How to Reignite Your Social Media Audiences


New Media Europe 2016 - London


Knowledge and Porridge

PorridgeHow do you get your voice heard in the sea of noise? How do you reignite your social media audiences?

I gave a talk this week at a Creative Pro Manchester breakfast event called “Porridge and Knowledge”. Although there wasn’t any actual porridge on offer there were some rather lovely pastries!

In my talk, I told a story of how effective use of social media turned me into a massive advocate of the Rare Tea Company. We then travelled back back in time to 50BC to discover the birth of Social Media!.

You might think social media is a relatively new phenomenon- created by the likes of Facebook and Twitter. However, I argued that only the medium or technology has changed. Humans have interacted socially for millenia- not just on a personal level- but on a business level too. The medieval market place was the central place for goods and services to be bought and sold- and it was done on a social level.

Mass Media - Few to Many

The rise of mass media at the start of the 20th century (with radio, newspapers and then TV) changed things radically- the message to the masses was communicated from the few in power. The return of social media at the start of the 21st century allowed a return to the way humans have always interacted- allowing many to communicate to many. The only difference is that it is done much more quickly and on a global level.

Social Media - Many to Many

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 YearsIf you are interested to know more about the history of social media, then I highly recommend that you read Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage.

But how do you reignite your social media audiences with so much content being created each day? By communicating your passion, targeting the right people and building trust:

  • Passion – Create content on your passions. Tell your story! What drives you & your business?
  • Target – Ask yourself these questions… Where are your customers hanging out?  Where are the conversations happening? Where are your competitors hanging out? What type of content and medium are your customers looking to consume? What type of content/medium are your competitors good at?
  • Trust – Be helpful! Educate. Build up trust. Be authentic. Don’t hide behind you’re your corporate identity- show yourself!

I was excited to find my talk was mentioned in an article in the Manchester Evening News. Have a read of that here: Reigniting your Social Media Audiences.

Why I am not a guru (or an expert)

Ian Anderson Gray Is Not A Guru

Speaking of that article, I was called a “social media guru” not just once, but twice! Can I just clarify, I am not a guru! I am not a fan of the word “guru” or “expert”. They make it sound like you’ve “made it” or “already there”. But none of us are. None of us will ever be. It’s a constant journey. I loved what Mark W. Schaefer said at Social Media Marketing World “I’m not an expert, I’m a student”. So true- and that’s from one of the most respected marketers out there. Some of you may remember a rather ironic take on so-called social media gurus in How to become a Social Media Guru in 20 Steps. Part 2 is coming soon!

But I do love to help people, and I do love to problem solve. These are big reasons why I love consulting. Do I have all the answers? No, but I’ve spent a massive amount of time over the past 12 years building up my knowledge and experience. I’ll always have more to learn, but thankfully, that is something I enjoy. What about you?

My friend, Ralph Rivera of Web Search Social had more to say on why I am not a guru in his article “Ian Anderson Gray is not a guru“. Just a warning, Ralph (being Ralph) has added one swear/curse word towards the end- so don’t click if you will find that offensive. If you haven’t come across Web Search Social, then you need to hop over right now- you’re in for a treat!

So, what do you think?

What do you think about the word “expert” or “guru”? Do you think they are legitimate words to use, or do you have a problem with them? How do you reignite your social media audiences? I’d love to know! As always, let me know in the comments below!


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About Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is a speaker, coach, social media consultant, web developer & Partner of Select Performers. In real life he is a husband, dad and geek and is rather partial to tea, coffee & Indian cooking. Find out more



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