What’s the value of social media?

General

Today I spoke on a panel* on the topic of Media, for the current Leadership Butler County class. On the panel with me were Joe Taylor of ARMSTRONG, Scott Briggs of the Butler County Radio Network, and Keith Graham of the Butler Eagle, each representing their business and, to some extent, their media (television, radio, and print news respectively).

My brief was to represent “New Media” — kind of a big area. I decided to focus on three questions that people often ask me about social media and online networks:

  • Who has time for social media?
  • Which should my company/organization be on: Facebook or Twitter?
  • What is the ROI of social media?

Here are the slides that accompanied my talk.

* Yes, another one! This month has been crazy with panel presentations. (back)

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Content Marketing General Social media

two women reading newspaper on park bench

I’m cool with “social marketing” and businesses’ presence in social networks. Obviously.

I like blog comments. A lot.

However, it seems I will forever cringe while reading comments on social marketing blogs.

What do you say we try a little experiment with this social marketing blog post!

[I should probably clarify, I’ve never had a problem with any comment on this blog. We don’t get many, and they’re rarely, if ever, from the cringe-worthy marketing professionals you see elsewhere.]

Here’s my idea:

Shut out the centralized, public comments.

There are other places where you can commnet on this very post. Google Reader, Google Buzz, Twitter, Facebook, message boards, and other blogs. Heck, you can even talk about it offline! Hopefully, you already know plenty of people who want to hear your opinion of my ideas. People who want your answers to my questions. People who are interested to know which questions you find most interesting.

You’re not commenting just because you like people to see your name and link, right?

So, I’m going to offer a few ideas and questions, in conclusion. Now that you’ve read this post, start a discussion about it amongst the people who already know you. Feel free to invite me into your network to participate. Tell me I’m wrong to my face, it’s cool.

[I was trying to decide if I should leave the “trackbacks” (pingbacks) on.

Cindy offered, “One hazard of this suggestion is that it becomes the original author’s (your) responsibility to report back to the blog audience on responses to posts. So then you’re setting yourself up as a filter. Open comments avoid this problem; so do trackbacks. They promote transparency.”

So, the comment thread can link back to those responding blog posts.]

Okay, then. Here are those questions:

  • What does my post and this blog lose from closing the comments to this post?
  • What do I gain? What do other readers gain? What do your blogs, and social circles gain by commenting “locally?”
  • I’m drawing my line at posts about and for social marketing professionals. I’m not suggesting businesses using blogs to talk to their consumers should do anything like this. But could that line be better drawn some place else?

Let me know where you think.

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon