"How many wonderful stories can we spin about our company - short of hiring Stephen King on our payroll?" - WALTER LIM of Cooler Insights.

I wanted to comment on Walter’s latest post, “Are We Truly in a Marketing Revolution?” and the comment became a post as Blogger couldn’t handle the amount of characters as a comment.

I don't think there is a need to spin here. Spin is something you do when you are a message pusher!

But if you are a content creator looking at creating content for the public and not for the media, spin is not necessary.

My social media strategy usually about creating content that the target audience can interact with. If you look into Webster, it is no coincidence that social means "interact" and media means "content".

Usually when I mention content, some potential clients would say "yes, they have content". When they show me the content, they are press releases or long case studies that are meant for the media to consume, not the public.

The press releases are also not structured for online reading. Long sentences with no commas or breaks. Paragraphs with 3 sentences or more.

Sometimes you don't get to the gist of the content until the 5 to 6 paragraph.

If you noticed, there are no more than three sentences in a paragraph in this comment.

The pyramid works for print, but for online, with a white glaring screen as your background, the inverse pyramid works better.

That's why copying and pasting from print to online has proven to be a disaster.

I usually ask the client if they would "like" or "share" their press releases with their friends and they get back to say no.

Hence the content I suggest to clients to create something short and crisp in the selected social medium, but let them click to somewhere (usually their website) they can read a longer version.

Content can also be found anywhere.

When I started the fan page for Marriage Central, they had no entries and a few fans.

The first thing I did was to look at their website for content. They had a wonderful collection of daily tips that was flashed out on their site and through a widget.

These daily tips started fan page and it act as a catalyst to coming interactions.

Soon, the “likes” came for these daily tips and it comments started to flow.

The daily tip that I remembered the most was for the wife to ask the husband to zip up their blouse or skirt, but it was the ladies who responded that it would be more productive for their husbands to zip down.

The next thing I did was look at their events. Usually, there is a pre-event announcement and a post-event write-up. Sometimes the later do not exist for most clients.

What about on the day of the event itself?

So what I did was to do almost instant upload of photos and provided short description as status updates.

I also controlled the flow of photos and updates on the fanpage so it wouldn't look like spam.

The nay-sayers would say that if they put up live updates on the fan page, they will have no attendees for their next event.

I tell the nay-sayers, you don't put the whole thing, just bits and pieces of it.

This helps those not attending to understand what's going on at this event and what they have missed out. This creates more interest in the next event rather than disinterest.

I would dare say that the Marriage Central fanpage is one of my more successful page ever.

Interaction among couples have increase over the months. At the recent Real Love Works, it was the epitome of interaction where you had fans putting in comments and even sharing photos in the fanpage.

The fanpage was also used to communicate any changes to the event at the very last minute. As it was raining heavily in the morning, there were queries on the fanpage if the event would be cancelled.

It was used to update the fans till the very last minute and luckily the rain stop. The sun decided to stay awhile longer and screening of the visuals had to be done a bit later.

The success of the fanpage didn't come overnight either. We started the fan building since August last year. As the months progressed, we also introduce write-ups and "live" photo updates to prep the fans what to expect from the fanpage.

It wasn't a solo effect.

There were many who helped in the fanpage. The secretariat team who was willing to let me experiment with some new features on the page. The PR team who helped spread the word of the fanpage when the vanity URL was made available.

A social media campaign isn't a short term project. It is a long term campaign to build that trusts and connections.

Others would have decided to build the fanpage for the event one month or event two weeks prior to the event. That spells failure and they say "hey Social media didn't work!"

Distractus digitalis isn't the disease of the consumer, it is also that of the brand who look at overnight success.

That's why engaging bloggers to blog about the product and event only provides a short term boosts between the bloggers, their readers and the brand.

Brands have to start looking at social media as an investment for the future and that is their KPI.

Many of the 20-30s consume their information from what their friends are sharing in their network of friends.

A marketing manager knew of a client’s loyalty marketing solution not through the media, but through twitter as the entrepreneur blogger updated his post through Twitter.

By the time the 20-30s grow older to become the decision makers or the spenders, it would be too late for the brands to say “Hey, Let’s go online!”.

Google will index them at page 199 as the algorithm for search index looks at the history of the online site and the frequency of updates.

2 comments

  1. bianca  

    March 22, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    About the fact that "media" means content, I must say that I've learned at seminaries that "media" refers to the tools of communication, and not to the content of interaction..

  2. Aaron Koh  

    March 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    @bianca Focusing on the tools of communication rather than the content of interaction is a short term thing.

    You can set up a Facebook Fanpage in 5 mins or less, start a website in 4 mins, go on twitter on 3.. but what's next?

    I have worked with a client where they were so focused on the design of a "blog" and chose to ignore the content. In the end, the blog hasn't been updated in months.. or have a single post.



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