In our previous post, Social Media Relationship Stages, we took a look at the process of drawing your audience into a closer relationship. In this post, we talk about enabling your community to speak.
Social Media is the Megaphone
And your supporters are the speakers. Encourage them to:
- Tag you on delicious.com, digg.com
- Upload relevant photos to flickr.com
- Blog about you
- Tweet about you
Seth Godin describes the power of the Internet, and of giving your supporters the megaphone:
The Internet changes everything. Now, one person armed with a keyboard can reach millions. One person with a video camera can tell a story that travels around the world. And one person with a blog can sell a lot of computers.
The trick is this: you need to give your fan club some leverage, an amplifier — a megaphone.
Your former patrons, the aggrieved ones, the critics — they’ve already found the web. They’re the ones who have managed to post play-by-play accounts of your misdeeds and missteps. They’re motivated and they’re already embracing the medium.
A diligent marketer, however, can make it easy for your fan club to get the word out as well. And to do it in an authentic, uncontrolled, honesty way.
This is why you don’t censor comments about you online: There are supporters as well as detractors out there. If you get all paranoid about nasty things the haters (or trolls) say, and feel tempted to remove them, it helps to remember that your supporters see these posts as well. And if you’ve enabled them — handed them the megaphone — you may find they’ll rush to your defense.
This won’t work, however, if you insist on approving all posts on sites you control.
Doing so stifles the ability for your supporters to quickly respond to negativity. It also breaches the trust you hope to establish with your community. If community members feel they must think twice before posting — taking into account whether Big Brother will approve their posts — you lose the ability to find out what they really think, and violate the implicit contract you established with your community when you decided to engage with them.
Next up: Enable Social Tagging
Social Media is the Megaphone is the 34th 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). 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 http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV
See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1