Field of Social Media Dreams

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Field of Social Media Dreams

“If you build it, they will come*”… BUT will they stay? This is the question to ponder while building a social media network whether you are an individual, promoting a brand or a corporation.

When someone chooses to friend, follow or circle you, what they are looking for is engagement: not broadcasting. Per Dave Kerpen in Likeable Social Media, “ The companies and organizations that stand out are those which use social media to meaningfully engage customers and foster dialogue, instead of those who rely on simply, and repeatedly, talking at customers.” The same ideals are true for celebrities or regular people with their on-line brand. No one likes to be talked AT but instead start a conversation with your community. A conversation needs to be a two-way street with give and take from each party. Sharing content from members of your online network with the rest of your followers, retweeting content and liking their Facebook page are a few ways to engage with your fans.

Social media is not all about you and if you think that people are interested in listening to your message broadcast through their stream without out any sharing or engagement, I think that you will be sadly mistaken.

Even large corporations such as Zappos have people online monitoring their brand and engaging with the people who are talking to and about them. The celebrities that get Social Media, like Brad Paisley, are actively engaging their fans and followers with photos and funny updates. Blasting out PR messages about upcoming gigs does not qualify as engagement and will send people nodding off or heading to the unfollow button.

What are your thoughts about broadcasting? Please share with me in the comments.

*Quote with a twist from Field of Dreams written by W.P. Kinsella.


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  1. Hello Ben,

    That is a great thought and I would say that these things come in stages. First engagement and then a relationship. I’ll use a first date as an example, if you push too hard for the relationship on a first date you won’t be successful. It takes time to build trust and taking baby steps along the way can be helpful. But I agree with you that the ultimate goal might be how do we create online relationships. Awesome future post. 🙂

    Great comments and very nice to meet you!


  2. Great post! Also, thoughtful comments. This post is a great reminder to be thinking about WHY someone follows us. It is about content and value. The minute it becomes anything else, we lose followers.

  3. Hi Sidney,
    Shameless self-promotion is coming up soon!  I must admit that I do send out quotes because I personally like them but I engage all the time so I feel like I need to balance out my conversation with quotes and I do like to share my friends blogs.
    But yes, let’s keep the SOCIAL the big part!


  4. Jure,
    You hit the nail on the head here: “Many companies use SM as traditional media” – this is exactly what they are missing!

    Thank you so much for your kind words – I am thankful for you and your engagement & support as well.


  5. I agree with not setting extremes Sam. The balance between dialogue vs broadcasting within the content as a whole is to me what makes the difference. 

    For me this “a place in personal or corporate social profiles for
    broadcasting” as a part of a whole package which includes conversations, questions and responses is what creates a well rounded Social Media voice. I absolutely think that if your fans & followers are interested, they are looking for updates but also a connection as well. I guess that I personally, which is only my opinion, don’t look at it as broadcasting if it is part of a broader message overall.Bingo: “The key is avoiding the extreme (all one or the other) and understanding the right mix that provides value to both your business and your audience.”Thanks for commenting, you know I greatly value your thoughts & opinions….I didn’t think you read my blog. :)Peggy

  6. Very kind of you Keri!

    Maybe it was summer & the broadcasting was a Social Media “gone fishing” sign.  Interesting thought!
    Appreciate you!


  7. Peg, when you build it, I will always come.  Thanks for another great post.

    I wonder when many corps/celebs will figure this out.  They need to hire you.  🙂


    1. Happy to hear that Aaron! I was just reading your blog & commenting – coincidence? I think not. So happy to have the opportunity to learn, share and grow with you.


  8. Excellent post.  Companies need to engage with their audience and this was very nicely put.
    I sometimes find you don’t even need to engage with your audience directly for them to stay interested.  As long as you’re having a genuine and meaningful conversation on subject which may be of interest.

    If you look at some of the celebrities who talk to other celebs on Twitter about their boring day to day lives. People get engrossed as they feel part of a conversation they wouldn’t normally be party to.

    Either way we’re back to the subject of conversations rather than broadcasting which turns people away very quickly.

    1. Interesting point about celebrities, I think because they are famous maybe people do just like hearing about their everyday lives. When Charlie Sheen joined Twitter it was like shark infested waters, people were diving in to catch his latest ranking tweets. Strange but true! We do have a fascination with them. Point being, maybe if you broadcast REALLY interesting things people will let you get away with it.
      Nice ideas!

  9. I’m amazed at how so many ‘marketers’ just don’t get this.  Focusing on just the media part and skipping the social part is like trying to withdraw money from an empty bank account. 

  10. While I agree with this “Good ideas and thoughts are engaging”, of course, there also needs to be actual engagement. Think about what the point of engagement is, it isn’t the broadcasted tweet but the response by another party that creates the engagement & interaction. Within all Social Media, each person or company has decisions to make about their communication and there are not right or wrong choices per se however; I would encourage anyone who wants to be successful in Social Media to actually engage for a greater percentage of their time. These percentages may vary greatly from situation to situation and that is okay too. 

    What percentage of Social Media interaction do YOU feel should be true engagement vs. “broadcasting?” Love to hear your thoughts.

    1. I was referring to broadcasting as the sole means of Social Media communication but there are several very successful “personalities” that almost exclusively broadcast.I guess personal tolerance towards broadcasted information plays a role in the picture. For you, do you feel that if it is GOOD content that provides value to you, you don’t mind broadcasting? What if there was no interaction or engagement, are you still interested in the message? Curious…

  11. I agree Dane – people are essentially the same on and off line as far as social behavior. Sharing, great friends are good to have in any venue. 🙂

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