This post is, at its core, about the power of linked people who, when acting together, can roar. “Obscure” social communities can exercise their influence in a powerful way by creating culture in their own space. This “linked” influence has the potential for effective change.
“A linked group of users can also create a positive feedback loop. Passionate online fans famously helped revive TV’s Family Guy after it was initially canceled by Fox, while Arrested Development may get a second life as a movie because of Internet fan support. Earlier this year, one ardent fan of Betty White, David Mathews of San Antonio, launched a campaign on Facebook to get the octogenarian actress invited to host Saturday Night Live. Hundreds of thousands of people joined in with their support. ‘I didn’t know what Facebook was,’ White said during her monologue on May 8. ‘Now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it seems like a huge waste of time,'” so says Fast Company’s fascinating article “The New Faces of Social Media” in the November 2011 issue.
Just as businesses have historically paid heed to industry trade publications and newsletters, so too must they now familiarize themselves with the bloggers that intersect their industry. Michael Hyatt, Seth Godin, Jason Fried, Tim Ferriss, Freakonomics, and Techdirt are but a tiny sample of the new social voices, when linked together, create a roar.
Mark Borden says, “Perhaps the most influential specialists are the sites and bloggers that cover social media itself. Often described as the Brad Pitt of social media, 25-year-old Pete Cashmore is the founder and CEO of the website Mashable. That position led to the Scotsman’s being declared the world’s most influential person on Twitter in a 2009 poll.
As a blogger and editor, Cashmore has an intuitive understanding for online storytelling that not only attracts more than 30 million monthly page views for Mashable but has also made the site profitable. What he believes sets Mashable apart from traditional news outlets: ‘Social media is about engagement and interaction,’ he says. ‘It’s more about community and posing the question, rather than having all the answers.'”
So, in the spirit of not having all the answers, and sincerely wanting to engage you (my social community), I posit these initial 5 steps to creating a “roar” by utilizing social networks. Please add clarification, correction, conversation and most importantly community to make these 5 steps better and also feel free to add more steps as needed.
5 Steps To Creating a “Roar” By Utilizing Social Networks
1. Make the message clear. A message that focuses on the diversity of the objective rather than the value it can bring to your network is not the way to be heard. Make sure your message clearly states the purpose and what makes you unique.
2. Analyze your network response. Which of your blog posts are most popular? Why? Which of your Tweets are retweeted most? Why? Which of your Facebook updates are most commented upon? Why? Before long, a composite picture begins to emerge. What does your raving fans and supporters look like? Who are they? What do they like? What do they hate? What are they passionate to talk about?
3. Understand the rhythm of your social networks. It is imperative to understand the natural ebb and flow and attention span of your social networks. For example, I have learned that weekends are not the time to unveil a new objective. Monday mornings seem dead as everyone is frantically trying to catch up. Friday is a slow day in my network. What is the rhythm of your social network? Analyze and use this data to sense when networks are ready to make something spread. Look at how people are engaging with your content and then send them to the stuff that inspires more action and more sharing.
4. Become a curator. The web is a world of radical discontinuity. In other words, it is changing so fast, most of us can’t keep up. There is so much information—and conflicting points of view—that curators who spotlight what’s important have a particularly strong impact. Rose, the Digg founder, created a system where the most-read content is pushed to the top of the Internet news cycle. Kawasaki’s Alltop is what he calls an “online magazine rack” of selected topics on the web. Jack Dorsey’s Twitter platform allows users to communicate in both a one-to-one fashion and one-to-many. In the process, Twitter creates a world of everyday curators.
5. React quickly. When you feel that “second-sense,” that “intuition,” that “hunch,” that something is a big deal. It probably is. Act on it. Decisively and promptly. You don’t necessarily have to be the first person in the world to react—but you should be the first person in your social network. As the old adage goes, “Timing is everything.”