The other side of content syndication: Does it cause us to cut down on quality interactive time spent on each social media channel?
A couple weeks ago, I had a bonafide Freak Out Moment. One of the apps used to syndicate my blog was having an error and decided to post the latest post – even before it was done – onto the web over and over again. If you were on the receiving end of that noise, I do sincerely apologize for the insanity. Fortunately, if there’s any good that came after I had my meltdown and got the situation under control (hopefully, please Lord) by undoing the app altogether, it was that I had a bit of an epiphany about content syndication.
While I had originated a lot of content from my blog, in my passion for syndication, I was unintentionally neglecting some of those other channels, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, for the venues of discussion they have been for me. Technically I was there, but I wasn’t really there as much as I was distributing stuff there, thanks to syndication of my posts. I was posting, but I’d fallen into a trap of doing the very thing I despise doing: broadcasting in a 1-way format more than 2-way interaction.
As a result, I have not done as much interacting on LinkedIn in Discussion Groups or asked/answered questions in the Q&A forums. I’d maybe done some Retweeting of others on Twitter, but I needed to do more true responding and commenting to those tweets.
The trouble with syndication
Here lies the hidden trouble of syndication if you’re not careful. There’s absolutely nothing inherently wrong with having your blog sync with other channels, so I’m not blaming those tools – the problem is when users get in the habit of clicking off check boxes to sync that content with and forgetting to do anything else on the channels by and large.
What’s that? LinkedIn? Twitter? Facebook? Sure, you’re there. But if you’re relying on syndication for your interaction alone, are you really there?
You can become so focused on the content under your own roof and how you’re going to push that out to the masses that you forget that each channel deserves as much of its own strategy as possible. What is it that makes this certain audience different? What is it that you’ve found they appreciate most? How will you have a relationship with them that’s different and unique from your other channels?
Without consistently doing this check-up on yourself, you can fall into a pattern of regular publishing – which seems great – without showing others that you know how to converse, absorb, appreciate and advise. You could actually have extraordinary content but totally un-extraordinary people skills within a community.
You need both qualities to do business successfully and build a brand. At least I don’t think you can be nearly as successful being a pure content shoveler vs. responding to others.
So go ahead and syndicate. And of course, make your content as excellent as possible. Just remember to have your commenting skills accompany your content writing skills too.