it to my first ever affiliate summit (Feb!)

  10. Cay Cole aka Jael @ WF
    September 8, 2007 at 5:48 am (4974 days ago)

    Andrew, I tried the link to the bloglog posts and not having any luck making it work. I’ll go look for it another way, but thanks for mentioning it here so we can go learn more.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you and my first ever affiliate summit (Vegas!)

  11. Rakesh Raina
    September 10, 2007 at 9:39 am (4972 days ago)

    I am a little lost/confused.
    Firstly you say president is more powerful than trump; later you say that ‘having power’ and ‘given power’ are not the same! Maybe I am dumb!

  12. Andrew Wee
    September 10, 2007 at 10:53 am (4972 days ago)

    Tks for bringing this up. The link has been fixed. [It was a technical issue from typepad]

  13. Andrew Wee
    September 10, 2007 at 4:14 pm (4972 days ago)

    Good question.

    btw, a person is “dumb” only if they don’t understand something and keep quiet about it. The fact that you’re clarifying something you don’t understand means you have a desire to understand.

    Authority is an example of “having power”. You get the power because of your title/position – eg. a general in the army, a congressman in the senate.

    Social power is a form of conferred power – people give you the power. The key is that the “people” are involved, and it’s given to you. Social power can come together with a position (like a well-liked US president like Bill Clinton, JFK or Ronald Reagan), or it can come independent of a formal title or beyond what the power associated with that title might typically give. would typically give. Examples of this might include Mother Theresa, Princess Diana of Wales, Gandhi, Bono (of U2) and Angelina Jolie. They all punch above their weight.

1 Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Earning and Spending Your Social Dollars

  1. Trip Around the Blogosphere 9-9-2007 | Pajama Professional
    September 10, 2007 at 9:19 am (4972 days ago)

    [...] kicking off this round-up with Andrew Wee’s post on earning and spending your social dollars. Andrew has become a regular on these trips because, like the other guys (and yes, they are mostly [...]

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