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How to Reignite Your Social Media Audiences

Reigniting your Social Media Audience

Knowledge and Porridge

Porridge How 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 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 millennia- 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)

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 is. 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?

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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It’s still amazing how so many people just throw links out there and don’t seem to engage on social media. Building relationships is really important.


Ian, your article is spot on, simple and to the point! It really is all about passion, your target audience and trust. I think it’s also important for people to understand that you don’t have to create all of your content, sometimes someone else can take your thoughts and write an article that you just can’t say better yourself! I will be sharing this article. 😉

As far as my thoughts on the words expert or guru, I am not fond of expert as it makes me think of someone who has mastered a subject. I do not think it is possibly to master social media considering the rapid change and shear volume of networks. I prefer the term guru as I once read a definition that defined a guru as an influential teacher and intellectual guide. To me, that implies that a guru is someone who has a love for learning!


Hi Ian,

Great article! Personally I don’t mind reading about ‘gurus’ on social media as long as those so-called ‘gurus’ don’t start taking themselves too seriously. I always find that someone who actually knows a heck of a lot but yet remains humble is incredibly endearing and personable. There are some, however, who try and live up to being labelled a ‘guru’ and put themselves on a pedestal (from there the only way is down!)

As a rule I think marketers ought to keep doing & writing about what they love; enthusiasm is very catching and an audience will pick up on that.

Alisa Meredith

I’m with you 100%, Ian. Happy to see you get the recognition you deserve as the guru you are. I read that part right, yes? 😉