Social Media meets Astronomy

23Mar09

Social Media meets Astronomy

Yesterday, the Brains on Fire blog wrote a post about how social media relates to a relatively unusual topic… Astronomy. They wrote:

“Did you know that astronomers just discovered that the Milky Way is 50% larger than they originally thought? Just think about it for a second – all those new planets floating out there just waiting to be discovered and explored…So how does this possibly relate to [social media]? Well, for me it’s a great reminder that while social media is great, there is still a lot out there to be discovered. There’s no doubt that “social media” is the latest buzz phrase and Twitter and Facebook are the belles of the ball right now. And they are great tools. But as they become mainstream, they are becoming just another channel to push messages through…and the noise is increasing. Yes, there are some shining stars (no pun intended) when it comes to companies using these tools to have a conversation, but the vast majority of the companies using the social media platforms are still just pushing information. Not conversing.”

Brains on Fire brings up a stellar point – as the noise increases, messaging must become increasingly transparent and engaging or it will get lost in the shuffle. Social media is an uncharted frontier. There are no rules established yet, no boundaries, no common law, and if you make a mistake it could be deadly to your brand’s reputation.

So how do you make your message stand out from all the rest? The first way os to understand that all of the platforms/tools out there at your disposal are just that – tools at yoru disposal. They don’t make a social media campaign successful, they don’t have some magical quality that promotes your busienss more than other mediums. They are simply tools for you to use to get your message to the masses.

The second thing you must understand to be successful, is it is the message that matters. Engage users with contests, witty conversation, meaningful advice, not with constant secret pushes to your website. Users can see right through those techniques, and it turns them off. Show the community that you have something worthwhile to offer, and your results will be much more positive. Always remember, quality content is key!

If you are operating a social media campaign, ask your self: How are you using these tools to support real-world conversations? Real-world face-to-face interactions? How do you follow up with your messaging? By answering these questions, you will obtain a better understanding of where the gaps lie in your social media strategy, and you will be able to develop a stronger action plan moving forward.

Do you have a favorite social media platform/tool? Leave me a comment and tell me what it is and why you like it so much.

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