Saturday, 30 January 2010

A Perspective on Social Media

The Party - Take One
You arrive at a party. People are chatting, eating nibbles, topping up drinks, laughing, looking intently at someone holding court and generally gazing round the room.

You grab a chair, stand on it and at the top of your voice shout "I sell cars! Does anybody want to buy a car!!!??".

The room falls silent and every body thinks, who the fuck's that idiot?

In the words of a well known Fast Show character you say "I'll get mi coat....." for you the party's over.

Most people wouldn't dream of doing this, you intuitively know it's inappropriate and you know it's unlikely to further your business cause.

The Party - Take Two
You arrive at a party. People are chatting, eating nibbles, topping up drinks, laughing, looking intently at someone holding court and generally gazing round the room.

You start to mingle. Seeing an open group chatting you listen in to see what they're talking about. You comment on what people are saying, maybe throw in a joke and generally add some value to the social interactions.

The conversation dries up and seeing the 'new boy' some kind soul asks what you do. "I sell cars" you say.

"That's interesting, come and meet Susan, she's in the market for a new car and needs some advice"

Now at this juncture you may once again want to go for the hard sell whipping out your business card faster than a C-lister whips out her tits at a photo opportunity, again, slow down, don't rush in. Give Susan some impartial advice, be genuine, don't look for a sale, establish yourself as an honest broker of information and help.

Susan asks for your email address because she'd like to ask you some questions about cars and "....there's no way I'll remember all this just now...". You've got a fan.

Monday morning an email arrives from Susan. In it she says ..."I hope you don't mind but I passed your details to a friend of mine who's also looking for a car...". You've got another fan.

If you're a seasoned business networker none of the above will be news to you. You know how it works, you know how to build trust and how to get business through referrals and recommendations. Well guess what, web based Social Media, that buzz phrase you've heard but don't get is just the same. You join parties, you add value, you build trust, you put something in, you listen and ultimately you get something back.

I Thought This Was An SEO Blog?
It is. Building on-line trust by participating in social media activities often results in people seeking out your on-line presence, your website. If they like what you are saying on your site, or if your site's got some useful gadgets they'll link to it to tell others. As links are the currency of search engine rankings these links will help your site to rank better. It's not complex......

Social media isn't complicated. If you participate and add value you'll get something back, if you jump onto the chair and start shouting you'll fall flat on your face and deservedly so.

TTFN

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More in this category: Social Media