Think of the the last time you were in a stadium -- perhaps during a football game or perhaps at a Fourth of July celebration. Did you experience a crowd wave? One person starts it, others catch on and spread the action, and before you know the entire crowd is standing up at the appropriate time with the wave moving around the stadium. In a similar manner, you can create an even larger wave for your message by reaching people online.
David Meerman Scott, author of World Wide Rave, spoke recently about leveraging social media tools to reach buyers and grow your business at the Fortune Smalll Business Sales and Marketing Summit in New Orleans hosted by Gazelles International. Rather than buy advertising, beg for media coverage, pay an army of sales people, you can get attention by using 'word of mouse.' Create something valuable that people want to share and make it easy for them to share it.
Case Study. Consider how the Harry Potter Universal Park was launched. In a secret session, Cindy Gordon, the marketing maven for the park, told seven of the most popular Harry Potter bloggers in a secret session, they blogged about it, other blogs picked it up and people started emailing, the message moved into the main media. In 24 hours, 350M people knew about the launch.
Practical Pointers. Here are a few 'rules of the rave' about effectively using new media
· Remember what Yoda said, "You must unlearn what you've learned." The new approach is to earn attention by publishing web content and other information. Think like a publisher utilizing a range of onlline media such as blogs, micro-blogs, websites, video posting outlets, and more. Online you are what you publish.
· Don't talk and market to nameless faceless prospects. Determine who you are trying to reach and create white papers, e-books, videos, contests, and more that this audience finds interesting because it solves their problems. Make those deliverables FUME -- fun, unique, memorable, and educational / entertaining.
· Lose control. Make your valuable online information totally free and freely sharable. Let it disperse organically.
· Create triggers that encourage people to share. Is there is something in the way your message is communicated that people will want to tell? David Meerman Scott says, "When a product or service solves someone's problems or is very valuable, interesting, funny, or just plain outrageous, it's ready to be shared."
· Put down roots. If you want your ideas to spread, you need to be involved in the online communities of people who actively share.
· Point the world to your virtual doorstep. Get a google profile. Write your own blog after you monitor other blogs and learn how to work with bloggers. Follow people on Twitter.
Ask yourself, "How can I create a world wide rave?" Believe it is possible and then take appropriate action.
Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com and www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com)