Today’s Top Blogger Is Tomorrow’s Yesterday
Blogging, podcasting and Web 2.0 capabilities have become the riptide of social media, profoundly disrupting the mainstream media and marketing industries. Should the media industry and more specifically, your own company, swim with the current trends or resist this ever-widening technology and risk drowning? Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers and driving force behind PC Week, Computerworld and TechTarget, explored these new trends during the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s event, The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media, Thursday, January 24.
According to Gillin, social media has made everyone a publisher, creating a big opportunity for us PR professionals to take the message directly to the market. There’s no need for the middle man anymore – individuals can bypass the press completely and go directly to the Internet, a world-wide audience that is ready to listen and not afraid to talk back. The “New Influencers” as Gillin so deems them, are passionate, persistent in their beliefs and eager to be heard, but can they be trusted?
The good news is that word travels fast. Gillin noted that bloggers are six times more likely to post positive comments than negatives ones. And one link to a story from a well-read blogger can now impact website traffic as much as 35,000 emails containing that same story, giving small groups of people and individuals as much influence over the media as big corporations and news outlets.
The bad news is that word travels fast. As Gillin eagerly pointed out, “today’s top blogger is tomorrow’s yesterday, this medium resists the control of any individual [and with that notion alone] will fundamentally change the way businesses market and sell. Companies who continue to treat blogs and the Internet unlike the press are going to suffer.”
Surely Gillin did not mean that every blogger should be treated equally; after all there are 35 million active bloggers on the Internet. Companies need to sift through the clutter, determine the thought leaders in each industry, and listen to and leverage the conversation. Gillin encourages engaging the blogosphere by documenting corporate successes, and inviting customer feedback and input. Bottom line, take control – start the conversation and expand your organization’s community before someone beats you to the punch.