Take Control .... Or Someone Else Will
People are talking about you.
It’s easier than ever to find out what they are saying. After all, they’re saying it online.
An important publisher called me not too long ago. When I say important, I mean important in the sense that the publication is a thought leader whose audience comprises people at the very highest level of government, business, and academia. This publisher wanted some help with online strategy.
Not YouTube, though. Not Facebook or Twitter or any of these places you can go to find out what Justin Bieber had to say or what Lady Gaga was or wasn’t wearing. That, the publisher was sure, was inappropriate to the brand, beneath its dignity.
It reminded me of how, back in the old days, publishers would sometimes ask for national distribution at retail. They would want to be everywhere, they might say. Everywhere except the supermarkets; except the drug stores; except the Walmarts.
Given the fact that the majority of all magazine newsstand sales happen at those locations, everywhere is not, in fact, everywhere without them.
A similar conversation is happening today regarding social media—but there’s a difference. The difference is this: there actually are publications that don’t belong in the supermarkets, in the drug stores, in WalMart. But I’m pretty sure that there aren’t any that don’t need a presence on Facebook or LinkedIn or YouTube or Twitter.
I visited YouTube to check out my important client’s category and looked up the publication and the company by name. My search querie delivered results—lots of them. Pages and pages and pages of them. None of them were official videos from my client, of course. What were they?
They were videos from people who hated my client.
Those were the people who were shaping the discourse as related to my client. Those were the people who got the first and last say regarding my client in the field of social media. Those were the thought leaders as related to my client.
It is absolutely essential to take control of your social media presence, to take control of your brand. It isn’t only the SEO benefits of social media; it isn’t only the visibility.
It’s this: if you don’t, someone else will.
In a recent blog I spoke of what happened to Cat Fancy magazine when they failed to pay attention to their brand on Twitter. The same will happen on other social media platforms. Remember that on days when the frivolity, the absolutely trivial nature of much of the social media discourse starts to get you down. Remember that on the days, and I’m sure there are many of them, that you begin to feel that social media is not your milieu.
What makes anyone believe that those CEOs and government officials and grand poobahs that make up an audience aren’t dropping by Facebook or YouTube from time to time and checking out the conversation? I’m pretty sure they, in fact, are. All the important people I know find time to check out the odd video related to their fields. You do, don’t you? and you’re pretty important.
Someone out there is talking about you. Someone is shaping people’s opinions of your brand, creating a certain kind of brand awareness.
Don’t you want that someone to be you?
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.