A few months ago I was listening to a podcast from a social media marketing guru who talked about the need to find an overall method to your madness when it comes to interacting with the Internet world. His recommendation was to adopt a time-tested strategy that has proven itself successful for more than 25 decades. Even though we’re dealing with a vastly more technically-savvy world than that of the 18th Century, the strategy that made people hugely influential and powerful in the past will work equally well today.
Rupert Murdoch is an Australian-born media mogul who owns newspapers, magazines, television networks, radio stations, film studios, satellite networks, major internet sites, publishing houses, outdoor advertising companies, and other media venues throughout the world. Like his arch-nemesis Ted Turner, he has considerable influence over what more than a billion people see and hear on a daily basis. His control over the media has given him great power. As a result, while not a politician, he routinely meets with geopolitical leaders to discuss and shape policies and programs that shape entire nations.
You and I will, most likely, never become as wealthy or as powerful as Murdoch, Turner, or one of the media magnates from yesteryear, such as William Hearst or Lord Northcliffe. But we can expand our influence in similar ways on a significantly smaller scale. We can become mini social media moguls by taking advantage of a number of Internet sites that deliver different media types to the people we want to influence.
For every traditional media outlet, such as a television station, newspaper, publishing house, or radio station, there is there is a corresponding site on the Internet. Take Twitter, for example. Twitter is nothing more than a billboard, flashing your 140-character tweet to thousands of followers every day. Some of those followers actively seek out your daily tweets as they speed by on the information superhighway, but most don’t. Most are simply traveling to a different destination and may or may not notice your billboard flashing its short message. But every once in a while, they’ll glance over and see something that interests them, something that might even motivate them to action. And that’s the goal, isn’t it?
The same thing can be said of other Internet sites. The diagram below is my social media solar system. It shows several satellites surrounding a central orb. I’ll talk more about the central orb later, but first notice that each satellite is a media outlet where I choose to maintain a presence. My radio station is an audio podcast, housed at iTunes or an internet-radio site. My television station is located at YouTube or a similar video-hosting service. Skype is my telephone company, allowing me to reach out and touch someone anywhere on the planet. And WordPress is my personal newspaper, where I publish all things that are of interest to me. And the correlations go on and on. For every traditional media outlet, there is, or soon will be, an Internet correlation.
Notice how the satellites orbit the central orb. You are the center of this galaxy and your blog is your main domain. Not only is it where you live, but it is also where you work and play. It is the jumping off place for those interested in you, your opinions, your hobbies, your family, your humor, your perspectives. People may be introduced to you through one of your satellites, but you really want them to come visit your home world. Once they land on your site, they’ll find links to your satellite sites and will be able to see your world the way you want them to see it.
One of these links may be to your business site, where you will give them the opportunity to buy something from you (or one of your affiliates). But it is simply a satellite. You don’t want to offend the visitors to your home world by constantly trying to sell something to them. You want to build a long-term relationship with them, where they can learn to know you, like what you are saying, and trust you. If, and only if, you have that relationship established, then visitors will be far more likely to link over to your business satellite site and give you their money.
Why do we want to seek out and maintain a presence on all of these Internet-based media outlets? Because that is where the people assemble and mingle with other people. If you want to be a mover and a shaker, you need to get your message out to as many people as you can. When newer Internet sites become more popular than older sites, you’ll want to establish a presence there as well. If you, and your solar system, go where the people are going, you’ll invariably find more prospects, clients, fiends, and followers than you will drifting in the outer darkness of deep space.