Key Ingredient for Social Media Marketing Success

I learned long ago when setting up community-based health programs in American Indian communities that the key ingredient for success often rises or falls on the presence of the community organizer. All the good intentions, training, and plans will fall by the wayside without someone to keep spreading the love and showing the way to connectedness.

Today, my friend and colleague Mike McAllen over at Grass Shack Road queried a few of us on LinkedIn about what elements we consider to be essential in a new media marketing plan. Here’s what I offered to him, and now to you:

%(hilight)The main point I would put on the table is that though the tools may be free/cheap, the real investment is in time and leadership. It takes a dedicated person who is outgoing and creative, and willing to talk into the ether for a measurable period of time before expecting results. The more you, as the host or sponsor, nurture and support this person, the better are your chances for a thriving community. Can they get a big head after a while? Yes, the risk is there. But first, let’s get this thing off the ground.%

Checklist for the Ideal New Media Ringleader
* outgoing personality
* technologically inclined (though this is the most trainable piece)
* willing and happy to work independently
* able to reach out to others without expectations
* creative in a very conversational way
* curious and able to learn by watching others and adapting (this takes a mindset where you can observe the underlying structures, not be distracted by the content of the discussion)
* it really helps if the person is literate in the underlying topic that is the raison d’etre for the SN group.
* ability to work with conflict and ability to be ignored without taking it personally. (This involves understanding web user psychology – 95% plus are lurkers and people can be much harsher and more reactionary than in face to face encounters.)

In my experience, the best intentions and set up often fail if there is not a pied piper committed for the long haul to make it happen.

Mike also pointed me to this series underway over at Spark Media: The 12 Principles of New Media. Mahalo Mike!

UPDATE 07-06-23: On Twitter I discovered this quote from Mitch Joel “social networks have nothing to do with technology” that was posted by Bryan Person.

I so agree!

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P.S. Here is the archived site about my work in Indian Country. “Healthy Tribes”: