Content Movement: How to Get Your Share of the Conversation

Content Movement: How to Get Your Share of the Conversation

This is Episode 50 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan.

In this episode Mark Schaefer shares why it’s necessary to build an audience of alpha’s, those people that have a strong connection to you and your content. These advocates believe in you, and that emotional or feeling connection compels them to consistently share your content.

Mark is a globally recognized author, speaker, educator, and a business consultant who blogs at {grow.} In addition to teaching graduate marketing classes at Rutgers University, Mark has written five bestselling books, including the Tao of Twitter (the #1 book on Twitter in the world), Return on Influence, and most recently, The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies for Igniting Your Content, Your Marketing, and Your Business.

Mark also studied under legendary business management consultant Peter Drucker. This is why top busineses and universities listen to Mark, so maybe you should too.

Content Movement: How to Get Your Share of the Conversation

Content Movement Sparks Conversations

In content marketing circles we often hear about sharing, but what does that mean in practical terms?

Mark Schaefer explains that content has to flow and move around in order to spark new conversations. Thus, it’s meaningless to have thousands of social media followers if they are not taking action to give your content movement.

In fact, Schaefer notes that Klout scores are really an indication of people’s ability to create content movement. Those conversations may be large or small, with small being significantly better than not at all.

This is why Mark Schaefer suggests making a list of your alphas, the people that believe in you so much they will share everything, even if they have yet had the opportunity to consumer it themselves.

By any measure, great content is the table stakes for playing in this game. When you think of content as your marketing “product,” it’s clear you don’t want to be in love with it as much as those that consume it.

Be in love with the customers and influencers, which essentially are the “market” that uses your content to spark productive conversations.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on content movement? Meet me over on Twitter to take the conversation further.

Lighting Round Tips and Advice

Mark’s Top Sales or Marketing Advice – Especially for small business, treat people online as you would offline. Engage with people in more human ways, such as helping them, as opposed to selling them. Let’s the sales be a byproduct of genuine interaction.

His Favorite Productivity Tip – Focus and discipline. Focus on the two or three things most important to your business brand that generate profits, either directly or indirectly, such as creating great content.

A Quote that has Inspired Mark’s Success – “A business is marketing and innovation. Everything else is overhead.”  – Peter Drucker. Mark’s take on this is that marketing has to be central to your business. Put another way, you cannot have a business without customers, and you cannot have customers without marketing.

Key Take-Aways

  • You can learn more about Mark at, where you will find his blog {grow}. If you make a comment he promises to reply. Also, check out his training courses and The Marketing Companion podcast.
  • Grab a copy of the Content Code, and also consider combining it with a copy of the Tao of Twitter. Both are packed full of practical ideas and useful lists, including BADASS, the six elements of the Content Code: 
    • B – Brand Development
    • A – Audience and Influencers
    • D – Distribution and promotion
    • A – Authority
    • S – Shareability
    • S – Social proof and social signals

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About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

It Hasn’t Been Done

Too often we do not take action because we are convinced that our ideas are not unique or worthy of the attention of our community.

This is especially true when it comes to using the social networks to publish content that serves a useful purpose.

It’s nearly impossible to study the business landscape and find an idea or topic that has not been discussed.

As a result, many decide that their idea has already been done – but they are wrong. Yes, that includes you and me too. We are all guilty of sabotaging our best ideas.

We need to remind ourselves every day that there are more opportunities for making a difference than we could ever handle.

In every industry there are customers who are unhappy, confused, inadequately served, and most importantly, hungry for solutions to their unsolved problems.

Isn’t this why the same problems never seem to go away?  That’s the opportunity, and it’s one that I’m taking action on – and you should too.

This past week I signed a deal with Wiley to write a book to help mainstream businesses use social media well, thereby building a more relevant and profitable business that better serves their customers.  

Is there really a need for another social media book?  My publisher and I think there is, and we have very specific reasons for that belief. It’s indeed exciting to be creating what hasn’t been done to better serve your community.

Can you tell me that you do not believe you have something unique to offer your customers, something that differentiates you from your competitors?  Of course you do, that’s what gets and keeps entrepreneurs in the game. You have to believe!

Here’s how to leverage that and bring to your customers the one thing that hasn’t been done that they both need and want.

Learn From and With Your Customers

Every business that has a loyal client base has an opportunity to create a new product or service that is needed, wanted, and as a result is exceptionally profitable. What everyone is doing eventually becomes a commodity, and that drives the profit out as more businesses seek their share.

While the solution is common, its execution isn’t  – learn from your customers. Your customers are a wellspring of ideas just begging for solutions. In fact, I believe we all need to redesign our businesses around this concept to maintain our relevancy with our customers.

Most of us sell ourselves short because we do not have the perspective that our valued customers can give us. Talk to your customers. They will be honored that you care enough to ask about their insights for improving how your company can serve them better.

Fearlessly Believe in Your Value

If succeeding in business were easy everyone would be doing it. When I look back on my career, I realize my greatest successes were the result of believing in myself. I imagine the same holds true for you too.

Last week I published an article about influence ranking service Klout. Fully aware of the controversy that has followed Klout for years, I was prepared for some pushback, and indeed I got some.

Disagreement is nothing to fear. In fact, you should welcome it, because it will help you to be more clear about your ideas, provided you firmly believe in their value for your community.

There is no question that Klout has a ways to go before it earns widespread respect. However, wasn’t that also true of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in their early days? Keep that in mind, and simply believe in your idea.

Acknowledge and Then Ignore the Naysayers

I’ve personally blown more opportunities than I can count because I acknowledged the criticism of others, and then altered my plans as a result.

You can be open to the opinions of others, but then you have to determine what (if anything) is useful. Use what best orchestrates the accomplishment of your objectives, and ignore the rest.

It’s a simple process of asking a single-worded question: Useful?

This is something those of us that speak professionally quickly learn, because we get a great deal of feedback, much of it positive, a little negative, and every now and then downright nasty.

There is an expression that everyone is right based upon their level of understanding. So, there you go. Acknowledge that and move on with what is useful.

You know more about your business and customers than anyone.

And that’s why you are ideally positioned to create what hasn’t been done.

It worked for Steve Jobs.

As he often said – when you realize the people around you are no smarter than you are, you can change the world. 

What is the one thing that your customers desperately want that hasn’t been done? 

Can you do it?  Are you ready to do the work?

Leave a comment below – and share this with your community.

Until next time, Jeff

Photo Credit:

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Until this week, online influence rating service Klout failed to earn the respect of media influentials, which obviously is more than a little embarrassing. That has now changed.  The Klout Controversy Klout measures online influence via such actions as comments, likes, and shares, depending upon the respective social media channel. You can learn more about […]

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