Monday, December 14, 2009

Louis Gray Video - Part 2

The more social media becomes a buzz phrase, the more overwhelming and confusing it can become--particularly for businesses. Should they set up a Facebook fan page? Go on Twitter? Blog? All of the above? And what about communities?

In this video, social media consultant Louis Gray breaks it down to a simple, three-stage process for rising above the noise and reaching customers through social media. He offers an antidote to the panic-mongering and hype that some so-called social media experts are peddling--instead offering clear, down-to-earth advice for real businesses in the real world.

Louis Gray on Participating in Social Media from Sunshine Mugrabi on Vimeo.


Mary E.Carey said...

Nice presentation and you're right, it's reassuring because it squares with my own amateur observations.

Sunshine said...

You're not an amateur, Mary. You have a lifetime of media experience. But anyhow glad you enjoyed it. Louis is a very smart guy--I suggest subscribing to his blog:

Tony Asaro said...

A very interesting video and I agree with a lot of what Louis is saying. There are a few things that I have observed with social media:

1. Actually adding a ton of blog entries doesn't necessarily drive up traffic. I find that it takes time for readers to come around and when I put up a new blog they ignore the older entries. In other words, it might take over a week for someone to get around to reading your latest blog. My percentages of viewers on a blog entry goes way up within 7 to 10 days after posting.

I know my own behavior is to not read a blogger that creates too much content - it gets overwhelming. I just don't have that much time to read al that stuff.

2. Louis advises that you don't go negative. I understand the value of this but I also don't think we should all pretend to be something that we are not. I don't believe that the blogging community should all be politically correct and overly polite. How boring. I am okay with heated discourse but personal attacks are ridiculous. I have gotten into hard dialog with some of my critics but only after they crossed a line. I personally won't tolerate certain things and will push and hit back. But that is who I am and I encourage any writer to be themselves.

3. I am not sure that you necessarily need to be everywhere your competitors are. Instead I think you need to develop a social media strategy that is proactive with you setting the rules - versus letting your competitors dictate your tactics and mission.

4. And finally, Louis discusses quality over quantity in terms of readership- making sure you have the right people reading your content versus a large number of people that may or may not be relevant. But therein lies the rub - who is relevant? I find that so much of IT social media is actually industry talking to industry.

This is an important point - what are you trying to accomplish and who is your audience? Creating the content is one thing but if you are a vendor you need to figure out strategies on how to get it to your relevant audience.

Sunshine said...

Good observations, Tony. This is part of what fascinates me about social media--it seems that there are rules that work. And then someone else is able to turn around and essentially follow a completely different set of rules and succeed by those! I also see some points of connection here in that both of you are talking about thinking in terms of benefiting the client, rather than being driven by personal agendas or other less-than-useful motives.

In any case, it's good to know that we've hit on some central questions around social media here. May the conversation continue!

Louis Gray said...

Sunshine, thanks again for the time and posting these up. Always good to connect.

Tony is a smart guy, so I listen to what he says.

1. Tony is 100% right in terms of saying that a massive amount of blog entries doesn't drive traffic. For me, personally, after two years of daily blogging, I just barely broke 200 subscribers. That I am at 20,000 now (with some number fakery, no doubt) is a big surprise. The adage of "post and they will come" is not always right.

I do find that most of my traffic to individual posts for most posts is in the first 48 hours. Some posts linger and get traffic much later, but they are the exception, not the rule.

I also agree that people can post too often. I know I don't need to cover everything because other people are. I used to be above 10 entries a week and now am closer to 7 or 8.

2. I would advise not going negative for the sake of controversy when it is not necessary. I am not saying be positive where it doesn't make sense, but instead to choose your battles. There are others I consider peers who thrive on controversy and I try to be above the fray.

3. You should have a social media strategy, period. Do you know how many people just jump in without planning? Knowing where your competition is and being aware of their activity is one of those metrics. It doesn't mean to be taking a cookie cutter, copy cat approach, but to observe what they are doing right and wrong. If I came across saying to let them set the agenda, that was not intentional.

4. The best way to derive high quality readers is to deliver high quality yourself. You will attract what you sow. Fight and cause controversy and you will get snipers. Build a foundation and you can get a community.

Recognize much of what I engage in is consumer based, despite my IT background. I initially did that on purpose to avoid conflicting with work, but that inertia and momentum keeps me here. Yes, IT is the industry talking to the industry, a ton, because we are a small group of folks who know each other well. Been to SNW lately? :)

As a vendor, you need to determine how it is that you want to be portrayed, what messages you would like to deliver, and what you are comfortable with executing, including pace, source, platform and personality. It takes work... and once you start, you should never stop.