• One in every nine people on the planet uses Facebook (over 850 million)

• If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest (behind only China and India)

• YouTube has 490 million unique users who visit every month

• People upload 3,000 pictures to Flickr….every minute

• Twitter is adding around 500,000 members per day

The numbers are pretty impressive, aren’t they?  Which is why it surprises me that I still meet business owners and leaders who are sceptical about the importance of Social Media.   Even if they agree that it is not going away, in practice they continue to revert to old fashioned ‘broadcast’ marketing.

Listen MoreIt is no longer the companies and brands that ‘shout the loudest’ and have the largest advertising budgets that win all the customers.  Successful businesses (of all sizes) are striving instead to ‘listen the hardest’ and are deploying that really precious commodity, time, on their communication with existing and potential customers.  They no longer sit around asking ‘What can we do today to market to our customers better?’.  They are reaching out and saying ‘Excuse me, Mr Customer, what can I do for you today?’.

So here are my top tips for successful Social Media Marketing:

1. Get a Strategy

Many companies are diving in and setting up Facebook pages here and Twitter accounts there, without working out the basics of what they are trying to achieve, and as a result end up with a random patchwork of ineffective online presence.

2. Be Authentic

Stop embellishing and start focusing on doing what you do best.

3. Consider Content Carefully

Be interesting, be relevant, be thought-leading.  Remember, you need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.

4. Avoid Over Promotion

Build up trust through generous content and your audience will then give you permission to market to them as well.  A maximum of 20% of your content should be promotional.

Social Media5. Think Cultural Shift, not Technological

Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest – all my come and go, but the principle of interacting and engaging in dialogue with your customers will not.  That’s why it needs a cultural change from the top.

6. Go For It!

There is little point in dabbling with Social Media.  To do it successfully requires proper commitment and time allocation.  Social Media is not a magic quick fix – consistency and perseverance are crucial.


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