Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Celebrate Passion Project - Guest Blogger - Jon Ray

Last week I interviewed Jon Ray for The Celebrate Passion Project, today he is the Guest Blogger. I like what he has to say about needing passion to bring success to your social media efforts. You can read more of Jon's insights at

Good Social Media Takes Passion
By Jon Ray

Have you ever wondered why some social media campaigns take off instantly and others just wallow around the internet, wondering where they’re supposed to find the action? It amazes me the approach that many companies take to their online and social media campaigns. Social media is about having something to say. Give a typical CEO a blog and the majority will be too busy or too guarded to add content of any real importance. But, delegate that blog to the dreamer down in HR and you might just have an asset that will get people excited about everything your company is doing.

Social media is a fickle beast, as I describe in my post on creating a successful social media campaign. The right approach for one company might be a terrible approach for another. The tools of social media are constantly changing and evolving because in the end, social media is really whatever you want it to be. The more imagination you have with the possible applications for the tools available, the more engaging you will find your social media campaign becomes.

So, what does any of this have to do with passion? EVERYTHING! Passion is contagious. Have you ever gone to a conference where everyone seemed to be talking about the same person? That person they’re talking about is filled with passion (or he fell asleep on stage during the keynote panel). People love passion and that’s what makes a good blog great. Anyone can write a few paragraphs a day about the industry they’re in, but only a passionate person can make someone genuinely interested in those things.

Where does passion come from? It can come from anywhere and you’ll usually find it in the strangest of places. If you’re looking to start a social media campaign at your company, start talking to your employees and figure out the people who are your company’s number one evangelists. Is it an employee, a vendor, a consumer? Who is it?

Now that you have a list of people that love your company, who are the ones that have a little bit of tech sense, or even better Web 2.0 sense? When your list is narrowed, have a social media consultant come in and advise one or all of the people on this list in best practices for utilizing social media tools. When everyone is ready and agreed on a general premise for the campaign, let your new team of online evangelists get out there and raise some awareness. Woohoo!

People that are passionate about what they do don’t have a problem coming up with content for a blog. They don’t need a committee to decide what kind of blog post will gain the most viewership. All they know is that they are in love with their job, or their company, or their industry and they want everyone to know it. SEO doesn’t concern these passionate bloggers, they don’t write for search engines, they write for people. And because they are writing for people, they use their imagination to tailor your social media campaign to better serve the reader, which, of course, is your customer.

Not everyone is cut out to run or manage a social media campaign, but by doing a little digging you will find that somebody at your company is and has been waiting to share their voice with the world. Passion is what fuels the entrepreneurial spirit. Many companies have lost sight of that while building a loyal army of drones. But, drones write terrible prose. So, let your company wiggle a bit and find the entrepreneurial passion in your company.

There is someone, right now, inside the walls of your company that has something that your customers want and need to hear. Show the world that your company has a big smiling face and thrives on enthusiasm. Show them that the fuel that propels your company’s success is passion. Show them those things and your social media campaign will have success beyond your wildest dreams.

If all else fails, buy a Super Bowl ad and cross your fingers.

: )

Have A Great Day.

****The Celebrate Passion Project on "The Some Assembly Required Blog" will run all month in December 2007. Every post this month will touch on honoring people who have a special spark for life or helping others (and me!) to discover ways to re-ignite our internal passions for our world.

I challenge other bloggers who read this to dedicate one day in December on their blog to "The Celebrate Passion Project", and in their own way praise those they encounter who have a special way of expressing the excitement in their soul. And then encourage your readers to do the same!

Only SIX days left in December...I am still looking for great examples of passion for life. Any help is appreciated.


Tom Magness said...

Jon (and Thom) --

Happy Holidays to you both. I especially appreciate your comments on passion. In the organizations I have led, I have found that if people are passionate about something (anything!), it quits being work, and truly becomes fun.

I appreciate your comments on blogs. I am still new to blogging so your comments on focusing on who we write for (SEO doesn’t concern these passionate bloggers, they don’t write for search engines, they write for people) are right on.

I also do a blog within my organization (intranet). But based on your comments, I am thinking that maybe I could invite some other teammates with passion to join me in using this internal communication tool. I think it would be great if my employees (internal customers) understood that the passion for what we do is shared by more than just the boss.

Great stuff. Thanks. Hooah!

Jon Ray said...

@Tom - Bringing in a few teammates sounds like a great idea and a way to make your blogging efforts more fun. Which, should ultimately, be the only thing you care about. Feel free to contact me if you ever need anything. jon (at)