This weekend I was reminded of how quickly ideas can generate buzz and discussion on social media sites when a blog post I wrote immediately sparked conversation on my blog as well as two other social sites. 

On Saturday I wrote a blog post comparing and contrasting a pair of micro-blogging sites, Plurk and Twitter.  Then, as soon as the post went live, I posted a link to it on both Plurk and Twitter, so that my friends and followers on both sites could check out the post. 

What happened next was pretty interesting.  The blog post had a few comments after 30 mins or so.  But when I posted the link to it on Plurk, a conversation immediately grew there around the points I had raised in my post.   As you can see, the post has currently generated 26 comments from Plurk users.

But when I posted it to Twitter, it was also sent automatically to another social site called Friendfeed.  Friendfeed is a site that aggregates the content you create on other social sites, such as your blog, Twitter, Flickr, and many others.  Friendfeed then creates a 'feed' of all your content that it collects from the sites you choose to let it aggregate, and then other Friendfeed users can 'subscribe' to your feed.

One of my friends, Jennifer Leggio, is subscribed to my Friendfeed feed.  She liked my blog post on Twitter vs Plurk, and she reposted it in her feed on Friendfeed.

And when she did, a completely new discussion about the post erupted on Friendfeed. The new conversation on Friendfeed currently has 35 comments. 

The really interesting part is that as the conversations about this post generated momentum on Plurk and Friendfeed, that helped drive traffic back to the original blog post.  As a result, the post is now up to 21 comments.

Let's do some math here.  There's 21 comments currently to the original blog post, plus an additional 26 comments about the post on Plurk, and another 35 comments about it on Friendfeed.  And as you might expect, the traffic to my blog on Saturday was about double what it normally is.

I think there's a few key points here:

1 - This example proves how quickly ideas can travel through social media sites.  And again, all this happened on a Saturday, which is historically a down day for traffic to social media sites.

2 - None of this would have likely happened if I hadn't also been active on Twitter and Plurk and Friendfeed.  If I was just blogging, the post would have likely sparked a few comments, and that would have been it.  But because I have cultivated a network of friends on both Plurk and Twitter (and to a lesser degree Friendfeed), these friends were interested in reading and responding to my post.  If you are wanting to add social media to your marketing efforts, consider that you may want to create and maintain a presence on other sites besides just your blog.

3 - You can't control where the conversation happens.  Notice that the blog post itself received fewer comments than it did when posted at Plurk and later Friendfeed.  My ego might say that it sure would have looked nice to have all those comments from Friendfeed and Plurk added to the total at my blog, but that's not how it works.  You have to be thankful for any feedback you get at any place online.   This why I say that social media conversations are leaky.  They want to move to where the people are.  You should do everything you can to encourage this flow, not attempt to control it.



June 9, 2008





Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.






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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > Social Media Conversations Are Leaky