By Jonny Curran
I like the 2010 study by the University of Maryland that suggests that social media services may be addictive and that using social media services may lead to a “fear of missing out,” also known as the phrase “FOMO”.
In the past companies had considerably more control over how they were perceived and promoted. This was largely influenced by how much they spent on advertising. Now social media means that it’s ‘the outside looking in who do the advertising’ and the effect on reputation and sales is therefore far less predictable. Or is it?
Experts in social media will tell you that whilst companies cannot completely control their message they can participate early on in conversations and achieve significant influence for their benefit.
This article follows on from Nancy Jones’s article last week ‘5 Small Business Essentials For Social Media Marketing’ which contained useful facts which included that; 94% of corporates are using social media marketing and 85% of them reported that it brought more exposure to their business. (source Mediabistro).
I work with some of the world’s leading experts who are speakers represented by my company on social media. These experts speak and advise large companies and conferences worldwide on social media strategy.
My own previous experience of working with ‘social media experts’ has been nothing short of between poor and shocking. Like many SME companies I have hired different firms over the past seven years all who professed to be experts who could help me to promote and grow my business. They all failed.
Whilst I am no expert in social media as a result of my frustrations and money wasted I trained myself reading and learning from my speakers. In retrospect I concluded that with social media really only being 7 to 8 years old I was silly to think I was able to hire ‘experts’ in it. Eventually in 2012 one firm did impress me and I would advise anyone to research and validate the testimonials of those that profess to being social media experts before committing to engage them.
Despite what I have learnt on social media marketing I am still no expert myself but I can through my job refer to the expert opinions of the leading social media speakers.
Here are useful snippets of advice from five world renowned experts on social media marketing:
1. Joost de Valk – Joost is the founder of Yoast which is used by companies all over the world for SEO and online marketing. I regard Joost, as do many others as a hugely enlightened guru and ‘helper’ towards better marketing and discovery on the web.
Here is one of Joost de Valk’s key points to achieving success using social media;
“You actually have to have a good product with a good story, and then suddenly marketing becomes easy, then content marketing is simply writing about what you are doing and how people are using it etc. Which is cool, its just, is that really a new marketing strategy? Or are we now just properly scaling up what we should of been doing for ages?”
2. Seth Godin – Seth is the founder of blogging site Squidoo and a regularly commentator and authority on social media. I recommend that you read his list of Six Tips for Marketing Success using social media which include:
“In the Mad Men era, marketing used to be advertising, but that’s not the case anymore. To succeed, you must tell a story that people want to hear. These stories connect with people on an emotional level and are true. Note: Brands that attempt to tell a false story will get caught.”
3. Guy Kawasaki – Guy has over 7 million followers across multiple social media platforms and is a former chief evangelist at Apple, a current adviser at Motorola, and once turned down the CEO job at Yahoo.
Kawaski has recently written his ‘10 Tips for A Huge Social Media Following’ in which I particularly liked his breakdown of the core values of the Big 5 social media sites:
Facebook = People. It’s mostly for communicating with those with whom you already have some connection.
Twitter = Perceptions. It can help you build your reputation and visibility.
Google+ = Passions. It’s for sharing your passions with others who have the same passions.
Pinterest = Pinning. It’s about beautiful images and finding great stuff.
LinkedIn = Pimping. He means this in a good way, Kawasaki said. “LinkedIn can help you position yourself as a serious person and influencer.”
4. Gary Vanerchuk – I like Vanerchuk’s job, he’s a wine critic. Gary has been able to successfully fuse his passion of wine with social media to gain an enormous following. He advocates that trying to promote yourself or your business as something else to achieve a greater following is flawed. I think this is true of almost every business that has developed a strong social media presence.
Vanerchuk says: “Be happy with who you are…. Be you… Be every flaw.”
5. Tony Robbins – Tony is regarded as one of the world’s leading motivational speakers. He motivates President’s, CEO’s and is the top influencer on LinkedIn and has 2m followers on Twitter. People pay thousands of $ dollars to hear Tony speak but here is a free interview he gave for the Digital Domination Summit that we co-sponsored in 2013. Tony discusses with Marco ‘How to Supercharge Your Business’ which was directed at marketing companies online.
Tony gives lots of brilliant realistic advice in this interview. Like Guy Kawaski, Tony recognises the need to understand the core values of the each of the main social media sites. Tony also stresses ‘the importance of making your social media marketing valuable for your followers by adding value’
If I could draw a conclusion from reviewing each of the five experts mentioned in this article it is that choosing the right type of content for specific social media channels is imperative. Knowing and believing in the value of your product or service with passion and enthusiasm helps grow audiences. At the end of the day and unlike advertising your audience will find you.
As Tony Robbins concludes “word of mouth marketing can blow out even the biggest giants if you have an innovative product.” You should also be constantly innovating as Apple did when they moved into the mobile phone market having been reliant on the desktop computer market for so long.
About the author
Jonathan Curran is the Founder of the PROMOTIVATE Speakers Agency who represents and provides expert speakers on social media and other wide ranging topics to companies and conferences worldwide. PROMOTIVATE Speakers Agency has offices in London, UK and Lima, Peru.