5 More Thought Provoking Future Buzz Comments (May, 2011)
Yet the reader comments here continue to be extremely thought provoking and worth sharing a sampling in case you missed them.
I’ve also noticed a few other blogs starting to do this which is great. If you have a vibrant community, their comments are very relevant as content that can be fed back or at least highlighted to all your readers.
And now the comments:
Your point about how the open web is not going away and the companies relying mostly on social outposts with micro content versus a hub bears repeating.
In Steven Levy’s great book, In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, an early passage explains how the PageRank algorithm leveraged and recognized the web’s linked network based on hubs and spokes.
To Larry Page, this linked structure is “what makes it all recursive.” He describes PageRank as: “Who links to you and who you link to determines how good you are. It’s all a big circle.”
That’s why building reputable, online authority requires substantive, long form content. Long form channels you describe accomplish this objective (i.e., a blog and a commenting strategy to build relationships with other reputable bloggers).
The time investment required to build reputable relationships with other bloggers and create your own content is substantial (it is for me). And, that long-term, time investment provides the foundation to sustainable success if your objective is to establish your company or yourself as a reputable media asset.
I think everyone needs to stop making these outlandish statements about everything being dead all the time. It’s like they just want to write these provocative titles for posts just so people will click. The internet is dead! Social media is dead! My fish is dead! Well, my fish *is* dead, but all these things are constantly evolving, and just because something changes doesn’t mean that it’s dead. Also, you’re right, this crap about blogs and social media doesn’t even make any sense. It seems like most people don’t understand what “social media” really is, so that’s part of the problem. And I agree, you’re in social regardless of whether you want to be or not. People are talking about you no matter what. It’s just a question of whether or not you’re listening.
“There’s more hustle required: it’s no longer just about your big news or huge ad campaign. In a fragmented media society it’s the stuff in between that starts to matter more.”
I couldn’t agree more. And I think this is something that is too often forgotten. Each day, consumers, who are busier and more ADD than ever, are confronted with news and advertisements in every which form.
In order to really penetrate your audience, your message(s) should be consistent and reiterated. Brand leaders need to maintain dialogue. A company’s audience needs to feel that it actually cares—cares about its publics, not just about formulating buzz.
Your tips on staying/becoming relevant are spot-on. Spending time with your audience and engaging in two-way communication are essential. I think new media is an invaluable tool to foster this communication. New media is part of “the stuff in between” that can really have an impact on your audiences. And it is a heck of a lot cheaper than the “big news” or a “huge ad campaign.” I also believe it offers and authenticity that events and campaigns do not.
As you pointed out, you can find your audience and spend time with them just by reading the blogs they are reading, and listening and participating in the social networks they use. New media can also provide feedback and comments, and it enables the company to tell its side of the story.
Most organisations I’ve worked in have ample access to data and, usually, spend at least some time a month producing a report for senior management to skim over.
The real issue is not access to that data, as between google analytics, webtrends, nielsens etc you have all the data you’ll ever need. The real issue is being willing to take time to do more with the data than produce a report that shows your pageviews slightly increasing every month (and yes, I’ve worked in places where others have fudged the figures or ignored inconvenient data so the report would look good).
Getting out of “to-do list” mode and taking time to understand what the data is telling you and then using it to inform content creation, measure audience engagement and (shock horror) perhaps to even remove some of the “sacred cow” content areas of the site that people don’t care about or which are costing the business to maintain but aren’t performing. This is where the data really starts informing business decisions.
Website analytics are the most overlooked area for business improvement and hold an absolute goldmine of data. Laziness and fear, in my opinion, are the only things stopping us from harnessing their full power.
The age of protecting your intellectual property is almost over, businesses or people who cling to that old idea will change eventually or expire. We are reaching the age of ethics and so the age of collaboration. What we will try to collectively achieve is far more important than making a buck. And, I haven’t seen convincing proof that being overprotective makes you any more sustainable or thriving than sharing.
image credit: Jacqui Martin from Shutterstock