There’s an art to social media. You have to be purposeful. You have to be real. Which is why I’ve spent years shaping my Twitter presence. I’ve joined Twitter chats, tweeted interesting content and formed real relationships with real users.
But it was all destroyed in a blink of an eye.
It was April Fools Day. I logged on to Twitter, ready to continue improving my personal brand, when I noticed something strange. My follower count was growing. Not just by a few, but by thousands. Thousands of a new people were following me, and every single one was a spam account.
One of the best Moz Whiteboard Friday episodes ever features Rand Fishkin talking about content goals and how to map content to different phases of the buyer journey.
In it, one of the content phases he describes is what he calls “Viral” or “Super-broad”.
Music is one of the greatest miracles this world has ever seen.
Think about it for a moment: composition involves little more than organizing a specific set of frequencies within the right timing. Yet that simple framework gives way to an endless potential for creativity.
And people have taken to that potential like wildfire. Human history is filled with cultures pushing the proverbial envelope of creative expression. What we have today is the result of thousands of years of ingenuity. We live in the wake of the Beethovens, the Tchaikovskys, The Beach Boys and the millions of nameless musicians who have pioneered the way for modern music.
But, we also live in the wake of missteps and foregone creativity. With every moment of success comes the temptation to leave behind music’s long-standing tradition of innovation. Musicians rise to fame, genres splinter and we’re left with the nagging question of whether popular success is really the end-all-be-all of creative expression.
If we take a look at today’s world of pop music, I think the answer is pretty clear: it’s not.
Our story begins with me at an industry event. I’m shaking hands, I’m smiling, I’m swapping business cards with people. I’m trying to represent the brand. I’m trying to meet potential new hires. I’m trying to learn from my industry peers.
Networking is networking, some like it, some don’t. I don’t particularly like it, but it’s good for the company and I can handle it.
Sadly, tragedy strikes my inbox within days of the event. It explodes with dozens of emails from all too eager salesmen offering to buy me a cup of coffee. And of course they’ll also introduce me to their yadda yadda service or their whatever-the-hell product. It’s not a sales pitch, it’s coffee among friends. They want to bend my ear, run something by, have a chat, pick my brain, they want to take me out.
We all know what a brand is, right? Real quick, before you read below—what’s your definition?
It’s a little harder to define than you think. We all have an inkling, an instinctual understanding. But actually defining it is a bit of a challenge.
Oxford Dictionary defines brand in the following manner:
A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name: 'a new brand of detergent’
This seems limiting and doesn’t really reflect the power and potential of the word.
According to Wikipedia,
“A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others.”
This still seems to miss the mark and is way too narrow as well.
Seth Godin came up with a better, more evolved definition back in 2009:
"A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer."
That feels a lot better. However, that was nearly six years ago. Does it still stand up?