Social Media Top 5: “Concentrate” (Not a New Year’s Post)

kissI promised with heart crossed, swore up and down, and insisted to the edge of embarrassment that I would not do one of those “year end” posts, where I either list my “best blog posts of 2008” (you don’t care), make “predictions for 2009” (as if I- or anyone else who makes these predictions- know anything), or make some sort of New Year’s resolution (which I won’t keep).

My biggest temptation was just to write down my top “Social Media Pet Peeves.” Now that’s just downright grumpy of me, but I actually started to write that post. But if you know me you have already heard my big social media pet peeves, like the auto-direct message greetings from new follows on Twitter, partial blog posts displayed in Google Reader, and podcasts that don’t adhere to the most basic sound quality methods to benefit their listeners.

But that post got unwieldy, cranky, and frankly, who-caresity. So I found one word to signify what I would like to do, what I hope others to do, and that would even solve some of the things about this shiny social media world that make me occasionally grumpy.

Simplify.

By simplify I don’t mean cut down your channels. I mean, simplify how you think of it and concentrate on how you do it. Ok, that’s two words. With apologies to Marshall McLuhan, don’t think of the medium, think of the message.

Ok, I know:

You are saying to yourself, “What I wouldn’t give for a large sock with horse manure in it.”

Right– back to what I was talking about. Since I called this a Social Media Top 5, how about Five Ways to Simplify Social Media.

Concentrate on the message; the medium is less important. Medium is dependent on the audience it reaches, and the type of content (audio, video text?) that best supports the message.

Concentrate on one conduit through which all media passes. Do you need people to watch your YouTube or Vimeo channel? I don’t but they are handy tools for reposting video to my main media channel, my blog (and then linked through my most effective channel, Twitter)

Concentrate on brief preparation. A lot of us ramble and waste each others’ time. Sometime, a minute or two to sketch out what you want to say means you can say it in a lot less time or fewer words. This is something I sorely need to work on in my Uttercasts.

Concentrate on understandability. What I mean here is don’t be afraid to repeat things in the service of the casual audience member. The line between ego and helpfulness is drawn here. For example, if a discussion about your blog post pops up on Twitter or any other message group, comment stream or series of posts, repeat the URL. This is a bit of a cousin to Guy Kawasaki’s “Repeat Your Tweets” rule (which I also agree with).

Concentrate on your audience. Whom are you trying to reach? Do you need to be all things to all people? Do you need to be uber-popular? Do you even care if anyone sees your content? Make up your mind about your audience and cultivate them. It could be like-minded careerists or hobbyists, news junkies, or your immediate family. Heck, it could even be just you. Keep your content primarily focused on topics of interest so your audience knows what to expect (not to say you can’t color outside the lines– there are no rules, after all) By the way- Jason Falls has some nice illustrative advice on keeping on topic in this interview on Mediabullseye.com with Lauren White. His point inspired this line.

Am I full of it? Do you feel the need to simplify your content?

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4 Comments

  1. Well, there’s always Twitter. I have delivered the Grumpy there quite a bit. Just today, I called for the dismantling of Tweetmanager (perhaps unfairly), as it is one of the tools that allows these Twitter auto-responses.

  2. I liked this post. Thought the ideas sound and well presented. Loved the “who caresity” and Tweeted that.

    Would also enjoy the grumpy post though.

    Thanks for these reminders, Doug.

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