Sunday, June 21, 2009

What's More Important: The Quality of Your Posts or Being Social?

Content may be king, and the quality of that content may be important.

But there's a growing sense that quality isn't enough.

That a key is to be out there, online, commenting on other people's blog as much as posting original content to your own blog.

On Twitter, I see a lot of people whose content does not interest me. Many of their posts consist of replies to other people I don't know about people or situations I either don't know or don't care about. Yet some of these people have thousands of followers.

If accumulating huge numbers of followers is your primary goal, the lesson is clear: a lot of the people I'm referring to have huge numbers of followers because they respond to comments the others make, they make it their goal to interact much more with their followers to the point that I wonder how they have time for other parts of their lives (work and personal).

Mack Collier, a social media consultant, trainer and speaker, makes the point about blogs in a recent post on his blog, Viral Garden, The idea that 'content is king' in blogging is total bullshit.

Social media is not just about thought leadership. It's about engaging. You've got to commit to doing both parts of it to succeed. And, as with other aspects of social media, it does take time to build up credibility and traction.

I can see the difference between Twitter and my blog in this regard. I do engage more on Twitter with others -- replying to their tweets, retweeting, etc. -- than I do with my blog. The result: more response, more click-throughs via Twitter.

Mack also says it helped that he found his blogger voice. I think I may have found a voice, but it's a bit more formal than I am in person, and less personal -- another difference compared to my Twitter voice. (Does sound a bit like I have multiple personalities, but apparently I do online.)

I've started commenting more on other people's blogs, too, and I know first-hand that you can spend a lot of time and not necessarily have much in the way of results to point to (as opposed to if I spent the time developing more content for my blog or doing other kinds of outreach on behalf of clients).

I know there are people who will disagree with the concept that quality is less important than being social. One friend has a blog and does not do much engaging at all, and yet still draws lots of readers.

Let me know what you think.

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