THE BLOG

How One New Feature Could Fundamentally Change Social Media

03/17/2015 05:46 pm ET | Updated May 17, 2015

I am a fan of the #AskGaryVee show. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it is hosted by Gary Vaynerchuk, social media thought leader and owner of Vayner Media. The concept is quite simple. Gary offers his social network the opportunity to ask him questions regarding social media, business practices and life in general. Viewers are encouraged to submit their questions using the hashtag "#AskGaryVee". I have not seen every episode, but when I do watch, I always come away with a new concept to test or a helpful social media tip.

Episode 74 aired back on February 24th, but something Gary said in this video stuck with me, and really encouraged me to think about what I am sharing across my various social networks. One of Gary's viewers, Spiker Helms, asked this question:

"If you created a social media platform, what would be the key feature and why? #askgaryvee"

Gary initially went on to talk about the ideal design for his platform. However, things got very interesting when he began talking about his key feature, which can be summed up in the following sentence:

"You can only speak once per day"

There is a surplus of content noise, and Gary argues that a 24-hour waiting period would cut down on this excess supply and require people to really think about what they are sharing. This rule may be hard to imagine in the context of a network that does not exist, but consider the implications on, for example, Twitter. If I send out a tweet today at 12 p.m., I would not be allowed to share another tweet until 12 p.m. the following day under the proposed "once per day" rule.

The three points listed below demonstrate how social media would fundamentally change if this new feature were applied.

1. 80/20 becomes at best 50/50

The 80/20 social media sharing rule refers to creating and distributing non-self-promotional content 80 percent of the time, including work from others, and self or brand-centric material only 20 percent of the time. It is hard to imagine, with a "once per day" speaking rule in place, the ratio of self-promoting material staying at just 20 percent. Let's look at an example:

Say you create four pieces of content per week, which equals 208 per year. You are only allowed to speak 365 times during the year, which means if you want to promote all of the content you poured your heart and soul into, 57 percent of your posts would already be reserved.

That being said, due to the reciprocal nature of social networking, sharing content from others and engaging with your network remains essential. If you are not sharing the work of others, you cannot expect your work to be shared by others. What changes is the significance and value behind someone else sharing your work or taking the time to engage with you. As Gary says in his video, receiving a "Happy Birthday" wish from someone becomes very special because that person used up the one opportunity to speak for the next 24 hours on a birthday greeting.

2. A boom for the analytics industry

If I am only allowed to share one piece of content per day, I am firstly going to make sure that I am sharing when the majority of my target audience is online. This has always been important, but knowing your "best time to share" becomes essential to success. Furthermore, I am going to want to know exactly how my shared content performed. Did someone use one of their valuable shares in order to redistribute my content? How many impressions did my content receive?

Yes, analytics are important today, but I could imagine people investing more money and time in tools that provide answers to these, and many other essential questions.

3. No need for automation

I completely understand the benefits of automating social media activity, especially when trying to connect with and promote material to people across the globe. That being said, in my opinion, automation has in some cases been taken to the extreme, leading to 50, 60, or even 100 shares per day from an individual. I don't care what ratio is being used (80/20, 50/50); this excess sharing is contributing to the overwhelming noise of content available to social media users.

The worst part is, despite sharing 50 times per day, automation makes it possible to share without even logging on to the platform. If my best time to share is at 4:00 in the morning, I would set my alarm and make sure I push that share button, because after all, I would only be able to do this 365 times per year. This new rule would, in essence, bring "excess-automaters" back to the actual social platform.

Closing Words

The notion of only being allowed to speak once per day on a social media platform was new to me, and really made me think about my current sharing strategy. I was able to pull five great reminders from this short #AskGaryVee clip that are applicable to today's "unlimited" content sharing platforms:

  1. Quality trumps quantity
  2. Know your audience
  3. Show your network you care
  4. Think before you speak (share)
  5. Be valuable, not noisy

What do you think about Gary's proposed social media feature of "one piece of content per day per person"?