August 7th, 2013

speaker, coach, consultant

Original social media

I've migrated my RSS from Google Reader to Feedly. At the moment, I try to check my feeds twice a day. One thing is clear. There is no shortage of social media material. I won't regale you with all the types of content, but they roughly fall into the following:

  1. Industry news

  2. New platforms

  3. Marketing

  4. PR

  5. Sales

  6. Passive income

  7. Content curation

I used to share a lot of this material but I decided, at the start of 2013, to focus on my own stuff and only share if it had import beyond the attention grabbing headline. You won't be surprised to learn that my 'other' shares have been on the wane!

The thing is, I'm not sure you have to read the vast quantities I consume, but there's little point in reading this material, however bland, if you don't do something with it. In my case, I feel that my role has changed. In the early days of social media, I thought my role was to keep everyone abreast of the latest changes in the market, not, perhaps, to the same extent or brilliance as Robert Scoble but at least so that there could be no excuse of the significance of one platform or methodology over another. Nowadays, I see my position as more of an educator/facilitator. Perhaps more than that to change behaviour so that those stuck on the fence are willing to do more than just sit, watch and wait for the right moment to engage.

Take something like blogging. I'm making inroads in helping those who want to blog using mixed media. I think the penny has at last dropped. As to the wholesale adoption of social media, it's slow going. There is a lot of talk but not a lot of action. In fact, the basic tenet that I espouse, namely to align the goals of the business with social media activity gets ignored more often than I care to mention. I challenge every owner, director and partner to look at their latest business plan or financial goals and see how closely, if at all, their social media implementation is aligned.

Even if social media can be classified as generational - I remain to be convinced - please start thinking how you can create your own memorable, interesting, newsworthy content, rather than defaulting to commentating or syndicating someone else's. In the early days there was this expectation that if you shared someone else's material they would reciprocate. I'm not sure how healthy that is in and of itself; but more than that if you’re not producing original content, how can they?

The challenge therefore is to set aside time for creation. This will undoubtedly mean you have to unplug from most if not all of you social media platforms which are a big fat distraction when you want to connect with your daemon. And this has to become a habit - same place, same time and same level of focus.

If you are committed to social media then none of this should be a great ask. Even if you only manage to produce one quality blog post a week, you will be doing a lot better than most. Two... who knows? You may just find that you grow an audience that, in time, is willing to hear you speak or pay for your content.

Here's to you. The artist.


speaker, coach, consultant

No more than a blog

I could be utterly wrong, but why do you need to focus on anything other than a blog to make your dent in the Universe?

For a while, I've espoused the need to maintain no more than five social media platforms; but perhaps I've got it wrong.

For me, having followed numerous (social media) people for the last few years, I don't see a whole host of original content. My suspicion is that if they had fewer platforms to play around with, they would have to make more of what they had. In particular, they might have to consider something more original than commentating on what is trending or making headlines elsewhere.

From a personal perspective, I'm probably stretched too thin, but I've been focused enough to know when enough is enough. I have, for instance, not adopted Vine, Path or Quora (I have an account but don't use it). Also, some platforms, like Google+, get increasingly less of my attention.

I remain convinced that blogging combined with audio and video is the way forward. In short, to think like a publisher.

Perhaps now is the time to go back to basics, focus and ask yourself what is it that you expect to get out of social media.

More is not better. It's just more.

Below is my Soundcloud recording where I expand on this topic in greater detail.

In summary, go look at your content and ask yourself how much of it is suitable for a blog. If you don't have one then try Wordpress, Livejournal, Typepad, Blogger or Tumblr. They are all excellent platforms that give you the connection that you are seeking.


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