Over the last five years, dozens of bloggers have pinpointed four of the most critical elements — content, engagement, participation, community — for a "successful" and sustainable social media program. And yet, only a few of them understand that none of these elements exists in a bubble. They have to work together, plus one more.
Three out of five of these posts touch on what can easily be considered the fifth element, best defined as a mix of innovation and leadership. Listening to some social media experts, you might miss it as they tend to drone on about being submissive to consumers. These authors, on the other hand, get it right. At some point, you have to lead.
The other two posts are perfect examples, as they take the lead in dispelling two common social media myths: that extensions like blogspot, wordpress, and typepad are always bad and affiliate marketing does not always have to be considered evil. At the same time, you might also take away that content, engagement, participation, community, and leadership/innovation trump whether or not you have a blog extension or participate in an affiliate marketing program.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of May 17
• Don't Just Show Up (Participation), Step It Up (Innovation).
Christina Kerley calls it right when she writes that communicators ought not to be overly dazzled by the various platforms that serve up content on the Web. They are innovation, but the creation, content, and communities applied to the space can be equally innovative. Participation is always an excellent first step to understand an existing online community, but it requires more than participation from marketers to shine.
• Affiliate Marketing And Its Bad Reputation.
"Affiliate marketing had a bad reputation, the history of which seems to echo forward," writes Chris Brogan. "A lot of the blogging crowd, especially those with a PR background strongly dislike the use of affiliate marketing." The conversation stems in part from the age-old argument of just how much editorial needs to be separated from advertising, with Brogan falling on the pro-affiliate marketing side with proper disclosure. Public relations hates it sometimes because they like to get ink free.
• A First-Ever Look At The Top Blogger.com Wordpress.com & Typepad.com Blogs.
Jason Falls provides an in-depth review of various subdomains, blogs which have an extension attributed to the online software that powers them. (This blog did for years, until a few weeks ago). In reviewing the various top blogs that still retain their extensions, it seems extensions have little bearing on cumulative Postrank engagement scores as opposed to the size of the audiences that authors reach.
• 10 Ways To Be Referential.
Referential means containing a reference or pointing to and involving a referent. And Adam Singer provides 10 ways to become a referent, including being consistent within a topic field, taking a lead position in conversations, and sharing little known ideas or accepting an unpopular view. His tenth point is the best for bloggers: analyze and contextualize the information from your unique vantage point. The next fresh pick provides the example.
• 10 Things Julius Caesar Could Have Taught Us About Business, Marketing, Leadership.
By blending his own views and history with an emphasis on quotes and concepts from Julius Caesar, Olivier Blanchard delivers an entertaining and engaging piece of prose that still makes sense of the average business person or blogger today. The second point, that people want to be led and not controlled, is especially timely. There are plenty of people — business owners, executives, and even parents — who have a difficult time understanding the difference between the two. Blanchard and Caesar help put it into perspective.