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How to Really Use Social Media Marketing as a Tool For Business

Social Media Marketing is a compelling tool for business because of the dual benefits of

  • Huge traffic potential
  • Free (just need to spend time)

This is drawing in more and more businesses who want to extract these benefits and learn the best practices. Unfortunately we are also seeing an influx of the less open and authentic business types who only want to extract money from your wallet, any way possible.

Check out this charming conversationalist

Check out this charming conversationalist

Social Media is not just a new bull horn for the loud and abrasive sales types to use to make our ears bleed some more. If you go against what people want and need then don’t expect to get great results.

Join the Social Media Party

So how do you get good results for your business without becoming an obnoxious blowhard?

  • Listen
  • Respond
  • Provide interesting conversation
  • Monitor what people like
  • Provide more of that
  • Be yourself, or at least a human being

Funny, that’s almost exactly like what you would recommend if I asked you how to behave at a party, right? And this is the point. Just because you are working online, with software tools, does not mean good behavior goes out of the window.

In fact, because you are online and do not have the nonverbal cues to provide context to what you are saying and doing, it is even more important to be aware of the human element and show that you are real. You need to do this with the whole package, from your avatar and screen names, through to using smilies and obvious humor in your messages. A couple of times my humor has been a little too dry and caused me some problems. If in doubt, don’t say it!

Don’t be a Wall Flower Either

At the other end of the social media scale are the people who sit on the sidelines and do not get involved. If this is you then your results are going to suffer just as badly as the person who barges in and tries to take over. Really there is nothing to be afraid of, join in. You will find most people are kind and generous, the ones who aren’t you don’t want to get to know anyway.

One way to ease into the scene is to get someone you know and trust to introduce you to conversations. This can be done easily and openly using retweets or just engaging you in conversation. In Facebook and other networking sites it can be as simple as inviting you to groups.

Free Social Media Success Audio Class

If you would like to learn more about how to use social media in your business, download this free Social Media Best Practices audio class that Mike Stelzner, Denise Wakeman, Mari Smith and I put together as a thank you for folks who sign up to learn more about our Social Media Success Summit. You just need to enter your email address to get it.

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Comments

  1. What most marketers forget is that the people in the social media are humans too. They should be approached like a friend.

    Additionally, once you start interacting in conversations, you are sure to get some attention. There is nothing profitable in just setting up a social networking profile and leaving it as is, isn’t it?

  2. What most marketers forget is that the people in the social media are humans too. They should be approached like a friend.

    Additionally, once you start interacting in conversations, you are sure to get some attention. There is nothing profitable in just setting up a social networking profile and leaving it as is, isn’t it?

  3. Hi Chris –

    Appreciate this post – having been a non-party goer … umm … all of my life?? Well, this “act like you would when you’re at a party” analogy just hasn’t worked for me ;-)

    BUT – there is definitely something to be said for being brave enough to just be yourself and make both valuable and ‘whatever comes to your mind’ comments (talking gut reaction here – but yes, not unkind) – you DO attract others “just like you” and it’s a wonderful thing to be among people who like a good Star Trek reference, can get excited with you over a new domain name or can take the occasional dirty diaper moment and LOL with you.

    And yes this is still relevant to business – being myself and networking online is how I’ve met some of my closest and most important business partners and mentors.

    Only problem? Gotta like who you are ’cause like does attract like, eh?

    Appreciate you,
    Andrea
    @agoodsaid

  4. Hi Chris –

    Appreciate this post – having been a non-party goer … umm … all of my life?? Well, this “act like you would when you’re at a party” analogy just hasn’t worked for me ;-)

    BUT – there is definitely something to be said for being brave enough to just be yourself and make both valuable and ‘whatever comes to your mind’ comments (talking gut reaction here – but yes, not unkind) – you DO attract others “just like you” and it’s a wonderful thing to be among people who like a good Star Trek reference, can get excited with you over a new domain name or can take the occasional dirty diaper moment and LOL with you.

    And yes this is still relevant to business – being myself and networking online is how I’ve met some of my closest and most important business partners and mentors.

    Only problem? Gotta like who you are ’cause like does attract like, eh?

    Appreciate you,
    Andrea
    @agoodsaid

  5. Hi Chris

    I am finding that social media has so far provided the best place to ‘market’ our business. We promote self education so I guess it is a natural for us us to engage people and I must admit I really enjoy it as well. I really enjoy the freedom Twitter gives you and I only follow those who I think will also share some interesting conversation. Some days I get heartily sick of deleting those follow 1,000s post 1 people who seem to come in waves.
    I look forward to the summit!

  6. Hi Chris

    I am finding that social media has so far provided the best place to ‘market’ our business. We promote self education so I guess it is a natural for us us to engage people and I must admit I really enjoy it as well. I really enjoy the freedom Twitter gives you and I only follow those who I think will also share some interesting conversation. Some days I get heartily sick of deleting those follow 1,000s post 1 people who seem to come in waves.
    I look forward to the summit!

  7. Chris,

    hey man, when I came to the front page, I actually had trouble noticing when one post ended and the other began. Anyhow, back to your topic.

    I’ve be intentional about writing like a talk when posting to Twitter. And more people respond, I’m learning more, I feel like people think they need to sell or market all the time. SO they pick up the voice of a sales man, a major turn off.

    You know something wrong with you have to tell people to be human. :) Are we all desperate to make money or get follows? Building connections and relationships take time, we shouldn’t expect it to be any different online.

    -Mig

  8. Chris,

    hey man, when I came to the front page, I actually had trouble noticing when one post ended and the other began. Anyhow, back to your topic.

    I’ve be intentional about writing like a talk when posting to Twitter. And more people respond, I’m learning more, I feel like people think they need to sell or market all the time. SO they pick up the voice of a sales man, a major turn off.

    You know something wrong with you have to tell people to be human. :) Are we all desperate to make money or get follows? Building connections and relationships take time, we shouldn’t expect it to be any different online.

    -Mig

  9. This is a great overview of how to effectively use social media. The thing I love about this format of communication is how obvious SPAM is. Those who are not transparent and genuine stand out like a sore thumb!

  10. This is a great overview of how to effectively use social media. The thing I love about this format of communication is how obvious SPAM is. Those who are not transparent and genuine stand out like a sore thumb!

  11. I agree with Jon-Mikel. I think it’s great how easy it is to rout spam on Twitter or other social media channels. With these kinds of networks, people are able to be genuine and upfront about who they are, and any value-sucking phonies are easy to spot and avoid.

  12. I agree with Jon-Mikel. I think it’s great how easy it is to rout spam on Twitter or other social media channels. With these kinds of networks, people are able to be genuine and upfront about who they are, and any value-sucking phonies are easy to spot and avoid.

  13. Thanks for the post! Getting involved in social media is forming relationships with those you are connected with. They are people and thus in order for the relationship to survive and to grow, it has to be fed, such as continuing conversations, giving something of value (whether it be friendship, advice, or something greater). Many people get into social media without actually realizing the time and effort is takes to build up a strong following.

  14. Thanks for the post! Getting involved in social media is forming relationships with those you are connected with. They are people and thus in order for the relationship to survive and to grow, it has to be fed, such as continuing conversations, giving something of value (whether it be friendship, advice, or something greater). Many people get into social media without actually realizing the time and effort is takes to build up a strong following.

  15. Great post Chris! I couldn’t agree more, social media is extremely important for businesses.

  16. Great post Chris! I couldn’t agree more, social media is extremely important for businesses.

  17. Hey Chris,

    I received this re-tweet from http://www.twitter.com/evenflowdave

    Thanks for this post… it is refreshing. My niche is helping auto repair shop owners (who have a public trust poll percentage greater than my day job as a telemarketer) learn about the power of permission-based marketing and using social media to build trust.

    If you can tune out the hype of the the “buy me, but me” chatter it is a rich soil for planting the seeds of inclusion and relationship – and a good place to find and interact with like-minded souls. Perhaps at 59 years I will yet learn to dance…

    Thanks for the free lesson.

    Best wishes on (our) journey.

    Kenton

  18. Hey Chris,

    I received this re-tweet from http://www.twitter.com/evenflowdave

    Thanks for this post… it is refreshing. My niche is helping auto repair shop owners (who have a public trust poll percentage greater than my day job as a telemarketer) learn about the power of permission-based marketing and using social media to build trust.

    If you can tune out the hype of the the “buy me, but me” chatter it is a rich soil for planting the seeds of inclusion and relationship – and a good place to find and interact with like-minded souls. Perhaps at 59 years I will yet learn to dance…

    Thanks for the free lesson.

    Best wishes on (our) journey.

    Kenton

  19. As pointed out the first thing is about making friends. Even when a person is no longer a potential customer you still retain a relationship. After all you never know when you get a referral or useful tip. Also by helping others, not just selling, they try and help you in return.
    This blog is simple yet gets at the crux of social marketing.

  20. As pointed out the first thing is about making friends. Even when a person is no longer a potential customer you still retain a relationship. After all you never know when you get a referral or useful tip. Also by helping others, not just selling, they try and help you in return.
    This blog is simple yet gets at the crux of social marketing.

  21. Dear Chris,

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. Great post.

    I am onfacebook, linkedin, twitter, ecademy and many other social networking site. I know it takes time to be with so many groups and be active as well, however I find it is great expeience to meet those amazing and talented people in those sites. I love twitter, it is fun and great way to communicated with people you want to meet with.

    Thanks for the post and look forward to your next article.

    Best regards,

    Susie Cheng

  22. Dear Chris,

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. Great post.

    I am onfacebook, linkedin, twitter, ecademy and many other social networking site. I know it takes time to be with so many groups and be active as well, however I find it is great expeience to meet those amazing and talented people in those sites. I love twitter, it is fun and great way to communicated with people you want to meet with.

    Thanks for the post and look forward to your next article.

    Best regards,

    Susie Cheng

  23. So true. Twitter will help your site grow as long as you have something of value to offer. Spammers will be unfollowed and will all end up in a huge pool where they all follow each other and all their posts are automated. How fun for them. lol

  24. So true. Twitter will help your site grow as long as you have something of value to offer. Spammers will be unfollowed and will all end up in a huge pool where they all follow each other and all their posts are automated. How fun for them. lol

  25. There are far too many of those spammers who just tweet the exact same message a million times in a row. And people just like them exist in all social media realms.

    It would be so nice if, one day, they realized that doing that doesn’t work very well (on Twitter, I can’t imagine that it works at all, because, as Jon-Mikel said above, it’s so obvious when someone is spamming on Twitter). In my dreams, all online marketers use the tactics that smart people like Chris teach. :)

  26. There are far too many of those spammers who just tweet the exact same message a million times in a row. And people just like them exist in all social media realms.

    It would be so nice if, one day, they realized that doing that doesn’t work very well (on Twitter, I can’t imagine that it works at all, because, as Jon-Mikel said above, it’s so obvious when someone is spamming on Twitter). In my dreams, all online marketers use the tactics that smart people like Chris teach. :)

  27. I think people who don’t follow the “guidelines” are the ones that keep everyone else away. Basically they give those of us that do do it correctly a bad name.

  28. I think people who don’t follow the “guidelines” are the ones that keep everyone else away. Basically they give those of us that do do it correctly a bad name.

  29. Hi Chris,

    Love this post. This is so true and I actually wrote about this exact topic only last night.

    I was thinking of starting up a movement attempting to change Twitters theme from “what are you doing now?” to “What are you selling now?”.. whos in?

    Great site by the way.

    Cheers
    Will

  30. Hi Chris,

    Love this post. This is so true and I actually wrote about this exact topic only last night.

    I was thinking of starting up a movement attempting to change Twitters theme from “what are you doing now?” to “What are you selling now?”.. whos in?

    Great site by the way.

    Cheers
    Will

  31. I footnoted a post from your website. Wanted to make sure it was correct. I am building a social marketing business, here in Columbus,GA, and trying to provide real information for local businesses.

  32. I footnoted a post from your website. Wanted to make sure it was correct. I am building a social marketing business, here in Columbus,GA, and trying to provide real information for local businesses.