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Monday, 4 October 2010

Beware the Next Big Thing Social Media Syndrome

picture of hundreds of Social Media Logos
Social Media Logos



I get asked all the time at networking events for advice on which social media to use for a business. I do try out a lot of sites looking for outlets to recommend to clients, but when I answer: "Follow your key target audience." This tends to be met by a blank stare, closely followed by a disappointed expression.

I'm giving people the best advise I can give anyone, but that's not what they want. They're all fired up by social media hype and really want to know which one specific social media platform is the magic wand.

So when pressed I suggest as a starting point for B2B (businesses selling to other businesses) business:

  1. Linked-In +
  2. Twitter +
  3. Blogs (integrated into the website & your own domain to make it easy to add fresh content onto your website) +
  4. Ping.fm to help pull it together

Then they say: "I'm on Linked-In and Twitter, but what about Facebook? It's massive."

"Yes", I say, "but massive can just be a bigger haystack in which to find your proverbial needle - key target customers. And you may not need a massive amount to make a major difference. Plus Facebook is very different."

There's not point in treating Facebook to blanket postings of business-facing blogs, tweets and linked-In updates. You'll reduce your audience massively if you talk too much business on Facebook - we try to average nine useful or entertaining tweets for any one light business mention, so we have 'earned' the right to a reference re what we do.

FaceBook is brilliant for online advertising as it can be so targeted.

It is also great for projecting your personality: letting people see your personal interests - great conversation openers when you meet up.

I find it helpful to think of Facebook as the online equivalent of the pub near the office. A place to have fun and gossip, maybe touch on work but not in a serious way. Plus, of course, check out the other side of key client staff and potential recruits, so you know what sort of things they like to chat about.

If there's not much difference between a product or service on offer, people will buy from people they like. Social media is 1-to-1, so it's all down to the personal touch and the ability to establish rapport when it comes down to most B2B sales.


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posted by Penny Haywood Calder at

 

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