10 June 2009

Ingredients for Successful Social Media

Social media marketing expert Paul Gillin offers three ingredients of successful social media projects for traditional news organizations on the Knight Digital Media Center blog:

* Inclusion. "You’re not the oracle any more. You are part of a community ... of information providers that include people from all walks of life," Gillin says. The role of the news organization is, increasingly, to assimilate the information that others in the community are contributing. "You need to include a lot of different voices in what you’re doing, and reposition your role as being the one who makes sense of it all."

* Aggregation. Original content is no longer “the be all and end all," he says. The value a news organization provides includes pointing audiences to the best stuff out there. "We’ve gone from an information desert to an information deluge," he says. The critical role of media organizations is "to aggregate lots of options, lots of observations, first-hand accounts, analyses, the stories told by people who are players in the news, and to form a holistic picture of what happened."

* Engagement. The key to engagement, Gillin says, is “playing to people’s particular interests." Crucially, much of that involves local concerns, something that "touches them at a very personal level." Online groups and other digital tools facilitate gathering together people of like interests.

A podcast of Gillin’s remarks is available. The third and final installment of his webinar on social media and building audience will be held Tuesday, 16 June, at 19:00 UK time. He will discuss how publishers can diversify their revenue sources, including hyper-localized advertising, information services, demographic editions and alternative delivery mechanisms such as audio, video and mobile. You can register here.

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