Reading between the lines of @OGOchoCinco

I get about 10 pitches a day offering tips, case-studies and seminars that promise to improve the way I use social media. After I scan the last of the morning’s barrage of tweets, emails and blog-posts, my eyes usually glaze over and turn inward, just in time for lunch.

Self-proclaimed experts do provide valuable nuggets from time to time, but most of the advice from the guru lot is regurgitated redundancy.

So, in efforts to liven up my daily feed and diversify my cabinet of social media advisors, I have turned to Chad Ochocinco, a different kind of guru all together. While he may not be a seasoned public relations professional or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he can teach you a few things about social media, and make you laugh in the process.

The flamboyant, outspoken and captivating Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver (born Chad Johnson, before legally changing his last name to match a loose Spanish translation of his uniform number: 85) uses an array of social media channels to create that intimate, “my-boy’s-a-superstar reality” for hundreds of thousands of people.

Why should you care about this?

Because, unlike other celebrities who use the new media sparingly and primarily for promotional and commercial purposes, Ochocinco’s all-access, comprehensive and constantly hilarious social-media model provides key values and takeaways that can be translated to anyone’s use of social media.

Be Interesting

“Anybody have anything they want to confess before the new year gets here#handraised-I dated Jennifer Anniston for 2 hours and 34 minutes”posted to Twitter on December 31, 2009 by @OGOchoCinco

The six-time Pro Bowl, three-time All Pro, multimillionaire’s personality makes Rod Tidwell look like Ron Weasley. And even though he does post about mundane day-to-day issues, he makes it interesting and adds value by injecting himself and his attitude into his messages.

Obviously not everybody has his draw or built-in prominence and celebrity, but what you can take away from this is that you need to find that unique, interesting and personal angle on your seemingly mundane messages to make them valuable to your audience. Nobody cares what you had for lunch or that you are on your way to pick up your kids from school, but they will care if you provide something useful like a heads up on traffic, a new recipe or something whacky your kid said.

Be Honest

“Oh hell na, I need ustream right now to discuss me not having a f ing VALENTINE, this is gonna be classic cuz I’m level 5 pissed”posted to Twitter on February 12, 2010 by @OGOchoCinco

One of the many beauties of social media is the natural filtering process that occurs between the audience and the speaker. If a person is not getting any value out of what is being said, they will just stop listening. That kind of selection process gives power to the receiver and puts pressure on the sender. If you are fake, selling something or working towards an agenda, people will usually sniff you out and turn you off.*

So be genuine in conversations, celebrate true accomplishments and, most importantly, embrace and expose your flaws. As scary as this may be to some, you will have more credibility with your audience and receive the same respect in return.

Be Active

“If I break it, you might as well believe it.” — Slogan for OCNN (Ocho Cinco News Network)**

Ochocinco is online almost 24/7. He broadcasts an Internet TV show, tweets all day from @OGOchoCinco, plays video games online (gamer tag Esteban 85), has a massive Facebook fan-base and recently launched OCNN in efforts to eliminate the middleman in mainstream sports media and break sporting news directly from the sources. He responds to fans, courts love interests, complains about NFL policies, calls out other athletes, posts pictures of his family and much, much more.

I am not saying that everybody should tweet as much as @OGOchoCinco or that I’m going to start my own station. I am saying that we all need to experiment with various forms of social media and maintain a constant and appropriate presence on the channels that we deem valuable.

Chad Ochocinco may never keynote a social-media seminar or dissect his tactics for the public, but the next best thing for anybody looking to get more out of their social media efforts is to filter the feed from the “certified” experts and start reading between the lines of OchoCinco.

Who’s your off-the-beaten-path social-media advisor? How do you filter your feed?

Find Chad Ochocinco on:

*Copy Chat expands on this concept in a nice post
**Source: Mashable