Building Buzz vs. Value on the Social Web

December 8, 2009


In recent months one word I’ve been hearing from companies looking to separate themselves from their competition online has been “buzz”. By Google definition, buzz is a confusion of activity and gossip or to be noisy with activity. Take the word buzz and apply it to the intended goal of generating buzz on the social web. What you’ll end up with is a short-lived life cycle of content ranging from tweets, blog comments and Facebook “shares” that can generate exposure to a time limited audience. Generating buzz on the social web shouldn’t be a goal for companies looking to harness the power of social media. Instead, companies should work on building relationships with potential new customers and/or increase the value of their existing clients. I’m not saying that companies shouldn’t try new and creative ways to get attention when launching new products or campaigns. However, companies shouldn’t focus on simply generating buzz. For instance, your goal shouldn’t be the front page of Digg or a feature on Mashable but you should aim on for your project to generate sales leads, reach existing clients or find new customers. Also you should always think about the long term search value for any content you create. Even with Google search going real-time and more sites/tools becoming available to find content instantly, companies still need to strategize their content for search.

So, the next time you think about building buzz using social media for your company, think again and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I creating content that will add value to my company?
  • Is the content I’m creating shareable?
  • Does the content affect existing customers?
  • Will the content allow me to reach new customers and if so, what will their first impression be?
  • Is my content setup for the long tail value of search?
  • Does the content match existing message of my brand?

Of course these are not all of the questions you should ask yourself and you’ll want to measure and monitor everything. Instead of thinking about generating buzz, think more about how you are adding value to your company.

At Twine Interactive we focus on your complete online presence and social media strategy.

Wayne Sutton

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Wayne Sutton is a serial entrepreneur and general partner at Wayne has over 14 years experience in technology, design and business development. Wayne was recently recognized as one of the Silicon Valley 100 coolest people in tech, one of the 52 hottest new stars in Silicon Valley, one of the 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology by Business Insider and one of the Top 100 most influential black people on social media in 2014.