There is something of a tendency to get all hung up over the whole issue of social media – especially amongst internet marketers.
How should we use it? When should we use it? What is the best strategy to use? How long do we wait to mention our products? Do we try to mention our products at all? What do we talk about? How often do we use social media? and on it goes.
I have been hearing a lot about social media strategy over the last few weeks and the general consensus seems to be that we are making the whole issue more complicated than it really ought to be.
Jon Olson defined it neatly during yesterday’s marathon three hour 20 minute T3 session when he said: “Social media – all it is is digital word of mouth.”
So it should follow that if you are comfortable talking to people you should be comfortable using social media as a tool to talk to people online.
The key is not to attempt to over-complicate things and instead, simply be yourself as you interact with others on Twitter and Facebook.
You don’t rush up to a friend in the street and then bombard them with offers for your latest product, service or special offer.
Instead you might ask about their family, events in their life, or chat about sport, the weather or the price of fuel.
As Jon Olson put it: “Do not pitch when you use social media, nobody wants to be pitched. Twitter is just you and me talking to each other and it works when you are interacting with people you know and like.
“If you spend an hour a day being social and building relationships with people then in six month time just watch what happens.”
As marketers we have to juggle many different things which are all competing for our time and there always seems to be more things to do than there are hours in the day.
Jon says we should aim for a “healthy mix” of work, social interaction and personal development and I take this to mean getting all three elements in balance and not be overly reliant on any single one of them.
I know I used to spend far too long trying to learn about the business, the personal development side of things, and almost completely ignored the other two.
I am not sure that I have got the mix quite right just yet but thanks to the help I have received from the people I have met online in the last six months, I know I am slowly getting there.