Tonight’s #blogchat had Chris Brogan on as guest host – and Mack Collier thankfully prefixed the chat with a post explaining the flow. Thanks for that, Mack – as you said, #blogchat certainly can get batshit-crazy-fast, and no one expected tonight to be any different.
For the uninitiated – here is Mack’s exegesis of #blogchat.
Stanford from Pushing Social also shared a video on how he sets up for #blogchat that’s worth a watch.
Self-promotion: People! My copy of trust Agents is still up for grabs! Share a Skip1.org related story and win the book (with a little thank you note from me!)
The Planned Topic: How to Use Other Social Sites/Presences to Grow Your Blog.
This is a big one. We’ve identified that it’s far easier to grow your audience in one place by being active somewhere else – growing your subscriber base by using Twitter, finding new LinkedIn connections on Facebook, and so on. But just how do we go about that? Chris Brogan cohosted #blogchat tonight, to talk about exactly that thing.
First: How do you decide which sites you should be active on in order to help your blog?
– Targeting helps – Chris shared FlowTown, a targeting tool I’ll be playing with this week. The base of Chris’ advice during this portion was that finding sites to become active on requires two things: defining the goal of your blog, and finding out where your customers are. If your customers are mostly toastmasters – go be a toastmaster. It makes sense.
The flow is fairly simple, really; identify your goal, and find a niche that goal serves. Look at places like AllTop.com for conversations already in motion. Once you’ve found one, involve yourself. Be the elbow, the helpful newcomer – and really get into the conversation. And please, please (Chris asks) “never shove your updates around the web. Be selective, be specific, be unique. Make each network its own beast.”
Second: How to decide whether to make one of the sites you’re involved in, into an Outpost for your community.
Once we’ve targeted properly, and begun to engage, we need to formalize our outposts and differentiate them from the street corners where we hold conversations. So, we pick outposts by relevance; converse, engage, be in th enetwork. Occasional “conversion forks” (Chris’ term) are the way to go.
Give others the tools to succeed. No matter what tyour goal is – thought leadership, building a channel or media property, or sales – your job on the web (and in life, right?) is to help others succeed at what they do. Your products should back this up, and so should your every action on the social web. Chris’ golden ratio for this is 12 actions for others for every 1 action promoting yourself.
Remember to pick your communication style discretely for each network. MySpace has a different accent than Facebook does, and a different one than Twitter does as well. As much as we don’t want to be shoving our updates around everywhere, we don’t want to duplicate everything either. this can be a deciding factor in whether or not you want to really engage in an arena. Cross-pollination is one thing – heck, even I use automation for some of my sharing – but we should remember to make clear distinctions when we’re using these tools to reduce our workload, rather than trying to appear ubiquitous.
A side note: We’re the special cases here, guys. You and me, the bloggers in the room, we know things other people don’t. We have arcana about conversational flow and reciprocation. All the talk in the world about outposts and goals, media properties and voice in communication style… It’s all arcana. We have two options: We can treat it as arcana and guard it like spies – or we can pull the veil and let everyone in on the wisdom. Which are you better at doing? Why?
Drop any further questions for Chris Brogan on his blog – here, as per his request.
Join the #blogchat LinkedIn Group!
Conclusions? What else can we add to this?
UPDATE: @tsudo collected far more semantic details directly from Chris here: Insights into Social Media Marketing
Image borrowed from the awesome Guerilla Freelancing Blog.