Well, as you all know who read this blog, I am a Cluetrainian. This means I believe that anyone who spends their time and talent online are online influencers and potential important brand ambassadors. Marketers balk with visions of lost dollar signs, especially when the in-house social media communications professional generally balances email newsletter, traditional PR and site copy. Marketers forget that influencers aren’t necessary partial to the brand, with the loyalty of a salary or paycheck. They may, shocker, actually be genuinely interested in the topic.
Leveraging the brand’s equity to build one’s own brand is common, a fame narcotic if you will. While I encourage each one of my colleagues to build their own brand equity I need them to maintain egalitarian and democratic values when engaging online on behalf of clients. I don’t want them to lose their tone and voice, I just want them to filter it depending on the audience.
Don’t know where to start? Well, I know for a fact that there’s a guy in Brazil who will hook you up with thousands of Brazilian tweeters almost immediately for a fee. That’s somewhere to start. Once you’ve bought your online friends, you have to deliver the je ne sais quois to keep them. If you suck, are salesy, don’t tweet or post very often, are selfish, don’t play games or bait conversation, don’t give til it hurts, even all of these thousands of purchased followers will start unfollowing you almost immediately.
It is sort of like being an opening act to U2: you might have 30,000 folks who didn’t come to see you who are there to see Bono but there’s no guarantee that they’ll ever buy your album. There’s every reason they should but you really could make a mess of it — if they don’t, it is your fault as they were your customers to lose. Same thing with buying followers and likes. If the targeting is completely off, if you suck as a host, or if you’re boring or rude, they’re gone — at least the real ones are.
Stated simply, the state of the art in social media is still bespoke, based on old models of public relations where each particular PR agent has a Rolodex and that card represents years and years of personal relationships . Very precious and personal connections, formed and tempered over time, built on trust.
And, this very same framework has been mapped directly into social media where many agencies and companies spend all of their time taking their current 25 mainstream media contacts and 25 social media contacts to dinners at Mortons. There’s not enough budget or time to prospect much further or deeper than that.
Which is a sincere pity.
How can one take an old PR model that only concerns itself with an easy-to-manage elite core of gate-keeping journalists, publishers, and broadcasters and map that onto a new media model? A model that could potentially include anyone and everyone who should decide to commit to starting blogging. Producing content for online consumption, resulting in becoming an online influencer. It’s like the circle of success.
In this theory of everyone, in this theory of long tail digital PR outreach and engagement, it is essential to find viable ways of 1) discovering everyone — because there are potentially a lot of people that show up in your net when you’re being inclusive and indiscriminate 2) keeping that list up-to-date as blogs are launched and shuttered every day.
- How to go from student to master of your domain (socialmedia.biz)
- Questions any public relations pro you pay must be able to answer (agbeat.com)
- Top PR & Social Media Trends for 2013 (2communicateblog.wordpress.com)
- Finding your audience (ccadgc.wordpress.com)
- What’s Your One Goal With Social Media? Proceed From That Point (prnewsonline.com)
- PR predictions for 2013 (publicrelationssydney.com.au)