For me, writing about social media is a rare occurrence. I enjoy the topic. I read multiple blog posts and articles about social media each week. I guess the last post on social media I wrote was about Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) and his his UnBook Tour. That post was more about how he uses social media tools to promote his first book (buy his book if you haven’t yet … it’s good).
I don’t consider myself a social media guru, yeti, Buddha, or even ninja. In fact, let’s just abolish those terms entirely. Gain your credibility through your accomplishments, and then I’ll turn to you as a creditable source.
Now for the ironic drum roll … a great way for businesses to use social media is to create their own buzz club. I don’t remember where I first heard this term, or even who coined the phrase, but I started hearing about this in 2007/8. The basic concept is a group of people who help spread news on a specific topic.
We all have our unofficial buzz clubs. You pass news along to friends interested in similar topics. This was happening well before Facebook or Twitter. If you have ever receive an envelope full of newspaper clippings, you were part of an old fashion buss club. Yes, in an envelope … and yes, in the mail. Buzz clubs work by spreading news on a topic to friends with similar interests.
In the social media world, you don’t just sharing an envelope of newspaper clippings with one friend, you retweet or like some information to every one of your followers. The power of that is huge.
Buzz club members don’t need to be influences in the social media world, although it might help gain more traction. They just need to be participating members in the social media world building relationships.
If you are active in the social media world, there is a good chance you’re a unofficial buzz club member already. Think about. Do you wait on baited breath for the announcement of a new Apple product? Once the LCBO Food & Drink magazine is released, do you reading every recipe thinking of the perfect appetizer to accompany that expensive bottle of wine? I’m guilty of both. Any yes, I’ll tweet , discuss, and share information on both those topics.
They’ve got me. I am a buzz club member.
These unofficial buzz clubs are amazing. They happen organically when you’re interacting on- and off-line. However, organizations need to be smart and coordinate their buzz clubs. There will be organic offshoots of the buzz club, but the base and structure of the buzz club should have some organizational design and plan.
Relative to print media, digital media is young. Many marketing and communication departments started as a way to coordinate print messages sent internally and externally. It’s now time to extend that coordination into the digital medium – that includes social media.
The challenge with creating coordinated buzz clubs is the separation between the online professional self vs. the online personal self. If organizations can overcome that challenge, they will create a successful (organized) buzz club and give some personality to digital communication.