Four years’ jail for Facebook post that incited no one

Perry gives hope to business bloggers (Photo: SMH)

Perry gives hope to business bloggers (Photo: SMH)

Here’s a story to warm your heart and rejuvenate your spirits if you’ve been blogging or marketing in social networks but yielding no obvious reward. Persevere.

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, a British would-be trouble maker who tried to use Facebook to stir up riots in his part of the Mother Country.

Nobody listened except the police.

The failed terrorist try-hard got sent to jail and people have been chortling over his ‘failure’ ever since.

But in his story, I see something that should give hope to you, if you are blogging for your business or maintaining a presence in social networks.

There is more listening going on than you expect

What young Sutcliffe-Keenan learnt the hard way, those of us using social media and social networking as marketing tools have known for a long time: people are listening.

In Sutcliffe-Keenan’s case it was the wrong people listening but in your case, I urge you to use a variety of measures to gauge your success in online social marketing.

While most of us would prefer our prospects and customers actively tapping away at keyboards and pushing our conversations around the web, the fact is that whenever research is done on social sharing habits, the majority of us are ‘lurkers’.

What this means is, the majority of people across all age groups prefer to read and note what is being said in online spaces rather than poke their heads above the trenches, possibly for fear of being shot at.

With this in mind, make sure you give people ample opportunities to contact you privately, such as email, telephone or, heaven forbid, face to face!

RSS feeds and search

One final source of audience to remember is journalists themselves, such as those working at the Sydney Morning Herald.

I can assure you that most of them have a suite of Google Alerts and other listening tools set up to monitor the web for keywords of interest to them.

So you may be pleasantly surprised one day, to hear from a journalist seeking your comment on a story on the basis of the expertise you have displayed on your business blog or in your social channels.

Do this points give you hope? If not, what stumbling blocks are you finding as you incorporate ‘content creation’ (generating stories about your business for your marketing) with day to day running of your business? Let me know and I will blog some tactics for trying to overcome them.



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