Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
“The Alpha Audience—the fervent supporters who you can rely on day-in and day-out for support, ignition, and action—a rare breed” (Schaefer 102). This is the most prominent quote in chapter five in my opinion. It brought to light how many of us are so worried about the number of followers we have on social media, do we even stop to care WHO is following us?
Schaefer opens the chapter talking about raising money for a charity and how his blog was shared 750 times and only 92 people donated. This is where we face the challenge of weak social media links. 80 of these 92 donors, he had met in person and built personal relationships with. He built trust (which is the “launch code for the Alpha Audience rocket”). How many of us actually know our followers? How much value does hundreds of likes get you if only a small portion would actually be willing to do something substantial for you?
This made me think about my social media engagement for my journalism class. I have a Twitter/Facebook page called the “Unheard Voices of Tampa Bay”. This multi-media package I am creating is supposed to bring to light the underserved and underprivileged populations in Tampa. It is very new, but I just got my first follow back this weekend! I was very excited that someone actually paid attention to my content. The only reason why I got that follow on Twitter/Facebook was because I tagged the organization in a post showing an event they were doing for their children in need and the TB Buccaneers. I was so excited. Had I just formed a relationship just by highlighting the good of another organization?
I also liked reading about not mistaking the quiet “lurkers” as irrelevant. I often think that the people I engage with on social media that share the most and have the most to post are the ones who will share my content. But most often those people end up posting and sharing pure crap! It gets so annoying when they post something every five seconds; you want to scream! Schaefer states that the vast majority of lurkers can still be very loyal and share your content through more hidden modes.
I am really going to have to pay attention to building an Alpha Audience in my line of desired advocacy work. We are often bombarded with the children in need stories, or the starving African children on the TV that we tend to turn our head when we are asked to donate another dollar. Even I feel this way and I actually hope to be involved with this work in the future. Relationships are key. Alpha Audiences will get your content where it needs to be.