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Buzz the Buzz

by Randall Craig on February 8, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Promotion, Social Media, Strategy

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever been in a situation where everyone is “talking” about a particular movie, restaurant, or gadget?  While the subject of the buzz was probably quite noteworthy, what isn’t known is how much professional help from marketers it got along the way.

If you are looking to develop buzz for your organization or project, you can use these very same techniques:

  1. Define your message. What do you want people to be saying?
  2. Define your target market. Who do you want to hear the message?
  3. Identify the influencers. These are the people whose opinions others follow. They could be people in positions of authority, people with platforms to reach others (bloggers, speakers, authors, celebrities, etc.) or people who are just highly networked. Don’t forget about your colleagues.
  4. Choose the venue. Where do the influencers spend their time? Effective buzz-making means identifying both online and real-world places.
  5. Seed the market. What will catch the attention of the influencers, so that they will reach out to their network? It may be information (pre-release intelligence, knowledge of hidden features, etc.); it may be physical (product samples, tours, stickers), or it may be emotional (access to celebrities, or media exposure).
  6. Socialize the message. Beyond advertising, use Social Media to help amplify the message, and engage with your target market directly. This can be done through directly replying/posting in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, through Social Media contests, or social gaming. Again, remember that buzz is accomplished through mass engagement, not through an ad agency or central marketing department.  If you can empower your entire workforce, customers, and suppliers to socialize your message with their networks, the multiplier effect can be dramatic.
  7. Deliver. Nothing kills buzz (and sales) more than a product or service that doesn’t live up to expectations. Indeed, the momentum of buzz will quickly turn negative if there is anything that is out-of-place, contrived, or sub-standard.

This week’s action plan: Generating buzz doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing equation. This week, give an existing project (or yourself) a boost by following just a few of these ideas.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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