Social networking has completely changed the scope of communications forever. It saddens me, that some people just don't get it! They treat it as the new frontier of advertising… but that's not even close to what it is. It's a way to start, build and foster relationships. It's also a way to distribute information more effectively and efficiently than eMail or other Web 2.0 methodologies. In business, it's a way to build your brand to a whole new audience. But if you constantly talk about yourself, your products, or even worse… controversial topics, it can have the opposite effect. I teach in my classes… “Start talking politics or religion on social media, and you are sure to alienate at least 1/2 of your audience.”.
Crowdsourcing is a relatively new term. Wikipedia terms it as “Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call.” Can you imagine a crowd… talking about you… talking about yourself?
Last week was a clear example of that. In America, we usually only riot when our team wins. It seems in Canada, they do the opposite. My wife Kim, found this photo the morning after the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup – Game 7 Playoff. As soon as I saw it I shared it with the caption “Make Love… Not War”. What ensued was a lively discussion about the picture, whether it was staged or Photoshopped, and just some off-the-cuff funny musings. But the event itself was a significant Social Media story in it's own right.
In this article ‘SOCIAL NETWORKING PLAYS KEY ROLE IN VANCOUVER RIOT COVERAGE AND AFTERMATH', It talks about how the riots were sparked by social media. Then it goes on to say a newly created Facebook group banded together to do good. A post read, “Once the embarrassing rioting has ended in Vancouver, let’s all show the world what Vancouver is really about by helping rebuild and clean up so it’s better than it was before.”. So you can see that Social Media can be used for good and bad!
Some of my clients like Just Credit Solutions find the most success by following these three basic steps to effectively manage their Social Networking Crowdsourcing…
Post information that trains, informs and entertains. You have to search out links or information that would be engaging to your crowd. You have to imagine them talking about it (or even better) sharing it… crediting you as the source!
2) Join In
When people comment on your posts, comment back. If people take the time to interact with you, and you don't interact back… then are less likely to do it again (they think you are not listening to them)! Also take time to return the favor and comment or re-post interesting stuff from your crowd. Reciprocity is contagious!
3) Be Consistant
One of my Favorite movie quotes is “It's a fine line between clever and stupid”. If you only post once a week, are your relevant? If you post fifteen times a day, are you annoying? That completely depends on your audience and what they expect from you. My clients have the most success with posting between 1-2 time a day and taking time to comment back to their crowd!
Finally… if you need help with understanding this more, or need help setting up your Social Networking Strategy…
Bonus Video of the Week
Sometimes… Crowdsourcing can be fun!. Great Stuff… Enjoy!