April 19, 2010

So What’s Anti-Social Media?

Bloggers love to write articles on how to leverage social media to create a movement.  They call this going viral, creating a tribe or creating a following.    
Many draw from success stories.   Then they seem to imply that by following a set of rules, one can achieve the same success.  

Casey Hibbard wrote an excellent article about Lance Armstong’s uber-popular Live Strong movement for the Social Media Examiner.  
Her article is full of great advice about the intelligent social media tactics used by Live Strong to achieve social media success.   
livestrong blog

But while the lessons are sound, she and other denizens often forget to ensure one asks a basic question to start:  is you company or your industry ‘socializable?’   
Can Live Strong’s success be recreated using some of the same tactics?  Yes, if your company, your initiative or industry can galvanize people in the real world.   To create a following online there has to be a real reason to follow.  
Ideally, you have to nail one of the following attributes: 
• create something entertaining
• enable people to show off
• help people connect, re-connect, or FEEL connected
• indulge some voyeuristic tendencies
• ensure one will feel ‘left out’ if not participating
And to some extent, if you are bringing the next Sham-Wow or 3G light bulb to market, don’t hold your breadth for 1 million twitter followers or 3 million youtube views. There is most likely no compelling reason for consumers to give their already fragmented attention or time.  
In some ways, any type of marketing, social or no, comes down to the same simple phrase:  what’s in it for me?