Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are You Present On Your Own Account?

Contemporary Terra Cotta Warrior by Yue Minjun
 at the Exhibition, Pete and Repeat
Maybe because I'm an INTP, I hate repeating myself. But I also know that it takes a while for an idea to sink in. More than twenty, maybe thirty repetitions are required to really remember something. Content can get stale, like bread, but there's still a market for a look-alike loaf. How many times can you rephrase that, in social media, one has to be authentic and engaged? I guess as many as it takes, because some people still don't get it.

Are You Present On Your Own Account?

Today I saw a tweet that asked: If you're a big brand & you're not going to respond, what's the point of having a Twitter account? Pretty much no reason because no one will continue to knock on a door that never seems to open.

These days, a lot of the bigger brands have an account on almost every social media platform there is. But they aren't present. They're not monitoring, they're not responding, they're using robo-posts. To paraphrase Truman Capote, that's not engaging, that's typing.

You Can't Spam Yourself to Success

I got a phone call from a client who asked me to craft a tweet that he could send out to Hollywood celebrities known to be interested in green technologies because he had an idea to sell them. I tried to explain that the kind of tweets he's talking about are considered spam on Twitter. He said he didn't care; he just wanted to get it in front of them or their assistant. I told him that these people get a LOT of tweets with their names on them and it wasn't likely they would see his among all of the others unless he sent them multiple times on a daily basis and that was definitely spam. He ignored that and kept on talking.

I get that he's got a great idea and he's anxious to get it in front of people. But as fast as Twitter moves, getting your bona fides there is still a slow process. It's really kind of ironic, but as quick as communicating on social media can be, gaining the trust of those communities still requires time and effort: authenticity and engagement. In my experience there's no short-cut, unless you're lucky enough to create content that goes viral - something that's worth sharing.

Don't Ask for Favors Before Their Time
My name is [   ] and I am a PR assistant for [  ]
a bilingual NPO based in Japan. We are a website trying to become a place for many social projects, businesses, and individuals to come a connect with each other. We want to be a resource that gives people a chance to help charities through whatever method is available to them, be it partnerships, facebook and twitter shares, money, or even sponsorship We are still young but we are working hard to grow. I am new to working in a non-profit setting, and I am emailing you in hopes that you can help us grow and improve. 
This email went on for three or four more paragraphs and included links to various sites where their founder had been quoted or interviewed, plus there were a couple of PDF attachments. I didn't delete it because I thought I might get around to looking into it more, but I haven't had the time or been motivated to make the time. It's obviously part of a scattergun approach to finding possible connections, nothing personal about it. Maybe if they'd included a pic of this noob looking like a big-eyed puppy I might have taken more of a look.

The Lizard King Said...

...people are strange when you're a stranger and that applies to social communications. But they want to be nice and help if they can. They want to connect. That's why they're there. They just want to know that you see them as people, too.

Be real and be engaging. It's probably worth repeating.

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