With traditional media and analyst organizations declining in numbers and influence, conference organizers are turning to social media for coverage and attention. If identifying and attracting bloggers is difficult, keeping them happy at an event is doubly so. After three years running the Tech Field Day and a decade attending conferences, trade shows, and other events, I’ve learned a thing or two about that. Here are my suggestions.
Basic logic tells us that negative opinions have a negative impact on our perceptions. If a man leaves a restaurant complaining about the service, he’s likely to drive other customers away. But this is not always the case: even negative reviews provide publicity and visibility, and a good can outshine the bad.
It’s tempting for companies to smack the little guys around. After all, it’s easier to bump off some new startup by spreading FUD than it is to challenge the top dog in your industry! But easy pickings should be avoided, especially when it comes to online communication and social media: It’s far easier for a company to lose mindshare by calling attention to the little guys than it is to gain anything from even the most justifiable argument. That’s why I advise my clients always to punch above their weight.
It’s not easy to be a public face for your employer, and doubly so when you’re using social media. Blogs, tweets, and the like value personal authenticity (and shun “corporateness”), forcing vendor bloggers to walk a tightrope. It can be hard to accept this burden, and many a bright young blogger flames out as the reality of the situation settles upon them. Yet some emerge from the trials with a reasonable philosophy and are able to continue.
People write blogs for a multitude of reasons, ranging from crass commercialism to noble information-sharing. But every blogger succeeds or fails based on the interest of their readership: Lose your readers and you’ll literally be talking to yourself. Speaking as a former magazine columnist and feature writer, I can assure you that blogging is a special beast. We must always focus on making our blogs easy to discover, read, and share. Here are 9 ideas to help your blog be more successful!
These days, every company wants blogs to cover their product announcements. After all, most customers rely on a Google search as their primary source of product research and increasingly trust blogs more than traditional media outlets. Guy Chapman’s excellent “how-to” for corporate content on Wikipedia (trust me, it’s a must-read!) brought to mind one key area where many corporate marketers still fall short: Product launch collateral. Even as they increasingly turn to bloggers for coverage, marketers still rely on the same stale “press kit” components from yesteryear. This new media world needs a new kind of collateral!
It’s funny how powerful the thoughts of individuals have become. A reasonably popular blog can post an item on a new product and outrank the company that made it in the all-important first page of Google results. Corporate blogs, Twitter accounts, social networking sites, and the rest have sprung up everywhere, all trying to fight it out with “just plain folks” for “social media” mindshare. But most corporate shills fail miserably and are forced to resort to extraordinary means to make their content “go viral.” This is ironic because the secret to getting people to share your tweets, blog posts, videos, updates, etc is really quite simple!
This morning, someone left a comment on a 10 month-old blog post about EMC Corporation’s products over at Gestalt IT. Although the writer, “Brian,” identified himself as “EMC Social Outreach Team”, the short message seemed somewhat spammy, including a bit.ly link to one of that company’s marketing promotions. Further investigation reveals what looks to be an inept social media marketing maneuver by “integrated sales promotions” firm, AlterSeekers. Let’s use it as a case study in how not to do social media marketing.