The Music of Social Media Influence

I am an avid listener of music. I’ve always been this way. I can remember listening to Boston and ELO records on my portable fold up turntable with speakers at the age of 4. Now, my tastes range all over the place from techno to jazz, classical, Christian, folk, trip-hop, hard rock, bluegrass and many variations and hybrids of everything in between. I am constantly looking for that certain edge and purity of expression. I know it when I hear it! The same goes for stuff I watch, listen to, comment on, share, and talk about online. It’s got to be really good.

Play A Good Sound

Music is an expression of the soul of the artist(s) creating it. It’s a representation of who they are and what they really care about. The best art helps, or should help, make the world better in some way big or small. I believe this is the case with social media. Make things better. Contribute positively and build up those around you (family, friends, colleagues) and those in your industry. Don’t be a taker. Be a giver.

The Noise Factor

As you’ve probably noticed, the social media space is getting a bit more crowded these days. The masses are catching on because it’s starting to make more sense. It’s becoming widely excepted. It’s like filling up the stage with more electric guitar players; but more guitars equals more noise.

I don’t think we need to be annoyed or intimidated by this natural evolution of social media, but do we simply play louder to get heard? Do we post more, comment more, check in more, and do more of the same? (This reminds me of the old media antics with the same commercial played a billion brain numbing times.) Maybe we do faster licks with our guitars and impress our audience that way? Or, we get out the pyrotechnics and explode things? Yeah.. we could really put on a show! All this does is builds audience fatigue and you loose your influence and appeal.

Keep it Rockin’!

I say that cool tricks and bursts of sonic fury have short lived appeal, but are no match for the smooth and constant sound of sustained influence. (Think: Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd) Are you working towards building a legacy with your brand? Is your content passion centered and focused on improvement? If not, you might be coming across as a clanging gong, or a screechy violin that no one wants to hear, or cares about.

Be an Influencer

The greatest bands in history are great not because they sold the most records, won the most awards, or made the most money. These bands and artists reached the annuls of fame because they had the most influence. Artists like Bob Dylan, John Coltrane, Joni Mitchell and bands like the Beatles, the Velvet Underground, and REM come to mind.Their sound is timeless. Who could forget Aaron Copland, my favorite of all American composers! They all had the ability to assimilate the information around them, meld it together, and create a new sound, or work within a specific niche and make it better.

What’s Your New Media Sound?

I challenge you to think about your content strategy going into 2011. Is it helping others? Is it inward or outward focused? Are you a David Bowie, or a Yo-Yo Ma type? Are you the Clash, or ColdPlay? Are you striving to be the best at what you do and helping others along the way?

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  • Great article Tim! Way to make an analogy that makes sense.

    I especially like your take on The Noise Factor.

    Big bangs and pyrotechnics are a short lived awe factor. The after effect is a faint memory.

  • admin

    Creating unintended audience fatique is a real problem for many people on social media networks. They don’t realize it’s not about quantity, but quality. The shear volume of their posts is deafening and the type of information is random and scattered like sound waves spreading out in a massive reverb chamber. It’s very hard to listen to.

  • Nettie

    Love the comment “you might be coming across as a clanging gong, or a screechy violin that no one wants to hear, or cares about.” This really puts a grate deal of things into perspective. So many people tend to gravitate toward doing the “big bang” theory rather than keeping it classic and allowing who you are to completely shine through. Hearing and looking at too much tends to be a distraction to the message that is truly trying to get through!

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