GETTING SMARTER FASTER
A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant information and know-ledge with lightning speed. Because of this, markets are getting smarter – and getting smarter faster than what you’d like to believe.
These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in a language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether ex-plaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.
Through the Internet, people in your markets are discovering and inventing new ways to converse. They’re talking about your business, your organisation, your reputation. They’re telling one another the truth, in very human voices.
Reputation management these days is not about what you have to say about yourself but more on what others have to say about you. Your reputation is at stake, so manage it.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
By now everybody knows that if you aren’t utilizing social media, you simply aren’t communicating. Your messages simply aren’t getting through.
It is the 21st century. If you don’t realize what this means in the world of communications, chances are you belong to a remote tribe that’s just been discovered in the deep rain forests of the Amazon.
The meaning of this global trend is clear and the future is set. Social media is the landscape over which success is gained or lost. The only challenge with this is that social media is always changing. You’ve got to stay on top of it, and you’ve got to stay involved.
THE CORNERSTONE STRATEGY
The key that unlocks the door into this new world of communications involves maintaining a social website with a healthy dose of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Lnkedin all thrown in. They’re called ‘touchpoints’.
A social website is the cornerstone of this strategy. It is the hub for everything else you will be doing to engage your audiences. Social websites are blog-type publishing engine platforms expertly customised in creative ways to do your bidding. It is the space where you put everything in and where everything goes out. Think of it as your Grand Central Station.
Why employ a social website? It’s because loyalty is not a commodity you own. Where it exists, loyalty is based on respect. That respect is based on how well you are able to engage and conduct yourself in conversations with the market. Social websites allow visitors and followers to write in their comments and views too. And guess what? You can talk back!
THE KILLER APPS
Facebook has become that ubiquitous place where over half a billion people around the world simply “hang-out” or access it carrying their mobile phones throughout their day. Some people check it as much as they check their email or the hour of day. It keeps them on top of their customised personal world.
Therefore, meet them there and entice them over to your touchpoints on the Web where they can learn more information about you. It’s not enough to just have a profile or personal page. Now, a “fan” or “community” site is crucial to spreading your messages easily and widely.
Twitter is another behemoth in social networking circles. It is a space where you can broadcast real time updates and conduct personal interaction with your constituents and followers. Any message you want, any time of day, can be sent out to all of them. But, you won’t build a healthy following unless you engage and treat your followers with respect so avoid annoying them with senseless ‘tweets’ as most everyone else does.
THE INTERNET IS STRANGE
The Internet has strange and unexpected characteristics. We sometimes forget just how much the Internet has changed our lives, our communities, and our cultures. But for all its strangeness, the Internet actually reflects who we are as human beings better than the media it’s replacing or more precisely, the media it’s engulfing.
The Internet is not simply a medium to move a message quickly from your end to others. Unlike a telephone call, what we do on the Net acquires a quality of persistence. It sticks and it stays. It can be searched for years later. It is also linked. It constantly gets richer with content through layer upon layer of connections within that content.
Together, these characteristics make it something like a public square, yet it is much bigger than that. For unlike a public square, the Web is enriched every time someone posts a new page or idea, and every time someone links to that new page or idea.
The Web is about abundance. It produces an abundance of new ideas and even new ways of using the Internet. That abundance eventually compels you to think in new ways.
CHANNELS YOU CONTROL
The keyword in social media circles is authenticity. This means steady and consistent updates direct from the source, as well as interaction that is mean-ingful and not simply glorified gobbledygook.
So start conversing. How? Relax, have a sense of humour, find your voice and use it, tell the truth, don’t panic, be curious, be brave, play more, enjoy yourself, dream always, listen more and then engage.
People these days know the difference. They have instant access to information at their fingertips. What they want is information they can understand and relate to without the filter of traditional media trying to advertise or push you into buying something.
One reason traditional media has been fading is because people are reading news stories which they may already have read days or weeks ago on some-one’s blogsite, Facebook or Twitter – it makes traditional media forms redun-dant and stale.
What you want then is that when people Google your name their top results find you on all the social media channels that you control and have filled with fresh content.
You want to make sure that your message isn’t subverted by others who may be writing something about you and that you remain in control and take owner-ship of your communications strategy, core messages, and reputation.