The Spaghetti test: Define your community by what sticks

My friend and former colleague Josh-Michéle Ross recently wrote a great blog post about the difference between traditional media audiences and social media communities.

It got me thinking about what exactly defines a “community.”

Ross points out that the main difference between an audience and a community is connectedness.

Well, there ya have it. End post. Thanks for stopping by.

I kid, I kid. I agree with Ross completely, but I also think something else defines a community – the users themselves.

When creating content, my boss talks about the “Spaghetti test.” We try out a bunch of content every month on our walls and Twitter pages and see what “sticks.” Whatever sticks is what makes our community what it is. Do they respond to humor? Sarcasm? Honesty? Are they folksy? Hip? Quirky?

In traditional marketing, if your content doesn’t work, you pull the campaign and decide what you would like to push at your audience next. There is probably some discussion about why things went wrong, but you never have a direct line to these people to know exactly why your ad with a talking cat pissed them off so much (hypothetical, as always).

Social media is that direct line. If your community doesn’t like a talking cat, they tell you. Trust me. They really tell you.

And that’s how users define a community. It is my job as a community manager to listen to their reactions and adjust to them and keep the content dynamic.

So here is a content tip for the week: try out something new. Create a new bucket, write some copy and go for it. Make the spaghetti. If your community lets it stick, keep up the good work. If they let it fall off the wall, move onto the next pot.

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One thought on “The Spaghetti test: Define your community by what sticks

  1. Pingback: How to: Tap Into Your Social Audience | Andrea Aileen

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