Last week we talked about the onset of the MyCast movement, which trendcaster Marian Salzman predicts will continue to flood and change the realm of social media. MyCasting–which loosely refers to an individual independently publishing on the Web (forum posts, comments, tweets, blogs or so forth)–stands poised to compete with credible outlets, newscasts, expert analysis and even advertising in 2011—and onward.
So how can you take advantage of MyCasting?
To begin with, by paying attention to it. It would be detrimental to ignore a population of loud voices making demands from a product or service that your company’s providing. The public in general is now high on the sense of entitlement that comes from being given a soapbox–the Web. Not just any forum, but one through which the squeakiest wheel, rather than the brightest bulb, gets the most attention. They expect to be taken into consideration if not directly engaged with. And when in unanimity, they don’t expect to be denied.
Not only is this group obviously within your audience sphere, they’re also a powerful and vocal force. Imagine just as much power getting behind your company in terms of support and approval rather than requests and complaints? It would be an unmatchable tool to reach others within your demographic, much like cutting out the middleman in viral marketing. You don’t even have to do the work; they will create the content and they will spread it around.
Second of all, you can control it. You can put marketing dollars toward creating a space for individuals to come share their thoughts and be acknowledged. Create a conversation on YouTube. Set up a thread on your website. This gives you control over the feedback of the masses, whether positive or negative, by giving them an arena that’s easy to monitor and interact with. You also want to try and track and measure the tides–that way, you can start compositing analytics that will give you a leg up on your next campaign.
Last but not least, embrace it. Join social media sites. Jump into conversations. Make a YouTube blog with cameos from your co-workers. Joe Smith doesn’t want to talk to Mr. CEO. He didn’t start expressing his feelings online because he wanted to go unnoticed or argue with a robot. He wants to talk to a real person who is hearing his concerns and relating to them.
You can create personable and down-to-earth content that talks back into the void, replying to tweets and engaging in comment threads. You don’t just have to talk about your profession, offer expertise or reassure people that their business is very important to you. Ask how they’re doing, talk about your dog and get to know them. Because that’s what it’s all about—everyone meeting on the same equal level and meeting eye to eye to address a common interest (which might just be your business). And once you get the hang of it and begin to acknowledge the power, prevalence and authority of MyCasting, you can harness it for your own benefit.