Stop, Collaborate and Listen.Posted by Michelle (Haschka) Wright on February 5, 2010 at February 5, 2010 3:22 PM
In the world of social media marketing (and early 90's rappers), it's easy to get caught up in finding more followers, sharing the latest app. and getting more mentions. But all the hype is pretty worthless if you don't remember one simple rule: be helpful. That was the theme of best-selling author and social media guru Chris Brogan's keynote on digital reputation management held at Best Buy's headquarters this week.
Brogan worked his way thorough the social media framework he advocates - listen, connect, and publish - and shared a number of insights along the way (based on content from his book Trust Agents).
I've had a little time to process the event and here are my top 5 insights from Brogan's presentation:
1. Be helpful.
Being helpful isn't about broadcasting. And it isn't about control. It's about listening.
To listen well, you need to listen bigger.Think of listening as a committed long-term relationship. It takes time and effort to keep the magic alive. You have to dive beneath the surface. Get to know what's really going on. Ask all those "getting to know you" questions and then dig deeper. Where do your customers hang out online? Who do they trust? What do they like to do? What do they like about you? What are their biggest challenges? What bugs them?
It's practically impossible to figure out how you can help someone when you haven't been paying attention to the problem. And luckily being helpful doesn't always mean you have to fix the problem.
Make it all about others.
Brogan shared a little rule of thumb: for every time you comment about yourself, make 12 comments about other people. Point someone in the right direction. Give props to a fan. Share a resource. Connect people. It's the little things that make long-lasting and meaningful connections.
If you're going to talk, say something useful.
Gone are the days of organizations relying on traditional media to spread the word about their products and services. Today, thanks to blogging tools, video platforms, photo sharing, etc., companies have the power to tell their own stories in new, unique, and low-cost ways. But just because it's cheap doesn't mean you should do it. Minimally, your stories need to be relevant to your consumers. If you really want to make a splash, you need to take the next step and write something that's actually helpful.
Keep in mind that you can make all the news you want but if you haven't connected with people willing to listen, you'll be talking to an empty room. Companies that have built a tribe of loyal followers have a unique opportunity to tell their own stories.
Make sure your helpers have the right tools for the job.
You wouldn't start building a house without talking to contractors, designers and inspectors and getting the proper permits. Nor should you dive into connecting and creating content via social media without making sure you've convened the right stakeholders and rolled out the proper policies.
Brogan didn't cover this piece, but it's an important one. Identify the people in your organization that will be affected by social media - it's probably people in marketing, public relations, HR, internal communications, IT, and legal (but it could be others like sales and manufacturing, depending on the goals of the program).
Once the group is solidified, bring them together to come up with a policy everyone can live with. For some companies, it's as simple as "don't be stupid." For others, it comes down to adjusting policies that are already in place. Getting the right folks involved and establishing ground rules early on will save headaches down the road.
How are you showing your customers that you're listening? Are you being helpful?
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Great post, Ice :) Chris Brogan is right on the money when he states that he states "first give, then ask". Your point of providing the right tools is dead on as well. We've all read about people getting fired for harming their company's reputation through social media. A simple "don't be stupid"-policy might have saved the company the trouble.
Posted by: Morten Juul at February 5, 2010 4:21 PM
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