Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Know the Social Media Audience

Jumping on the Bandwagonphoto by sadaiche

There are a lot of people jumping into Social Media. Setting up Twitter pages, Facebook groups, jumping into FriendFeed or whatever the latest gimmick or hot spot is. I like to think that they coming for the right reasons. To be a part of a community of like minded professionals, to chat with friends, to meet people that share similiar hobbies, interests, etc or even to talk about their accomplishments to people that opted in to listen.

The problem most companies, business or individuals face is that they enter the club without knowing what crowd is there.

Imagine walking into a night club expecting to see a rock band:
  • You get to the parking lot (the homepage | landing page)
  • You wait in line (get the super secret ALPHA or BETA invite code)
  • You pay the cover charge (Fill out their sign-up paperwork)
  • Walk inside and start ordering 2 for 1's, only to realize that they don't serve alcohol and play a style of music that you don't find too appealing. (SEO's on Digg, Pedafiles on Myspace, etc)
  • Instead of going somewhere more suitable you start talking to the girls at the bar, they walk away, you walk back up, they walk away, you walk back up and so on and so on (SPAM, SPAM and more SPAM)

This is my problem with a lot of the marketing going on with Twitter. My latest case in point is Music Marketer David Hooper. I think most of his articles are good and offer value to his readers. I had a problem though with his latest e-book on Twitter for musicians.

I value Twitter, and the relationships that I have on the site. I agree that being an early adopter gives you an advantage and extra vision before the bandwagon comes in. Where I disagree is the fact that Hooper is not a good Twitter user. In fact, he doesn't follow anyone. He does not participate in conversation. He does not use a tracker to see conversations about his own name, let alone music marketing conversations that are happening across the platform. Oh, and the link spam is just awesome.

David Hooper TwitterTwitter Link Spam
If you do not understand the platform, do not tell others to abuse the system. It will destroy the community that Ev Williams and Biz Stone have created and that so many of us love. You cannot "master Twitter in 10 minutes a day." If you think so, you are missing the conversations. You are not getting to know your fans, your peers or witness the beauty of the site. It's just blind, waste of time promotions.

With all Social Networks and Social Media sites, you need a 2-way conversation. Where Myspace failed was not in its crappy architecture, it was in the users who abused it for promotion, and the bigger bands who never wrote back, kept their site static and had a 1-way conversations with their fans.

They pushed out news. They pushed out shows. They NEVER listened.

Before you walk in the club, find some people who go there. Find users who use the site and get results and conversions.

Grooveshark is a company that gets Twitter. Andrew Wise, their business relations partner, has his ears glued to every mention of the work Grooveshark, and is sure that within minutes there is a response made.

I remember saying that I was looking for an oldie on Grooveshark via a Tweet, and within seconds, a message from @Grooveshark asked if I found what I was looking for.

The key to Social Media is to listen. Are you listening?

-Greg Rollett


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