This is the first time I’ve ever put myself under a time clock to write a blog. My goal was to finish by 12:30 and I missed it—and that’s okay! Hope you like it.
I want to start this article by saying how much I enjoyed spending time with my Site Source colleagues in San Diego. I reconnected with CRE ninjas, made a lot of new friends, gained nationwide inside intel and was incessantly laughing. I also want to apologize to the members who get annoyed by the decibel level of my voice. You can give me a stink-eye. No big deal, I’ll get the hint and tone it down.
This conference was different from other ICSC trade shows and other events I had attended in the past. I’ve been yearning to get a message out to our 47 Site Source affiliates, frustrated at times. The message is that we have a fundamental advantage:
“Organic Built-In Connectivity”
What does that mean? We have a built-in conduit to comment, like and re-share through strategic engagement strategies. There are some extremely dynamic tactics that we are implementing and devising in the chocolate factory. Willy Wonka also knows a lot about sports and has other consulting clients.
Selective Censorship (Two types)
Explicit: Many large companies have extensive and arduous protocols regarding branded content distribution. There are a plethora of reasons such as co-branding with partners (domestic and abroad), intellectual property regulations and micromanagement of unconventional content. All these are forms of quasi-censorship.
Implicit: Every company has a culture. This ranges from three ninjas with a collection of outsourced support like my company or a behemoth with tens of thousands of employees. Unfortunately, in many large company cultures, edginess, going against the grain and being openly adversarial are discouraged. Cultures become enmeshed in collective thought, which translates to peer pressure against any unconventional content creation.
Personal Brand Expression
Want to know a straightforward way to get legitimate followers without using the Mumbai click strategy? Ever wonder why so many are stuck at 30k followers?
They either clicked their way incessantly at red lights, work breaks and on the couch or they paid some person in India to do it. Mine’s name is Surrendra, aka Eric, and he’s awesome. Still curious why he went Nordic… Hmmm.
Share knowledge, show vulnerability and be yourself! People will follow.
If you cuss a little bit, as most of us type-A extroverts do, don’t be incessantly vulgar, but be genuine. Here are a few different versions of “shit” ordered in terms of potential offensiveness:
- **** (within context)
There are ways to still be yourself, tell a non-offensive dirty joke and have a little fun.
In the words of Willy Wonka (aka CVAS):
“People don’t follow logos, they follow people.”
Authenticity is the key to gaining a following. Some people are fundamentally more interesting, creative and extroverted. That doesn’t mean you can’t start down a road to learning a creative process—and everyone has things in they do that relate to their job. If you don’t have the time or energy, outsource your creative brand-building!!! A legitimate digital marketing consultant can help you create and package content with a minimal time commitment.
The term “corporate red tape” exists for a reason. In myopic organizations, it can be layers of people who need to review non-vanilla and templated content. The stories that get attention are trending. It’s as easy as taking a picture of a newspaper article, uploading to your phone, creating some text, tags, hashtags and posting. If that article is even somewhat controversial or there’s an adjacent article from my friend Tara Tedrow discussing cannabis, many companies won’t allow them to post.
I am so excited that since the San Diego conference, many members of the Site Source networked have engaged, and our marketing reach is expanding exponentially. There are two kinds of social B2B networks that I have seen:
Fragmented connectivity: Site Source and similar networks that you see at ICSC are great examples—I’ve been in three at this point. Fragmented doesn’t mean that we don’t communicate, it means we’re 47 nerve centers that are perpetually evolving with nationwide coverage. This is an amazing conduit to marketing prowess.
Top-down connectivity: There are varying degrees of the content Chinese handcuffs, but all are inherently authoritarian. If any person on the totem pole between you and the CEO disagrees with your content, you’re handcuffed. I think it was inherently implied that when all roads led to Rome, you couldn’t piss off Rome.
For those of you who don’t know how a video goes viral, it’s simple. People see a video they do one or all of the following on LinkedIn:
When massive amounts of people see something they like so much they want to share with their friends first, it’s spiderweb effect like construction debris hitting your windshield on I-4. This is an implanted advantage for organic networks of people to gain massive exposure. This can range from trade show organizations wanting to grow attendance, to chess enthusiasts promoting the game to cancer support groups creating advocacy awareness. Share within your group and it will reach your collective networks and beyond.
Tactical Reflection & Final Thought
I truly encourage my colleagues to write content when your mind is fresh, even if your company won’t let you post. The saddest part is that once the mind’s patterns turn to the conventional (chasing money under incessantly repetitive circumstances) the creative side is deactivated and atrophies. If you work for a large company, think of ways you can create organic like-minded groups internally and externally for content creation. Your content will be worth something someday.
I think it’s difficult for our CRE community to be insidious if they’re being creative. That creativity in a group setting will lead to endless connectivity and exposure.
**Special thanks to the Bluwave social crew for delaying our meeting and providing imagery research to finish this blog! They’re awesome if anyone needs a rec, give me a call and I’ll make an introduction.