Buzz, and Buzz Killers

In our previous post, How to Create Buzz – Listen First, we continued our series with a discussion on why listening first is the key to fostering buzz.  In this post, we take a look at important aspects of buzz, and more importantly, how to kill your own buzz.

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Important Aspects of Buzz

While we can’t pretend that we have a foolproof way to create online buzz (if we did, we’d be lounging on our own tropical island drinking umbrella drinks right now), there are a few very important aspects of buzz you should pay attention to.

Like most things social, creating buzz has to be genuine. Social media users can smell a fake a mile away.

Your campaign to create buzz must have the following qualities:

  • Trust — As soon as your community feels you’re trying to sell them something using old-style push marketing or that you’re not treating them as individuals, you’re sunk.
  • Accountability — You must deliver on all promises, with no exceptions. All your activities must be aboveboard and visible. See Trust.
  • Credibility — For effective buzz creation, you must first be seen as credible. Don’t do anything to compromise that credibility during your campaign.
  • Transparency — Let people know what’s going on. If you need to change any of your promises or any of the rules, be forthright about it. See the ASUS entry in our Social Media Hall of Shame and previously in the blog post Social Media and Online Branding Campaigns.

Buzz Killers

While it’s hard to say exactly what creates buzz, it’s pretty easy to list what can kill it.

  • Banality — The concept has to be interesting, not mundane
  • Self-promotion — Don’t make it about yourself or your products or organization
  • Old, hard-to-use, non-Social-Media-aware Website — If you’re successful, lots of new people will be coming to your site. Make sure it’s ready to receive them.
  • No call to action — Sure you’ve got a cool/funny/weird/attention-getting YouTube video, but what do you want us to do?
  • Controversial Topics — This can cut both ways. You can create buzz by being controversial, but not too controversial. And some topics — and treatments of topics — should be off-limits.
  • Overload — Don’t overdo. If people get sick of seeing your campaign, the buzz is gone.

Buzz, and Buzz Killers is the 78th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 233. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

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Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Next up: Buzz Creation Techniques