Sage advice says to “buy low, sell high” and make no mistake, the current tone in multimedia is definitely low. Especially across social media networks. In particular, Facebook. Having gone through months of political divide during an election cycle, we are now living with the repercussions of the outcome. Don’t know about yours but my Facebook feed is pretty dark these days. In addition, I’ve never seen so many unfollows, unfriend, and the nuclear option – deactivates.
Ever the strategist and planner, I see this time as a terrific opportunity to build audience on every network. After complete election fatigue, what a perfect opportunity to be an outlet for general sports, entertainment, science, food, business, or local news content. Even kids, cake and animals would be better than some of the polarizing posts, tweets, and blogs that continue to clog our feeds.
In some cases, its as easy as substituting a ‘period’ for an ‘exclamation point’ (later). Never before has “social media EQ” been so important for multimedia talent. Couple years ago, social media EQ might have been a couple of proof reads to check on neutrality and objectivity. Today it’s much closer to just avoiding polarizing topics, many of which are just actually reposts. Staying away from piling on to polarizing topics apparently takes tremendous discipline. Just the perception that we lean one way or another can start to divide, or worse, shrink our audience.
In the end, this is a math exercise. Your followers x the audience of your followers x their followers (must subtract the overlap of course) equals your total audience reach. What happens when you lose follower #2 along your audience chain, in effect losing their entire reach of 9k?
Now back to the period vs exclamation point. A young journalist very recently entered a newsy post regarding the recent immigration executive order and travel ban. Something as simple as a single exclamation point turned a news worthy story into an opinion. Here is the post and you be the judge:
(what was posted) ….ruling is upheld, travel ban is lifted…..country is open to all!
(could have been posted)….ruling is upheld, travel ban is lifted…..country is open to all.
It is opinion, or the perception of opinion, that is carving up your audience. The unfollow feature in Facebook is DEFCON One and then comes DEFCON Two, the unfriend. Quite frankly, once you are unfollowed, you’ve lost your audience which is capital punishment in any multimedia business.
Back to the opportunity in all of this. I’ve had two young multimedia pros that have managed their social media footprint brilliantly. Both have gained share and that means followers, friends, and connections. They have more likes and retweets. Their Klout scores have increased. They have accomplished what every comm or J-school grad sets out to do from Day One forward. To be honest, I have worked with them for over a year and I have no idea what their political affiliations are. A great example of how masterfully this can be managed.
In the end, its all a choice. As a coach and mentor, I’m hopeful the choice would be to gain a large highly engaged audience. To me, the path to do that is fairly clear.
Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.
Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services. Today he coaches a number of high profile media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.
Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.