Sunday, September 26, 2010

Your Social Media Strategy Is An Octopus! (From #140Conf Boston)

My friend Jeff Pulver has grown his 140 Characters Conference ("140Conf") to be a global gathering of stories and storytellers covering every imaginable aspect of the impact of the "real-time web" on business, media, education, art and our daily lives. Jeff manages to collect an amazing group of real characters who have real experiences, large and small, and who are always informative and inspiring.  With back to back, wall to wall speakers and panels taking the one and only main stage it is a fast paced event, overloaded with amazing content about "real-time" presented in real-time.  I have had the opportunity to speak at the inaugural 140Conf event, as well as several others thereafter, and it has always been one of my favorite events to speak at.    

The Social Media Octopus

At the recent 140Conf Boston conference I discussed how "Your Social Media Strategy Is An Octopus!"  At Myxer, where I work, I was recently tasked with developing a "social media" strategy for the company.  Suddenly this thing I have been playing with and writing and speaking about for three years is now part of my job responsibility. Be careful what you wish for...   

In developing a strategy for Myxer I used the Octopus as a helpful analogy to address the many tentacles of our Social Media activities:
  • An Octopus has many tentacles, and your social media strategy has many outposts and elements (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, etc.)
  • The tentacles of an Octopus are both deeply intertwined and independent of each other as they work to support the Octopus.  The tentacles of your social media strategy are similarly intertwined and independent, working to support your marketing objectives.
  • An Octopus can jettison one of it's tentacles and grow a new one.  Similarly, you should jettison your social tentacles that aren't working and try something new.
  • An Octopus is a master of camouflage, and can literally become invisible.  A good social media strategy should also be invisible, and your social media interactions should feel organic and natural to your customers.
What do you think?  Is your social media strategy an Octopus?

Below is the video of my 140Conf Boston presentation.  Thanks to @geogeller for recording the video, and thanks to @iPayStation for the photo above. For convenience I edited the video to include the videos I showed and some of my slides.

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