Recently I realized one of the most overlooked marketing opportunities, for organizations, is the potential “free press” they can receive from their “social technology savvy” customers. With the evolution of web 2.0 applications more channels are available for marketing and “news-type” communications than ever before.
As the “micro-blogging” culture continues to grow and thrive, more and more journalism coverage of events is occurring outside of traditional channels. Whereas the power of media once existed exclusively within the walls of newsrooms, magazines, newspapers and the syndicated news networks, that is changing rapidly.
Emerging real-time voices of current events are Bloggers, micro-bloggers and other social technology users. Ironically, mainstream journalism networks are starting to acknowledge these people and their tools as a recurring resource for much of what they report, as well.
The true tabloids of today’s news are Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. Writers utilize, as their tools of choice, laptop computers, smart phones, and flip cameras. Social media reporters don’t chase celebrities on motorcycles, or swarm around political figures at public events. Instead they listen, observe and efficiently report their experiences and opinions using social technology.
Interestingly, an initial news clip, submitted by its author, is really just the “tip of the iceberg.” As other social media users read it and weigh in, with their perspectives, the depth and impact of a story grows… it becomes a discussion. If there is massive interest in the discussion, by users, it may achieve viral status and become a trending topic in the online world. This frequently happens in a matter of a few minutes.
Communities of Micro-bloggers are beginning to form a “Twitterati” at conferences and events. This social media press corp relentlessly shares their perspectives and opinions with other social media users, of the event content, the presenters and the event experience itself. And… this is happening with, or without the blessing of the event organizer!
Organizations are beginning to acknowledge the relevance of bloggers, as an effective tool for press coverage of their events. Some Event Managers are even starting to offer these “live” bloggers discounted, or even complimentary registrations for events, in exchange for their reporting prowess. That is pretty exciting!
So I say out with the Paparazzi and in with the Twitterati! Whats your opinion?