Engineering Naturalness-Take Two

Geoff’s post, The Naturals, struck a nerve with me. No, not dealing with my personal viewpoint of Sarah Lacy’s presentation, but one of the post comments:

“Companies and individuals look at the benchmark bloggers like Scoble and think it’s just a matter of tossing some stuff out there to see what sticks. But I love your point about building a network being more than half the battle. A strong community can help drive, support, and even improve content. But no amount of content can build a community if that’s all there is.-Amber Naslund

Last week, I spoke to the Southwest Leadership Boys and Girls Club of America and the majority of the audience was new to the social media space. One of the main concerns expressed (and is a typical question asked in forums I speak where there are many new to the space) is how do you have time to generate content across all of the social media tools employed? Geoff outlines four elements needed in content creation. No small task for many of us. Passion drives the content.

Communicators Anonymous began as part of my master thesis and grew to become a blog discussing industry improvements and integrated communications strategies. Much of the content is driven by community comments and networking. Your community can sniff out canned content versus genuine topics of discussion.

So, how do you build a community and get them interested in you long enough to generate content for you to ultimately deliver back to them? Gary Vaynerchuk reinforces the need to go beyond your charge and the need to do a lot of little things to make the big things happen. Gary states, “Anything is better than zero.” Business success in the social media space is a challenge for the determined and brave of heart…doesn’t hurt to have a thick skin and be willing to get dirty too.

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  • Geoff Livingston

    I think anything is better than nothing, but I think companies need to know what they’re getting themselves into. Launching another failed blog won’t hurt reputation per say, but can hurt their internal, morale, etc. Again, it’s intelligent management of what’s coming at you…

  • Lauren Vargas

    Good point, Geoff. Today’s Wall Street Journal pointed out mistakes small biz makes jumping into the scene too quickly.

  • Richie Escovedo

    Lauren, I’ve received those same questions…”How are we supposed to have time to do all of that stuff?” or “I’m a one-person office, I couldn’t possibly take care of this type of stuff too.”
    I think what is important for communicators to understand is that notion of something being better than nothing. However, I wouldn’t stop there. I believe you have to be more strategic in that ‘something’ – meaning target the SM tools in which your community/stakeholders either already participate in or could be educated in participation.
    I also think that if we were to take a critical look at our our communication efforts, wed’ find that we were spinning our wheels on something(s) that could free up that time.

  • Lauren Vargas

    For sure! I am not an advocate of slapping something up and seeing if it sticks…better than zero is about finding and accepting greater opportunity.

  • Amber Naslund

    You hit on a very important part – the hard work. Building a community of any kind is a labor of love, and requires lots of personal attention and effort to make it work. You have to evolve, adapt, and always be responding to what the community is looking for. It’s the trick to the “social” in social media. No, not always an easy task, but I think the rewards are well worth the work!