Best of 2012: The Importance of Being Random

by Ken Mueller on December 31, 2012 · 8 comments

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Continuing my series of some of the most popular posts here on the blog in 2012, this particular post ran back in November. This is one that actually surprised me with how well it did, becoming the third most popular post of the year.

300px Squirrel Eating a peanut Best of 2012: 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 Best of 2012: 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?

 Best of 2012: The Importance of Being Random
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6 comments
MZazeela
MZazeela

Ken - I love it! I have stopped following so many folks on Twitter and Linkedin because they were BORING. They attracted my attention at one time, held it for a while, and became incredibly routine and predictable.


Think about SoMe like a real conversation. Would you want to discus the same things over and over and over again, ad nauseum? Not me, and I suspect many others find such repetitive behavior boring as well.


Sure, you can stick to your message and your principles, but does it have to be100% or nothing?


Cheers,
Marc

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@MZazeela I've experienced the same thing, Marc. My feeling is that none of us is one dimensional. And our customers certainly aren't. There are plenty of ways to engage them that don't involve our products.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@ginidietrich Is there where I write about how pathetic it is that you were counting???

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