Today Maria Elena Duron takes over my blog for a guest post on creating a buzz strategy. Maria is CEO of Buzz to Bucks which provides online profile management, social management and reputation management services to its’ clients.
This week I sat down with several clients to talk Twitter. Their questions ranged from “how to?”, “what’s this?”, and “how much time do you spend”? Developing a great buzz strategy begins with the greatest questions of WHY and WHO/WHOM.
- Who do you want to be seen and know as?
This is the beginning necessary for an effective BUZZ STRATEGY. WHOM is it important for you to interact with? WHO needs to see more of you to get to know you? WHO needs to know what you do and how you save the day? WHOM can you engage to speak positively on your behalf? WHO can do business with you or refer business with you? WHO would be a good contact for you?
Answering these questions provides direction as to what methods to use to connect with the WHO, and even how often to connect with them. Identify WHO they really are and include their likes, dislikes, and activities, along with the standard demographic stuff. Then, go out and find groups of them. Where do bunches of them hangout? Is it online? In Twitter, in a forum, or in a chat room? Is it in LinkedIn groups, Rotary, Mother’s Day Out? Where you find many of them congregating is where YOU want to be.
- Why do you want to be seen and known by them, and interact with them?
Every English paper that reviews stories always starts with questions like “what’s the purpose?” or “what’s the plot?” These are the same questions you need to ask yourself, and then you can craft your success story on interacting with the WHO. What’s the overall outcome you want from this? Envision the happily ever after of this. And ponder on whether the tools you’re using to get there are actually getting you there or whether they are just interesting.
Do not go any further until you, quite in detail, answer the first two questions of WHO/WHOM and WHY. Doing anything else without answering those questions is merely a waste of time.
Visibility is first so that people will get to see you or even know that you exist. Next comes developing credibility.
- What can you do to create visibility with whom you want to interact with?
Easiest answer is to hang out where they hang out. Frequent their hangout spots! Watch and identify how often people need to hang out there to be noticed. For example, if you’re considering Twitter as one of your visibility tools, then check how often people that you know (who mirror the people you want to know) are Twittering. Now, if they’re not Twittering, why are you there? If it’s interesting research, recognize that it is and move on. It’s not a visibility tool – it’s something you’re checking out, that’s it. As you choose visibility tools, it’s important to remember not to confuse “activity” with “accomplishment”. Where do you really need to be to be seen? Pick TWO and get really good at being seen on those. Think of things that you want people to know about you and that you wouldn’t mind repeated.
- How do you develop credibility?
Credibility comes from interaction. People need to sample your character and competence. There’s an old saying that states, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” How do you show you care? You interact. Let’s say someone sends out a great link to a site that’s very helpful for you? Then, let the person who sent it to you know. Give them feedback. Be lavish with gratitude. Be helpful. If someone is seeking resources, has a question or a need, help them. Send links or articles or another connection you have that would be able to help them. Refer them to books. Recommend sites. Be helpful. There’s a myth that “You give – then you get” in networking. And, while I think “Givers gain” is a catchy little phrase, I believe it leaves the impression that if you give to someone then you can expect to get something from them. That expectation may taint the interaction and actually keep you from gaining anything. It can leave someone with the taste that you’re not helping sincerely.
Better to think “give, give, give, give, give, and you will get from the great feeling of giving”. Then, when you get something directly from that, it’s a delightful extra! The goal in building credibility is creating relationships. Relationships, whether online or offline, still take time. In our instant gratification microwave society, relationships still take time, yet they are solid when built. People speak positively about people they know, like and trust. It’s important to find a few that you feel compelled to help and connect with, and develop, know and like – trust will come.
The object is to help people learn how to carry the message of you to people they know – that’s what BUZZ STRATEGY is about. Write down the WHO/WHOM and WHY. Then, find TWO avenues that you will use to connect with them. Then, find TEN people that you’ll interact with and watch the BUZZ grow. Establish this first – then we can talk more about EXPONENTIAL BUZZ GROWTH!
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Photo by: Unhindered by Talent