Social media is about authenticity

Brad Feld

Are we real in the online world? No, we are not. According to Brad Feld, managing director at the Foundry Group, most businesses are not authentic in the social space. “A wide number of companies view social media as a business tool and the problem is that they do stuff that’s not authentic,” he said at a panel on social media at the Thunderbird Global Business Dialogue held in Glendale, AZ on November 10-11.

We must be authentic in the social space, says Feld. Offer your expertise, share and give “what you think in your soul and people will find you.” Building domain knowledge and expertise in a field that you are passionate about is critical to excel in this space.

We are at the beginning of ” a 20-year curve,” that is radically shifting the way people interact. Social media motivates people to feed information to the “machine.”  According to Feld, “trying to resist the machine is futile.”

Spend 30 minutes every day trying to gain and share your expertise using online tools.

8 things to avoid in content marketing

Content marketing isn’t new. Joe Pulizzi has evangelized it so much that very soon top corporate jobs will have a new position- Chief Content Officer (CCO). If you are a marketer working for any firm- small, medium or large- if you do not know how to do content marketing, somebody will replace you. Most likely, it will be someone who knows about content marketing across multiple channels- print, online and events. 

Here are 8 tips to avoid in your content marketing, according to Joe’s address at an Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) event in Phoenix on February 8.

  1. Do not have too many content goals. Stay focused and prioritize on what content you need to create.
  2. If you think your content is about everything, forget it. It is totally wrong. An example is an HVAC company trying to sell recipes. It is better being a trusted expert in your area, says Pulizzi.
  3. Getting super niche is good but focus on topic, not you.
  4. Create really good content and not content that is average. Good enough is not enough. Examples of really good content are Wine LibraryTV and
  5. Have a content calendar and a plan to package and repurpose content across different formats. For example, find out several ways of repurposing content in a podcast- how can you make a white paper, a tweet, a facebook entry, a print document?
  6. Leverage the skills of your employees in creating content. Give the champion writers in your team the opportunity to contribute through blogs. A success story is Open View Venture Partners. 
  7. Forget the myth that customers will find your content in the social media landscape. Instead, try to find out where they are and find ways to engage them.
  8. Somebody needs to take ownership of your content. You cannot leave it as an orphan in distress. Designate someone to own it.