Just hit that button baby and “make it go viral.” The media landscape has certainly been transformed over the past few years, but it’s not quite that easy to create widely shared content for a connected, engaged audience.
Still, that was more or less the tone of the email I received from an acquaintance, who wanted me to blow up his recent appearance on a local Sunday morning “newsmaker” type of television show.
This guy is a very experienced IT professional and was interviewed in a long segment on cyber security. So far so good.
He has a website, but he doesn’t regularly create content, he doesn’t have a social media networking presence or platform, he is not a recognized thought leader (at least not in the virtual world) and he doesn’t have an audience or constituency waiting for his next round of insights.
As a result, he is somewhat limited as to how widely and broadly he can spread his first piece of actual sharable content.
The long email I sent him in response has some good takeaways by anyone who wants or needs a primer on how to use social media to promote their company.
Here are some good takeaways by anyone who needs a primer on how to use social media to promote their company.
The email picks up here…
Congrats on the TV appearance _____, you looked calm and relaxed and did a nice job with the interview. With regards to making it go viral in your words, let me give you an analogy I know you will understand, and hopefully appreciate.
The time to develop a cyber attack response plan is not you’ve been attacked, right?
The same holds true for social media. The time to build an online audience and constituency via social media is not after you’ve come by a single piece of content worth sharing. You have to put consistent effort, time and bandwidth into developing an audience, and then you hopefully eventually have a platform from which to share something like your television clip.
The time to build an online audience and constituency via social media is not after you’ve come by a single piece of content worth sharing. You have to put consistent effort, time and bandwidth into developing an audience.
Here are the top social media platforms that help you network.
Facebook: Does your company have a fan page where you regularly share pictures, videos, updates, etc., and can post this link? Given the nature of your business, I’m not advocating you create one if you don’t have one, but you should utilize it now if you do.
Twitter: Do you have a Twitter account with dozens, hundreds of even thousands of followers where you can push out this TV clip? You should. The topic of cyber security is a hot one, and you should be constantly creating and curating content if you want to be taken seriously as a thought leader in the space.
LinkedIn: We are connected on LinkedIn, and I do see you post updates and links to events in this space. So make sure you post a blurb and a link to your show here. This is an easy one.
You Tube: Do you have a video page where you are constantly adding short little blurbs/interviews/takeaways/tips/doomsday scenarios around cyber security? You should. If you regularly post content then people will subscribe, and then you have a built-in audience for your most recent clip. Video also helps immensely with SEO.
Blogging platform: Do you blog regularly? I would recommend blogging at least once a week on a variety of subjects in this space, then linking to everything else…so you create a blog post for example, then push it out via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on.
Then when you have a good piece of sharable content, you have a place to put it. You should also be regularly commenting on other people’s blogs, and when you have a piece of content to share, you can comment and (in a non-commercial way) backlink to your piece. You can’t make your first comment centered on your content though.
There is also a subset of traditional media relations called blogger outreach. That means you identify a number of influential bloggers and content creators in your space, establish yourself as a credible source of information and insights, and then regularly dialogue with them even if it means more often helping them, and not you.
Establish yourself as a credible source of information and insights, and then regularly dialogue with industry influencers.
However, when something like this comes along, they’ll return the favor and push your content out to their audience. But you can’t have that first conversation with them when it’s self-serving and you are merely trying to “sell them” on promoting your link.
You are not alone with your notion of social media as a thing where you just hit a button and suddenly your stuff is being seen by thousands, and you get all kinds of business and referrals and it’s just a game changer.
I would love it if it works like that. It doesn’t.
There is so much noise and clutter in cyberspace, that if you haven’t already built an audience of stakeholders who care about what you have to say on a consistent basis via a variety of channels, then your new piece of content is going to become the tree falling in the proverbial forest with no one around to hear it.
You did the right thing by pushing the link out to all of your personal and professional contacts using your email list as you described to me.
Organic is good and that is the biggest tool you have at your disposal at the moment. If you didn’t deliberately ask people to share the link, you might add to that to your future emails.
Again, congrats for the successful interview. You can certainly use it as a credibility builder on your website (with the producer’s permission) and share it with as many people as possible via email as you have been doing.
I would use this as a catalyst though, or springboard, to developing some of your thought leadership content and sharing it through some of these channels I have outlined.
I know with your experience you have a lot to offer, and if you begin to build your online audience now, the next time you have an opportunity like this, you will have more people to promote it to.
That’s my free advice for the day. Hope this helps.