Friday, 5 May 2012

We have just spent the last few months trying to understand how best to integrate Social Media into our business and I thought that I would share our experience and learning as complete beginners to the process.

  1. Little is best and least is perfect – Choose one platform at a time (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ etc) and become a master in it. These platforms can be mastered in relatively little time (a couple of months), so within a year you will be completely comfortable and have found your optimum medium/media
  2. Don’t Broadcast – The internet is full of people shouting into the vacuum in the vain belief that they are “selling” their wares. It achieves very little and actively turns off the vast majority of those people who are trying to engage intelligently
  3. Listen before you talk – Take the time to search and listen for people who are talking about your business, before you start talking.
  4. Choose your friends carefully – As in life be selective in who you spend your time with.
  5. Giving is easy and rewarding – Be generous in your “Likes”, Retweets and +1s. Take the time to applaud and redistribute the good stuff. You will (hopefully) be amazed at the friends that you make along the way
  6. Volume is not value – There is a tremendous urge and a lot of peer pressure to have the most friends or followers, and many ways of showing off. There is no doubt that there are positive effects in volume, but in general for most businesses there is much greater benefit in being able to be a real friend to a “special” few.
  7. Bring your personality to the party – People buy from people. If you can share your love of scuba-diving, poetry, gastronomy, gardening or whatever gives you joy, you will find others who find the same resonance … and some of them will want to know more about you and your business. They might not buy from you (or they might not), but they may know a friend (or a friend of a friend) who might.
  8. Find and friend the thought leaders – We would all like to think that we might be thought leaders in our particular industry, but it is an incredible conceit to believe that we might be the only one who has something valid to say. Find the people who are publishing the most valuable content and take the time to comment and join in on their discussions.
  9. Be a friend first – As you trawl through the internet you will find all kinds of ways in which you might be able to help someone, beyond the +1s and retweets. Try to find ways to connect people to other people that might help or be of interest.
  10. Be consistent – What you put out there will be there forever. If you are to be trusted you need to consistent both in terms of the quality of your contribution but also in the quantity of contribution.

We are still very much learning and would be delighted to hear your experiences.

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