Keepin’ it real re. Social Media… there is no magic formula

posted by Brendan Hodgson

Or is there?… but is it simply about finding the right combination of transparency, credibility, honesty and creativity all blended together with a dash of humility thrown in when it all looks as though it’s about to hit the fan?

Reading above, below, and between the lines at the Steve Rubel Mesh keynote on Tuesday, I admired the fact that, in his discussion about social media and blog outreach, Steve didn’t try to dish out the “BIG” insight, but rather willingly shared his common-sense views and experience based on being a first-hand witness to the good, bad and ugly of blog outreach.

Here’s a sampling of his thoughts and comments, supported by a few of my own:

1. Bloggers blog out of motivation – financial, personal or otherwise. Our job is to understand those motivations and tailor our approaches to feed into those motivations…

2. Blog outreach is not like media outreach. Where journalists tend to move onto the next story, the bloggers with whom you’ve developed trusted relationships will still be there, and should continue to be cultivated and engaged…

3. Blogs are but one piece of the communications pie. It may be getting an inordinate amount of attention right now, but it is still only one piece… the media is not going away. Face-to-face interaction is not going away. We must continue to exploit all channels to reach our target audiences…

4. As we look to measure blog outreach, we can’t just look at numerical data such as where a specific blog sits in Technorati’s blog rankings, or numbers of sites that link to that blog… We also need to explore the size and nature of the conversations that are started, and the examine the level of influence of a specific blogger given what they write about, how often, and how their networks respond to that content, and amplify it…

5. In many instances (certainly, from a political perspective), many bloggers are preaching to the already converted. In order to expand beyond that group, an organization must elevate their conversation. They must position their issue or product within the context of a ‘higher calling’.

6. Expect to make mistakes or to receive negative feedback (these are still early days yet)… However, so long as you remain transparent and considered in your responses, it should be possible to remain above the mud-slinging that may occur. Monitor constantly so as to be able to adjust your campaign when necessary, before a situation veers out of control.

BTW - my colleague, Niall Cook, in London recently posted an update on the blog outreach campaign he is running on behalf of LG. The more case studies like this that we can bring to bear, the better our chances of convincing clients of the merits of social media as a component of their outreach strategy. 

 

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