9 Things Businesses Have Learned About Social Media

Be Less Like a Brand and More Like a Human

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[ Social Media]

Social media has walked the fiery coals of skepticism and has brilliantly performed as a marketing, customer service and relationship building tool beyond expectations.

All size businesses have taken the polar bear plunge into what felt like an alien way of communicating with their customers. When businesses began using Facebook fan pages, Twitter, engaging on forums, blogging, creating videos on YouTube and more, they realized that being a less like a brand and more human created real long lasting relationships with their customers.

Tell us what you’ve learned about social media.

A few things businesses have learned about social media:

It isn’t free: Social media costs time – a lot of time. If you have someone that is customer focused, understands how to write headlines and reaches out to the right audiences, then you are starting out solid.

Be Creative: Social media isn’t sell media. Be social. Have fun engaging your community, from congratulating them on opening their new business, to commenting on their blog and attending networking events with them.

Have a Team: This isn’t a one person show. Just like customer service everyone needs to be trained and have at least a basic understanding on how to help customers, sell the product as well as assist with customer concerns.

Start with Employees: The people that know how to talk about your brand, company and culture the best are your employees. Treat them as family, acknowledge and appreciate and make them feel as they are an important part of your business. Employees are the first to share with their communities and network their experience with your company and brand.

Listen First: Enough with the megaphone blasting your message to customers and employees. Start by spending some time listening to them instead. Reach out and connect with your customers, employees and fans of your brand and make them feel that they are the center of the conversation.

Customers Turn into Marketers: Customers that feel acknowledged and appreciated are loyal, excited to help and eager to be your brand evangelists, at no charge.

Consistency Matters: Have your pixel pixie help you create a Twitter background that matches your website branding, and a Facebook logo that fits, little things that your graphic deisgner can do to enrich

Connect online then in real life: Find ways to connect offline, have an open house, attend a networking event and then share the experience with your social media communities.

Seek Guidance: Look for someone who understands the tools, language, has experience and passion working with social media to give you an hour or two to give you a tour. Learn about social media management tools, ways to monitor effectiveness, help with content strategy and ways to find your audience.

Looking forward to a prosperous 2011 of seeing your business being social online and off.

Do you feel that something is missing? Share in the comments.

9 Things Businesses Have Learned About Social Media
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  • http://www.vcaresoftwaredevelopment.com Daniel Jose

    These are awesome tips,how we can used social media in our business.

  • http://social-media-mangement.com Ron Richardson

    Very well put Lyndie…with social media now mainstream, it’s important to have an understanding as well as to have some goals set and have a game plan in place in order to run a successful social media marketing campaign.

  • http://customersrock.net Becky Carroll

    Thank you for a post that says it all. Social Media shines brightest when it is used to deepen customer relationships, NOT just as a campaign. Your “business lessons” are exactly what I teach my social media marketing students at UC San Diego.

    Thank you again!

  • http://compoundmarketinggroup.com Blaine Mathieu

    All great points but you omitted one of the most critical ones: the power of social media marketing can be magnified many times if the efforts are integrated into a wider marketing program involving other channels. Email, in particular, is a great “partner” to social media marketing and, in many cases, building the email list provides the ROI justification that many social media marketers are looking for. For those that care to learn more, this kind of connected, multi-channel marketing is what my blog site http://compoundmarketinggroup.com is all about.

  • http://fromadrianlee.com Adrian Lee

    As someone who is working to get more traditional businesses on the internet and using social media to communicate, this is a very helpful post.

    Social media works, I have had success stories that had gotten extra customers that came over because of our activities in the social sites. It doesn’t take up that much time, a couple minutes in the mornings and afternoons is more than enough to get everything sorted out.

  • http://www.house-zakaria.com Luki Dujmovic

    This article is grate, to be precise, as most articles and videos you send indeed are.
    Yet for the beginners sounds still difficult to understand.
    Would you please be so kind and point a directory or site of your trust you would recommence to
    a social media beginner, where we can find and compare various web companies.?

    I would appreciate very much…

  • http://einternetmarketingservices.org Rick Samara

    Fantastic article! It provides some very interesting thoughts concerning small businesses and the use of social media. You menitioned turning customers into marketers. Or, the viral effect of social media. This is extremely important for business owners to understand. People buy on the recommendation of their friends. Great point.

    I’d like to add something, based on my experience with small businesses. Most do not have the budget to hire a marketing expert full time. This function is often shared among the business owner and the office manager. If they did have the budget, it would cost them between $3,200 and $5,000 monthly. However if they outsource the social media function, they could probably find an Internet Marketing firm that perform this function for $300 to $500 monthly.

    …looking forward to more thought provoking articles on this subject!


  • Guest

    I used to be a club promoter and I understand exactly what you mean. When our team used to take to the streets, we left our personal tastes behind. It wasn’t upto us to decide whether or not Hip Hop and RnB was good music, it was up to us to make sure that people who were looking to have a good time would.

    One team member saying one thing, and other saying something completely different about a venue was counter productive.

    Most importantly, taking some time to have some fun in the venue you are promoting itself, was worth it. Just to understand it and strengthen your involvement and understanding with it.

  • http://mlmincomeguaranteed.com/ Claude Fullinfaw @ MLM in Malaysia

    I enjoyed your article on the 9 things we should do with Social media and fully agree that inspite of the time it takes, it does pay off over the year. Last year I had only 132 follower on Facebook and 50 on Twitter.

    Today those figures are 887 and 682 at the last count respectively. So how did I get my readership up.

    I spend 30 minutes each day commenting on other peoples walls, twittering thoughts and sharing information or places I have been too and in turn people approach me for advice. Use Social Media as a tool as you would use a Starbucks to meet people and mingle and share information and contribute to the current conversation on a site.

    Don’t sell or just spam your profile page or other people’s site with stuff you want people to read so they buy from you. Write intelligent information that may be of use in short paragraphs and they will automatically subscribe for information from you.

    All the best in 2011.

    • http://www.3ddebi.com Debi Davis

      I, too, have grown my networks steadily and organically. Your 30-minutes-a-day plan is what I’ve done, too, and it’s exactly what I encourage others to do. It takes a bit of discipline; maybe a written checklist can help some people maintain their consistency. But you have to start with a plan and then stick with it if you expect to see results.

      Thanks for posting some of the specifics of your plan. Great testimonial!

  • http://howtowinthelotteryguaranteed.info/ AllessaH

    Great pointers !
    Best regards ..

  • http://www.3ddebi.com Debi Davis

    Tips #1, 3, 4 & 5 are my favorites. That’s probably because they’re the ones I have the most experience with and hear myself saying over and over and over.

    I will refer back to this blog post often and share it with many. I have scheduled several tweets over the next week carrying excerpts of this good advice, and a link back to it. Thank you for writing such a comprehensive piece that we can share. This is the kind of information that we need to spread far and wide.

  • http://www.pcdriverhelper.com/Video+Card_Matrox+Graphics.html lollo

    Have a Team: This isn’t a one person show.
    I agree with it
    I think teamwork is very important

  • Guest
  • http://jamiefavreau.wordpress.com Jamie Favreau

    I work for a company which keeps its part time staffers almost always out of the loop as far as marketing goes. Which is wrong on so many levels and I have been very active in their communities since 02-03 hockey season. I work in a sports arena and this I have seen time and time again.

    Which I think needs a lot of work but since they won’t listen to me (I didn’t even get an interview for the full time job and they hired someone from out of state) anyway, I find it difficult for some organizations to realize how easy it is to connect and help people and to realize everyone is a face of the brand and NOT just the sexy full time staffer who happens to have the job description.

  • http://lyndit.com Lyndit

    Thanks everyone for the great comments. Glad you liked the article.

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