According to Bob Buch, vice president of business development at Digg, baking chocolate chip cookies is the perfect Metaphor for web publishers to better integrate social media. I don’t really think it’s the best metaphor, but Bob gave away free cookies at the end of his talk, and for that, and that alone I decided to follow him on Twitter @bobbuch , kidding. However, I’m not kidding about the metaphor. So I’m just going to share the hugely useful tips and tricks he offered throughout his dynamic talk instead of working off his suggested Cookie metaphor. Forgive my poetic license.
SHARING– Buch started off by saying that the best advice for a publisher with high quality content is “if you love something, set it free”. Just get it out there, people will come back to your site 100 fold. He went on to describe that a homepage story on Digg that your reader loves will send from 20,000 to 200,000 clicks. A big mistake that a lot of publishers make is that they offer too many options to share the publishers content, so Buch advises that “Less is more” don’t overdo the sharing options.
INTEGRATION – Not every publisher can be great at everything so Buch advices to integrate using social sites like Facebook. Leverage their platform for profile photos if that’s not your core competency. Using Facebook Connect Digg publishers have seen registration rise 30-100%, and engagement up 15-80%
Time Magazine’s Digg widget outperforming their own “top story” selection. People seem to be drawn in by other opinions and feel that the title stories for Time may have some bias due to larger font, and placement in the publication.
PEOPLE– Buch advised that publishers hire someone who is familiar with social media and can decipher the following ROFLCopter, LMAO, PWND, Noob. If you can’t, than apparently you’re a Noop. I have to confess I didn’t know what a ROFLCopter was until Buch offered. He likened this type of reaching out to bringing your people in out from the cold. Listen to your community and don’t only communicate about self serving things. Offer insight about what may effect what you write about. The example of a company doing this well is NPR. Facebook offers the opportunity for NPR to have a “Public Profiles”. NPR has 330,000 fans, and growing because they let reporters upload photos from the field that maybe won’t get published. To the users this feels authentic, and feels “insider” to the group members. NPR is leveraging what they’re best at.
AUTHENTICITY – Stay true to your core competency. Figure out what you do best and be true to that.
I particularly enjoyed that Mr. Buch didn’t dismiss publishers, and emphasized that sites like Digg rely on high quality content. Suffice to say I dug what the guy from Digg was talking about. Couldn’t resist, sorry.