A Big Challenge, an Enormous Opportunity
Social tools both enable and challenge us as marketers. I’ve enjoyed grappling with social technology to understand it. What a puzzle! And what rewards await us.
Yesterday I put together a chart of the ways you can make your website social. I was preparing to lead a small-group discussion at The Houston WordPress Meetup Group. The graphic shows WordPress plugins arranged across two dimensions. Those plugins with a larger typeface have been downloaded more.
A Conceptual Framework: Two Dimensions
Whether your site uses WordPress or not, these two dimensions lay out the social opportunities available to you.
1. Initiator: You or Your Audience.
I’ve labeled the ends of the vertical axis with “Sharing By Your Audience” and “Your Own Sharing.” You can select and share content with others, and you can influence your audience to select and share content.
2. Arena: Internal or External to Your Website.
Your website itself can be more social. Also, you and your audience can participate in the social arena beyond your site.
Four Quadrants of Opportunity
The four sectors of the chart correspond to four types of social activity that can enliven interaction with your present and potential audiences. I’ve ordered them by the size of the opportunity.
1. Empower your audience to create content within your site (northwest quadrant).
Living in fear, most orchestras haven’t embraced the heart of social technology on their website. Yet think how compelling you’ve found Wikipedia, Amazon’s online reviews or Facebook. Don’t lament the loss of newspaper music critics. Instead, let your audience segment engage one other on your website to feed their love of music.
WordPress sites are by nature social unless you disable comments. The WordPress plugins on the chart make forums even more sophisticated (Disqus, IntenseDebateComments), reward those who comment (CommentLuv) or imitate social networking sites (Mingle).
2. Make it easy for your audience to share your content across its social network (northeast).
Through your site you share bundles of information with your network. Doesn’t it make sense to help spread those bundles across your audience’s network? Populate your site with Facebook Like buttons, Twitter retweet prompts and other social sharing tools.
3. Bring external social content into your site (southwest).
WordPress plugins make it easy for you to import Facebook comments, Twitter activity or RSS feeds into your site. Have your concerts been reviewed? Make it easy for your audience to read those reviews. Increase your orchestra’s share of mind by mining and showing fresh content about your orchestra—whether or not you wrote the material.
4. Share your content through your orchestra’s Facebook page or Twitter account (southeast).
Sadly, this quadrant bounds most orchestras’ activity on social sites. Don’t be like others who merely broadcast content. You’re only social when you listen and engage as well.
Another InfoGraphic About Social Media and Orchestras
If you enjoyed this chart you may also want a map of social media for the performing arts, The Social Symphony. I’d be pleased to send you an 11×17 copy.
By no means have I captured all the opportunities available to make your site social. What has worked for you?