Sunday, May 23

Finding Freshness: Fresh Content Project

Maybe it's because I've worked with this medium for so long, but some of my colleagues who are still learning social media basics tend to ask me for tips, tactics, and best practices so they can fake their way around the application. Sometimes I give them a few answers to address their most immediate needs. It's hard not to as an instructor, and I sincerely want them to succeed whether we're working together or not.

However, I have to confess I'm not always fond of the questions. Almost all of the them have to do with attracting more attention. They long for eyeballs and are willing to take shortcuts with lower price points to do it. I'm not surprised. If they made an investment, they'd know most of the answers to their questions already exist. If it is not among the thousand plus posts I've penned here over the last five years, then certainly among the hundreds of communicators I skim for fresh content daily.

Here are five more answers to such questions, and almost none of them have to do with attracting eyeballs. You see, when you know what you're doing with social media and understand where it fits within the context of strategic communication, "finding eyeballs" becomes the least concern.

Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of May 10

Clever Retailer Use Of Blogging
People often wonder how to attract more attention to their social media efforts. Adam Singer does a great job providing the easiest answer — do something. He doesn't mean "do something" as in find more friends on Facebook. He means do something offline and then write about it online. And the example he shares comes from a Chicago retailer, who takes pictures of people taking pictures of his dog.

Five Reasons Why This Blog Is A Failure
Julien Smith, coauthor of Trust Agents with Chris Brogan, tells Mitch Joel why Six Pixels of Separation isn't as popular as Brogan's blog. Among the reasons? Smith says Joel peers too far into the future, isn't controversial enough, writes too much content, and fails to connect to the everyday person. Not surprisingly, those are all the reasons we read Joel's blog. Ho hum. Popularity is never an anectode for developing the right audience.

• The Slow Decline of Social Media and the Rise of Common Sense
Kyle Flaherty wasn't really calling the for the death of social media. What he was recognizing was that all advents in communication eventually lose some the enthusiastic charm and become part of the overall plan. There's nothing wrong with that. In the effort to make social media a "more respected function of business," we need to sacrifice the "set of caricatures trying a little too hard to defend the practice."

The Myth Of The Viral Video
When Arik Hanson takes a hard look at viral videos, he takes a very hard look at them. Sure, nobody can resist feeling good after capturing tens of thousands or millions of eyeballs, but then what? Do companies that rack up millions of hits for producing catchy content truly capture as many customers? Probably not. There is certainly a sweet spot, somewhere in the middle, where you can be true to your brand and still resonate with key audiences.

Facebook's About Face On Conversation
There are scores of posts on the subject of Facebook, but Valeria Maltoni did the best job at succinctly capturing the essence of the developing story. Facebook is steadily building a corporate culture of unconcern in regard to how it treats its customers. Right now, it might work well enough because Facebook has captured enough mass to "feel" like it is the market. However (although not mentioned in Maltoni's post), we seem to remember another company that was once so big it could call all the shots and abuse members. That company was America Online.

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