Blog by Kripen Dhrona - The Enterprise Hotel, Earls Court
I am not an authority on social network marketing (and have no ambition to be one) but during the last year I have set up a Facebook group and ventured into other areas of social networking and marketing with some success. Not rocket science I know! Anyone who is anyone in business should be doing the same but I have been encouraged by the results and would like to share my experience and some of the knowledge I have gained along the way.
So here are some guidelines from my own personal perspective ... one thing before you read further - proceed with caution - once you have got to the end of this piece (and I hope you do) only take away with you what you think will work for you and your business. Here goes...
• Don’t set business objectives for your social networking activity. No! I’m not a marketing rebel - just realistic. For me this type of marketing activity is organic. While you can feed and guide it – you need to let it take the lead and see where it takes you. Explore the unknown, don’t be shy - you are in the blogosphere to spread the word about your business and your expertise.
• Don’t put off what you can do today - decide what you are going to do and do it.
• Saying you don’t understand the way it works is not an excuse to get out of undertaking some form of social media marketing. There are so many tutorials and help pages for Facebook, Twitter etc -it’s easy!
• Keep it simple and manageable– don’t plan to blog on your website every week or tweet daily when you don’t have the time and even worse nothing to say.
• Be consistent – dedicate 10 minutes a day to a social network activity – there are plenty of simple things to do which take just minutes: Update your Facebook group with an event or a snippet of news; Connect with someone new on LinkedIn; Add a constructive comment to an industry discussion; If you need a supplier or are looking to recruit put a call out for leads on the web.
• Get your colleagues involved – this is not a one man job – the clue is in the title - ‘social’!
• Direct and/or lead your new social network contacts back to you in the real world – after all generating business is your objective (whoops sorry I said no objectives). More and higher quality attendees at an event, lead generation and to meet valuable new contacts, shall we say, could be among your ‘aims’.
At the risk of being a social network bore I have read up on the bigger picture of this subject and found it fascinating. If you too would like to get to grips with the enormity of this phenomena then here’s some background reading for you: Groundswell co-written by Charlene Li who has some intriguing experiences and theories about social networking and marketing and Here Comes Everybody, the power of organisations without organisations by Clay Shirky – this publication is a bit technical in places but very readable.