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Social Media Socialising

February 23, 2012

Do you want to know the easiest way to build a successful online business?  You have to market the same as you would in the real world. You must be proactive by engaging people in a respectful and friendly manner, by listening more than you talk and by not being pushy.

You also have to carefully choose the social media you are going to use. There is not enough time in the day to interact on all of the platforms in an effective manner. So you must concentrate on a couple to get the best results. I concentrate on Facebook, Linkedin and some on Twitter. That may change as my marketing and I evolve.

Social media follows the same rules that society does, with exaggeration in some areas because we can reach around 7 Billion people. So when you do something nice for someone, their natural reciprocal action of “returning the favour “can have large returns. This is especially true if you do it for a lot of people on an ongoing basis.

Getting engaged starts with having a good profile on any of the social media platforms you frequent. The better your profile is, the better people will respond to you. It is the difference between worn jeans and a business suit at a meeting. The person is the same, but others’ perceptions are very different.

Reading and commenting on postings on Linkedin is a practical way to learn and to get other members to read and comment on your post. Searching groups within Linkedin is a good way to connect with and exchange information and feedback from the other members in your specific area. However this may not be the best place to post. Depending on your niche, posting in the non-niche area could be a better place to find clients.

Getting people engaged by asking them questions on Twitter or Linkedin is a really positive way to connect. Posing an interesting question that gets answers for other people as well as yourself is a great way to get a variety of opinions on almost any subject. This can also be a good start for another post on your blog. Responding with positive knowledgeable answers to a question will give you instant credibility as an expert.

When you read other people’s blogs, add a comment. Everyone needs feedback and this will give them (us) a chance to improve their next posting or give a new direction to write another post. However, be genuine.  If you agree, say so. If you don’t agree, use positive criticism to ensure that your comment is not deleted. If you can’t say something genuinely positive, don’t say anything at all. Faking it doesn’t work.

It also has the benefit of leaving a backlink to your site thereby improving your SEO. Since Search Engine Optimization works in part by the links to and from your site, you are also doing yourself a favour.

If you have a blog, give away some of your best material. It will get readers interested in getting updates and coming back. They will also tell their friends and business associates.  It will be good for business because your readers will wonder what you are keeping back. It may intrigue people enough to pay to sign up for an ebook or a download on a topic that has their interest.

Always try to reply to comments if it was posted in a positive way. It doesn’t take long and it makes a potential client feel like they have been engaged in a short conversation. We all like to be appreciated for our input and replying to comments shows you are listening and you care.

The same applies to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and all the other social sites. Get Engaged with your audience. If someone has commented, mentioned, retweeted, sent a link or done anything else to Scratch Your Back, scratch theirs in return. If you don’t, they can just as easily send it to someone else who takes the time to say “Thanks” and sends something back that has value to them.

Use Google Alerts and Twilert or another Twitter app to keep track of ongoing conversations and trends in your field of interest. These applications will send you daily or weekly emails on everything they find on the keyword search you input. Keeping abreast of ongoing conversations, mentions and retweets enables you to be engaged with the people who are seeking and giving answers.

Another tool to round out any current marketing campaign is the use of QR codes to link to your online presence.  Consumers want instant access to information and QR codes are the tool to make that connection. They are fairly new to North America, but are catching on like wildfire. You see them everywhere, from Bloomingdale to Real Estate agents to the cartridges in your printer.

A well thought out campaign with a flexible platform for your QR codes can engage local traffic, whether on foot, in a hansom cab, looking at a flyer, etc. Anyone with a smartphone who scans a QRGL code can see a Google map of your location, get into a contest, get the daily or weekly deal, send you an email, see you on Youtube, call you, say “Hi” on your Facebook page and all  without leaving the screen they landed on.

If you are plan on being successful online, you may want to keep the 80-20 rule in mind. Some say it is 95-5 on the amount of content versus advertising you do. If you are always pitching (100%) you will drive people away in hordes. Think about watching TV. Do you watch your favourite commercials and put up with whatever program is on? OR !! Do you watch your favourite program and put up with the commercials? Adjust your advertising accordingly.

Becoming a successful online marketer is far from an exact science. Following these simple guidelines will hasten your success. You must be a forever student, polite, informative, friendly, follow the Golden Rule, have your ear to the ground and always be on the lookout for any potential way that may further your success.

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