Ever since Plurk 'suddenly' burst on the scene earlier this month, there's been debate over what value the site has. Obviously, it has a ton of 'fun' value for those of us that are almost addicted to the quirky site and the community of friends and users that we constantly bump into.
But for many of us that are looking at Plurk through a social media consultant's eyes, we have wondered if we could validate recommending Plurk to our clients? Simply put, is there value for businesses in being on Plurk?
For a while, I thought that, at least for now, Plurk didn't offer as much professional and business opportunities as its much bigger brother, Twitter did. But then I started to watch how Tim Jackson was using Plurk. I'd seen Tim use Twitter sparingly for the past few months, occasionally popping in for a few tweets, then disappearing for another week or so.
But with Plurk, Tim has dived in. He's constantly on the site, and it's clear that his popularity among Plurk users is skyrocketing. What I think is also happening is that as Tim becomes more popular, the affection the Plurk community has for him, bleeds over into positive feelings for Masi, his employer.
Often times Tim will mention on Plurk that he's working on a new post with pictures of Masi bikes. The response from Plurk users is to say that they can't wait to see the pics, and then they immediately go to his blog and comment as soon as he publishes the post. Other users have begun seeking him out for advice on what type of bike they should buy. I've even seen him promote a competitor's line.
The end result is that Tim, by being Tim, has established himself as a valuable member of the Plurk community. And he's also won the trust of his fellow members, and in the social media space, you cannot put a price on that. Tim is tapping into the ease of communication that Plurk's format gives, and is using it to create and build connections with other people.
And a byproduct of his growing influence on Plurk is that Masi's exposure grows. The fondness and trust that we have for Tim, likely begins to transfer to Masi.
Which is, of course, the beauty of social media. It's not about how you can use these tools to immediately impact your bottom line. It's not about how can you 'game' this space. It's about being authentic and understanding that IF you use these tools as we do, and for the same reasons as we do, that business growth WILL be a BYPRODUCT of your time spent in this space.
The question I'm wondering is, if you become a friend/fan of someone like Tim on a social site like Plurk, does that make you more or less likely to also feel better about their employer?
UPDATE: Per CallKathy's request, here's a link to Tim's Plurk profile so can get an idea of how he uses Plurk, and follow him (or laugh at his thumb).