One of the biggest issues associated with producing blog content – or any social media content – on a regular basis currently are those days when you feel that there’s nothing to write about. It becomes even crazier when you are doing it for a living.
Blog authors assume that people are waiting with endless breath for your next thought or recommendation. The funny thing is, as much as consultants and gurus talk about social media being an engagement of our audience, most of how we use the tool is still relegated to following a long-standing interruption model of communicating with customers. The only difference now is the existence of a gate that allows the end user to control when that information gets to them and how they wish to respond.
While they can decide when to check our RSS feed, read the email with the latest headlines, check out what we’re doing on Facebook or visit Twitter’s website instead of using Seesmic Desktop, Nambu or Tweetdeck to follow their Tweeps, when they finally see our message, are we inviting them into a conversation…
“How was your weekend?”
“What did you like best about the performance?”
…or are we simply broadcasting information?
“Be (insert place) at (insert time) for (insert event).”
“Check out our latest sale at (insert URL here).”
Yes, we’ve given others permission to contact us, but for many, it means that they assume you will respond immediately for their convenience instead of realizing that many of these tools are supposed to make life easier for us (the end user) allowing us to answer when we can. The rumors of the demise of interruption marketing have been greatly exaggerated as a result.
For many, the use of social media tools in business is a way to collect leads. Folks should not necessarily deny that this is the case. I may still be naive, but talking with your followers or checking their pulse with questions every once in a while may lead to more followers in the long run.
I’ve become guilty of broadcasting myself recently with most of the social media tools I use for my hyperlocal blog. While there are no hard and fast rules in this virtual Wild Wild West of the Web, I’d argue that you’d rather have folks speaking positively about your brand or experience freely instead of needing to rely soley on triggers, physical or otherwise, to move them towards doing it.
This isn’t to say that we don’t ever need to be making broadcasting announcements in the Web 2.0 world. I’m just suggesting that if you do, you may want to make sure that folks know there’s a real person behind the scenes. They’ll probably be more willing to pardon the interruption and become more engaged with you and your brand. After all, we want that lead to develop into a relationship with the brand or service, don’t we?
Photo: Interruption. decade_null/Flickr