A Gaggle is any Group / Network of People Who:
- have active social audiences that consume similar topics
- trust each other to put out good content consistently
- amplify each other’s content routinely to their own audiences
Why a Gaggle?
- You have 200 followers in Twitter, 100 in Instagram. Your reach is 300.
- You have 4 associates who also have social audiences of 300 each.
- When you socially post stellar content, they reshare it to their audiences.
- Your social reach for your *best* content is now 1500!
- Create a Sphere: This is a group of people that reach other people with shared interests.
- Select Networks: Identify the networks you each post to heavily, and pick out the ones where you overlap.
- Monitor Consistently: Commit to monitoring each other’s social posting in those channels regularly.
- Amplify Routinely: Amplify (retweet,reshare) the best stuff to your own audience in those channels.
STEP 1: Gather People in a Sphere of Shared Interest
This could be a marketing sphere, coaching sphere, wellness sphere…
Once you’re up and running, you can reach out to the next sphere where there’s overlap. E,g, Your marketing sphere includes coaches who inhabit a coaching sphere. The coaching sphere includes wellness coaches who inhabit the wellness sphere. Wellness sphere associates include a health insurance exec, a phys-ed teacher, and a local sports league, and so on.
STEP 2: Select Active Social Channels Where You Overlap
You’ll need to select channels to which each Gaggle member routinely posts good content. Example:
- You routinely post good content to Linkedin, Twitter, and Pinterest only. You ignore other channels.
- Jim, Dave, and Sue routinely post to LinkedIn and Facebook. Their Twitter posts are sparse and superficial.
- Sarah and Steve routinely post to Pinterest and Instagram. Their Facebook posts are cursory and personal.
SInce you have Linkedin and Pinterest in common, you commit to monitoring each other in these routinely and amplifying when you think it’s right.
STEP 3: Monitor the Shared Channels of Your Gaggle
Don’t do it passively. A gaggle is a commitment. At a minimum, bookmark each member’s presence in the social channels you’ve all agreed on sharing, and set a calendar item once/week and review and possibly amplify some social posts of each gaggle member. It will be better, of course, if you can spread this out.
The original tool for making this easy was invented by the people who invented the Gaggle concept in the first place: GaggleAmp. It has a cost to it, but you can chip in together. It lets you monitor and amplify.
To monitor and retweet in Twitter, and reduce clutter, use Tweetdeck, and simply create one column for your gaggle, or one column for each gaggle member. Other tools include Commun.it and Hootsuite However you do it, monitor consistently.
STEP 4: Amplify Your Gaggle’s Content Selectively to Your Audience
You are the gatekeeper for your audience. You’re never obligated to amplify, and you shouldn’t do it blindly. Reshare when it’s:
- Audience Appropriate (would truly benefit them)
- Engaging – best of the best
- Quality Content (e.g. not a sales pitch)
Don’t curate more than 10-20% other people’s content. You need your own original content too, or it doesn’t work.
The Result is Greater Reach
The result is, exponentially higher reach for your *best* content.
- More social engagement for your best content (it travels farther, is more widely consumed, and shared to more extensively)
- Better search engine signals and social metrics (you’re more likely to get your website ranked better and your own social posts auto-amplified by social media sites as suggested content)
- Mutual audience growth (people who consume your content in your gaggle’s channels, are more likely to cross-follow you, growing your audience)
- Exponential reach (the amplifiers in your gaggle’s audience are more likely to further reshare your reshared content to their extended audiences, and so on – sending it ‘viral’)
- More social cred (when you reshare content, you’re more likely to get your content reshared – givers gain)
Tired of Waiting for Jim to Post Something?
Slice and dice his latest blog post: Maybe Jim amplifies a lot of your stuff, but doesn’t post as often. You’re eager to reciprocate, so you go grab pithy snippets from one of his recent blog posts and post them (with a link to the blog post) to your social networks. If you use Buffer to schedule your own social posts, you can add the Buffer extension to your browser, highlight snippets of his posts, right click and select buffer to share over your networks with an automatic link back to the post. Other browser extensions like “Share on Twitter” and “Do Share” for Google+ will also let you select text snippets and share with an automatic link. Likewise, a pinterest button added to your browser will let you pin the image from any post to Pinterest – be sure to add an insight as a caption.
Give him an assignment: Give him your wish list for the kind of content you’d like to share, so he’s got topics to write about.
Write it for him: Write for your own blog as him. Write for his blog as a guest. Or write for your own blog as though you were him. Then slice and dice.
The Future of Your Gaggle
Corporate consulting teams leverage resellers and industry partners to amplify their sales reach. Apply that to marketing, and you have a gaggle.
Givers Gain: You could include clients, colleagues, employees, contractors, and partners – but be selective. They need to be putting out good content that your gaggle will love resharing, and they need to be willing to give as good as they get. Don’t soil it by making it one-sided or buying it; that will poison your gaggle.
Give to your peers: Where dipping into your rolodex to give referrals to a referral partner helps them with sales, amplifying your gaggle’s content helps them with marketing. Each gaggle member has much more reach by sharing your extended audience than you would otherwise.
Give to your audience: The prerequisite is you must be giving to your own audience. If you don’t have a content strategy where you’re putting out meaningful, substantive content of value (not sales pitches, but insights, inspiration, information that gets at where they live), start with that.
Measure your gaggle: Set up your Klout, and watch your score rise over time. Klout measures content output and engagement, so it’s a great tool for gamifying your gaggle.
Confused About Where Content Overlaps?
Meet as a Gaggle and do a group empathy map exercise. You’re likely to find many overlapping areas of interest among your audiences.
Need a Content Strategy?
Let’s talk. You probably need need the what, when, how, who, and why of your content. I’ll help you get some clarity right away and, if you want to go further, we can look at how to do that.