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Flying into to Austin is great. Everyone around you is on his way to SxSW, so the conversation starts early. Before I could pay two bucks for a lukewarm beer on the plane, I found myself in a heated discussion with a young fashionista blogger girl. Her main reason to go to SxSW was to “gather more likes for her Facebook” .

I think likes are way overrated. Likes do not show in any way engagement, involvement, connection, buying intention or weather forecasting. Likes, in my world, are a pretty hollow and useless metric.

Chasing likes as a quick success illusion is easy, but how do you forge online (and yes: social) relationships that are resistant to time decay? What do you offer as a person, a brand, a company on all of your communication platforms that makes it worthwhile coming back?

Trying to summarize my jetlagged arguments:

Be a Fisherman: be a trusted curator for the sea of content that is relevant to your audience: Give them content that fits their life, way of thinking, social behavior.

Be a deckhand: do the work for them, aggregate a vast stream of information, and turn yourself into a useful filter. Relentlessly hack away the superfluous, concentrate on info nuggets that make a difference.

Be a trusted information harbor: help them to make sense of that fire hose of content that the internet is today: present a clear topic, show the different views, signpost the key information factors. Build a coherent story from the different sources.

Be a Captain: as an information creator, curator or distributor you decide what is in, or out. You are the Heidi Klum of content. This means that you steer the content ship in any direction you want by making clear choices on what content you present –or not-.

Be a lighthouse: Shine your light and wisdom. Presenting the information is not enough, formulate a clear opinion. Useful curation requires you to show your hand: what do you think of it, and why. This opens up to a dimension of digital and social media that is too often forgotten: it’s supposed to be interactive :-). Formulating your personal (brand) view in a challenging and engaging way often opens up a great discussion.

Be a Dolphin. Formulate your content in a light, engaging, and funny way. Add info-graphs, paint with words, and provoke a smile. Half of the success of the content is the context…. and the style. Sardines are useful, and fab to eat…but dolphins break through the water of the ocean and make it to our Facebook page. Where they generate countless likes :-).

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