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Afraid to admit that you dont understand social media

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I talk to a lot of business owners who dont get social media.

A year or two ago when Id speak with them, most were quick to say they didnt understand it and didnt need to. Today what I hear is: I know Im supposed to be doing that, so I have a Facebook account. Or, Yes, Ive got my teenaged nephew taking care of that.

Unfortunately, simply posting occasional announcements about upcoming sales or telling people why they should use your service is not social media marketing and it’s not helping you. In fact, if thats all you’re doing, it could be hurting you.

Whats worse, you’re not taking advantage of what could become the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Why

Social media is the worlds biggest cocktail party and everyones there including your competitors and your potential customers.

I first heard the cocktail party analogy from marketing guru David Meerman Scott, who used it in his best-seller, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, published in 2007. It immediately clarified for me why social media networks are marketing gold.

Imagine walking into a networking party at a hotel. People are roaming around, engaging with folks they know and being introduced to those they dont know. Theyre talking about the economy, the weather, the price of milk.

You get into a nice chat with someone and he asks what you do for a living. If it were me, Id say, Ive got a national PR company that specialises in publicity. The person might say, Wow, Ive got a friend interested in that. Let me introduce you!?

The friend may or may not be present at this cocktail party.

Read more about making the most of social media:

But if that same conversation happened on a social network like Facebook, that friend and dozens more would be so close by. They may actually be listening to your conversation. Thats what makes social media so much more valuable as a marketing tool. You can be exposed to thousands more potential customers than you would through traditional networking channels.

How does that happen Social media users stay connected by following one another.

If Im following you, I can see your conversations. Post something clever and I might share it with my followers, who may also share it with their followers.

Before you know it, you and your brilliance may be exposed to hundreds of thousands of strangers. Some of them will become your followers and, voil ! You have a growing audience.

But it won’t happen if you dont have a plan and dont apply cocktail party rules of etiquette. 

Continue reading on page two…

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