The Importance of Being Random

by Ken Mueller on November 16, 2012 · 15 comments

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300px Squirrel Eating a peanut The Importance of Being Random

I’ve been known to be random. Quite random, in fact.

On Facebook, Twitter, and even here on the blog. Oh, and in real live face to face conversation. You never know where the conversation is going to go when I’m involved. My mind flits all over the place and sometimes I’ll see something that triggers a completely unrelated thought. Then I might just give voice to that random thought. Or I’ll share something online that is just completely…random.  It’s just who I am, but it works.

Some view being random and off the cuff as a bad thing. I happen to disagree. I think businesses can benefit from being random.

Random can be a good thing. Earlier this week Erin Feldman posted here about content strategies for Facebook, and part of her strategy was to not just post your own content about your own business and field, but also sometimes posting fun content that has nothing to do with anything, but just might be timely.

For instance, on Facebook, I often talk about my love of bacon. I don’t actually eat bacon all that often. But because of that, this past week, four different people just randomly posted this image on my wall, and each time it started a bit of a discussion.

bacon wrapped turkey The Importance of Being Random

 

Nothing more random than a turkey covered in bacon, right?

Being random helps break up the monotony. It helps keep people engaged. A lot of the debate over Facebook recently has been about people not seeing our business page content as much. But part of that whole Edgerank thing is how people engage with your page. If your content is all about you and what you do, it’s not very compelling. If it’s not compelling, people won’t interact with it, and eventually they won’t even see your content. But liven it up a bit, and be random, and they might be more interested. It’s one of the reasons why my friend Gini Dietrich does her Friday round up of videos and the like on Gin & Topics. (She’ll have a new one posted this afternoon around 1 p.m. ET). No one want to talk about social media, marketing, and PR all the time. Not even those of us who work in the field.

Being random prevents you from being one dimensional. You know who’s one dimensional? Boring people, that’s who.

So mix it up a little. If you see an article you like online, share it on your business page. If someone passes along a funny video, post it. Sure you want to make sure that the random content fits your brand and personality. You don’t want to shock people or offend them. But go ahead.

Be random. Surprise people a little. Let your hair down. Take a walk on the wild side. Laugh a little. Keep ‘em guessing.

It will keep you sane, and keep your customers interested.

How can you introduce a little bit of random into your online presence?

 

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14 comments
Laurence Smith
Laurence Smith

Good thoughts, this totally works for me on a personal level. I am happy being random and can digest 'randomness' quite easily. I think most entrepreneurs and creatives can. The trouble is I am not sure that most people are like that. Randomness can easily confuse and derail some folks. I am not suggesting a sterile or totally route one approach, I am just suggesting being aware of when random works and when it might not.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

You know, @tamcdonald and I just talked about this very thing. He asked me why I don't talk all business all the time and I said it's for the very reason you mention here. NO ONE wants to talk work all the time. It's why we ask about people's families and interests when we meet them. We're all human beings. Why is it so hard to act like people? 

Also, one of my most favorite things to do is post random things on Facebook (brown barrette, anyone?) just to see what people will say. The thing that cracks me up is people say they don't like social media because they don't care what you had for lunch, but those random posts are always the ones that get the most engagement. 

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

Add "randomness" to the benefits of social media over traditional media. I'd say a rather important part of developing a voice, a "brand personality" and relationships.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Great post Ken. I think you are right on the money that randomness adds spice, variety and a tinge of intrigue. I can definitely say that my experience in the dating world has indicated that being random is sometimes not necessarily be a good thing, but for your professional life, it sure makes for a great melting pot approach. Random on!

Shonali
Shonali

What, you're NOT a bacon fan?! Aaaaaahhhhh!!! I'm pretty random myself - you know that better than most. Shoes, bags... you've heard me talk about it all! I think that's what makes people take a second look at you, especially in the social sphere. They relate to what you're sharing as a person. Otherwise why should they pay attention, right?

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

Well I am the biggest marketing geek ever so Im literally almost always talking shop - unless Im with people that have no clue what it is Im talking about and I will give up eventually. With that being said, some weekends I am shocked to see my Twitter stream full of content about work and marketing and business advice. It's like, enough already, it's SUNDAY!! It's hard to 'shut it off' but you are absolutely right that we need to throw a little randomness in there once in awhile.

LizJostes
LizJostes

One more reason you should let your social media followers vote on what color you'll dye your hair.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@Shonali I LOVE BACON!!!!!! And yeah, I love your randomness as well.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@C_Pappas all work and no play makes Christina a dull girl! I think you know how to be random from time to time though.

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  1. […] of interests, and so do your followers. Not everything you tweet will interest all of them, but by being well rounded, they will see you as human, and not just someone who is shouting all the time about what they are […]

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