Socializing Your Media

The last two posts were pretty heavy ones on the nature of creativity.  So I'd like to go back to the idea that spawned them all – the idea that people use media to socialize and that's why originality is not always a factor in their choice of media.  With that conclusion, I want to close up this not-quite series with a look of ways people can make their media more "socializable."

This list is more grab-bag than anything else, but I think it'll help.  After all original or not, if your media helps connect people together, then it will be popular, you will be rich, and then you will shower me with praise.

Have a Website – You can't avoid this.  It's your "home base" for your efforts.  It's a foundation for everything else.

Be a personality and a personal brand – Sorry to the publicity-shy, but people want someone they know and can understand.  That means you are part of your product, and you need to be visible via web pages, twitter, etc.  You might be able to be eclipsed by your media, or to play up the media first, but it seems the whole personal branding/awareness thing works for most people.

Learn to communicate about your media – Why would people be interested and want to read/see/play it?  Like any product there has to be benefits or they're not going to be interested.

Build social connections – Facebook communities, message board, twitter tags, mailing lists, etc.  Give people a way to connect while enjoying your media and getting to know you.

Know Your Target Audience – Can you describe your target audience?  If you can't then you can't market your creation to the right people because you don't know who they are.  If you don't know who they are how can you reach them – or even know if they're there? 

Have Fun – If you are not having fun with promoting your game or film or whatever people will know and won't be as interested.  You might manage to be angstry and depressing if your audience wants, but I wouldn't bet on it as a calculated strategy.

Learn from Others – Learn from how other people promoted their works and build communities and made it socializable.  Look at those fangroups out there and figure how they came together – so you can figure out ways to seed such possibilities.

Build relations with your fans – You may fear being overwhelmed with fanmail and such, but that's not going to happen early on.  Get to know people and build relationships – it gets you feedback, promotion, and makes you friends.

Introduce fans to each other – If you're talking to two fans introduce them to each other.  Building relationships starts with YOU.

Know the technology – If you don't know the technology for building communities and communicating, or outsource it to someone who does, you can't be effective.

Study up on marketing and economics – The tools are out there, use them.

So that's my thoughts.  Now let's all go build our fan communities, from the original to the unoriginal, and have fun!

Steven Savage