Tuesday, April 1

Revealing Secrets: The "Mushup Strategy"

In the last few years, social media has experienced explosive growth. So given today’s date, we thought we would share the five top “proven” theories about social media and what companies really need to know. Here they are!

Five Steps To Powerful Social Influence.

1. Blogs are the new you. Forget personal image, professional skill sets, and products. Those are out. Blogs are in.

It doesn’t matter what you write about, just write about it as often as possible. Pictures, videos, discussion forums, and podcasts are all good to add too. The more technologies you can produce, the better.

In fact, encourage all your co-workers to start their own blogs and join social networks. It’s all about your online footprint.

If they don’t know what to say, remind them that the only real rule is never to write about anything your company does well, but always be personal and transparent about everything else. Personal problems at home, nasty customers, and any internal failings at the company are especially juicy topics that drive traffic. It’s all about the buzz.

Advanced Tip: Mentioning what you wear when you blog, on occasion, is always fun. If you write in the nude, definitely mention it. SEO helps drive traffic and “naked pics” is a powerful search term. Use it often for maximum effect.

2. Links help blogs thrive. Once you have a blog, focus on links. In fact, some people say that links are the single most important thing you can do. It doesn’t really matter who you link to, just link to them. The more the better, but never so many in one post that your link list is overtly obvious.

Five is a good round number, like this: Chris Brogan (Happy birthday, btw), Ike Piggott, Robert Scoble, Antony Berkman, Jason Falls.

See? It does not matter whether or not the links are relevant. Just link to them anyway. It will do two things: First, it encourages them to visit your blog so they know what you said about them. Second, if they are new bloggers, even better, as they will feel obligated to link back to you. Oh, and don’t forget those co-workers!

Advanced Tip: Every co-worker needs to link to every other co-worker. And, if you have more than one blog, don’t forget to link all those together. It all counts! I have 100 more blogs planned to launch tomorrow. Cool, I know.

3. Talk about other bloggers. That’s right. It’s important to encourage a conversation. In fact, if you can convince people to join a meme and “tag” other people to talk about someone else, even better. It’s the single best way to become the center of the conversation without being the conversation.

Again, it does not matter if those people are part of your target audience or not. Besides, everyone knows that companies spend too much time focusing on customers. Online, nobody really cares if anyone buys a product, reads your book, or goes to your movie. The click through is still king.

Just yesterday, Geoff Livingston posted a contrary viewpoint about this very subject, suggesting engagement is more important than conversation. That is complete nonsense.

Everybody knows that everyone talks about Paris Hilton. A few year ago, she won the coveted Razzie award for House of Wax. That award led to even more people talking about her and the movie they never saw! That’s a virtual goldmine if you ask me.

Advanced Tip: Of course, since most of us are not Paris Hilton, we have to work at it. Ask people what they think. Just keep in mind that while comments are good, links are better. Sometimes, you can even post about a comment, which will obligate the commenter to post about your comment post, giving you the comment, a link, and some more comments, which you can post about too, and then crosslink them to your other blogs and social network accounts.

4. Always tout your rank as influence. It is extremely important that you always report how many posts you make, how many comments you receive, what your Alexa score is, what your Google PR is, and where you stand on as many other ranking systems as possible. It makes you look very important.

That’s right. While it might be considered bad form to talk about your company, it’s perfectly okay to talk about anything that makes it look like you have the most talked about blog on the planet. And, if one of your ranks begins to fall, don’t worry about it. There is a solution.

If any social media measure begins to drop, simply denounce it as flawed. For example, if your Technorati rank falls, write about how that does not matter. Add “Boo!” at the end of the post for impact. This is a proven technique and a lot of top bloggers have done this. Technorati is the current favorite to denounce.

Denouncing rating systems does two amazing things. One, it makes you look cool, a virtual bad boy or girl swimming against the stream. Two, other people will link to you if their rank falls, because volume makes something real online. It gets better. In a few weeks, when everyone links to you about how your rank fell, your rank will rise again. So then, you can write another post saying how they fixed the system and you played a role. “Yeah!”

Advanced Tip: If you have some extra time, make your own algorithm of various ranking systems and call it a “Top Something” list. People will write about making your list, even if at least one measure is subjective. Flip a coin if you like. It doesn’t matter what that measure is as long as you never ever share it. People will even write posts about what it might be. Amazing!

5. Recap everything, invent terms, and link to “experts” who agree. Did you get all that? I hope so because details matter. Here they are again:

• Create as many blogs as possible.
• Link to as many other blogs as possible.
• Write about creating and linking, preferably when you are naked.
• Claim your successes but blame other people if it doesn’t work out.
• Recap, rename, and link some more.

I call these five steps the “Mushup Strategy,” mostly because mashup was already taken. And if you don’t believe me, here’s another “expert” opinion.

Advanced Tip: Disclaim everything you said.

April Fool’s. Hope you enjoy. Special thanks to Antony Berkman for the “link to yourself expert” idea and anyone else named for your sense of humor.


Geoff_Livingston on 4/1/08, 4:59 PM said...

Too funny! Happy April Fool's Day. I'm glad someone else figured out I was full of nonsense.

Rich on 4/1/08, 5:07 PM said...

Thanks Geoff,

Glad you enjoyed. Happy April Fool's Day to you too. Nonsense is in, baby. So you're in good company.


Jason Falls on 4/1/08, 5:55 PM said...

That part about links is bunk. People never see them and don't come to your site. Not sure what Rich was thinking. Heh.

Rich on 4/1/08, 6:00 PM said...


Thank you for coming by to set me straight. Ha!

All my best,

Anonymous said...

I have no complaints. I've stated quite firmly that Scoble belongs behind me in any list.

Rich on 4/1/08, 6:59 PM said...


See, I listen. That's not only influence, it's an opportunity to write "I beat Scoble on the Mushup list." :)


Chris Brogan on 4/2/08, 4:05 AM said...

hahahaha, very good, and I totally fell for it. : ) And yet, it's not entirely wrong now, is it?

Rich on 4/2/08, 10:15 AM said...

Right on Chris,

I suppose that depends on what you're wearing.



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