Some Social Media Tips

July 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm 5 comments

I’ll be presenting at the Vancouver Financial Services Marketing Meetup next week – and I figure I’d address some “best practices” in my talk.   Here are a few (note: I wrote this originally for an online interview).


1) Communicate with people, don’t just use the sites as a 1-way bullhorn.

2) Be honest – if you’re affiliated with a product/company don’t pretend your endorsement comes out of the blue

3) Check out what people are saying about you and your company using Google Alerts and other tools

4) If you’re on Twitter, take the time to get to know people, to help and communicate.  Self-promotion should be only a very small part of what you put out there.

5) Make social media a part of your life rather than trying to fit it in (e.g. make twittering and posting a natural extension of how you communicate)

How has Social Media helped me?

I have been asked to speak at conferences because people have come across my blogs. I’m excited when they’ve read my blogs beforehand because gives them an insight into who I am. Oddly enough, I’ve had a few people say they were booking me just as much for the fact that I’m funny as for my knowledge –  they wanted someone who could brings humor to the presentation.

Biggest Mistakes

1)  Ignoring it altogether – hoping it’s a fad

2) Seeing it as advertising rather than communication

3) Revealing too much – or two little (it’s beneficial to give people an idea of the person behind the business)

Best Networkers

They allow themselves to be 3-dimensional.  They reveal some aspects of their personality and admit their mistakes.  They naturally like people and genuinely want to have discourses and meet others.  They give and add value to the community.  I think a sense of fun and playfulness also helpful in the space.

Tips for success

1) Structure: You have to commit to whatever site or site(s) you’re networking on, commit to going there, to posting, and to communicating on a regular schedule.  If you disappear for a long time people will figure you’ve left.

2) It takes time.  You won’t suddenly get people throwing money at you.  But if you invest your time you will eventually see the results of your efforts.

3) Think of it as networking at an event or party.  You let your hair down a bit, and meet people and chat.  Using the same example, parties don’t always lead to a business deal that evening, but nurturing the connections might eventually bear fruit.

4) Try to have fun with it – even though it is, in a sense, marketing.  If you enjoy the communication, it will be less of a labor and more easy to incorporate into your life.

If I had to pick only 1 social network

Twitter.  It’s faster and easier to communicate and generally more people see the message.  Also you can incorporate other elements (link to pictures, blog posts etc.)  I think you still need a blog, but you can communicate every day on Twitter, whereas you may not have the time or energy to write daily in-depth posts on your blog.

How to use

Use YouTube to showcase yourself briefly and to give others a chance to see “real life” you.  Use Facebook as a general communication tool – it allows you to update your status, post videos, talk to people, organize events etc.  Plus, most people are on it.  Use Twitter to communicate a few times a day.  Your blog is great for ideas, thoughts about your business/industry, to allow clients to keep up with you and your work and activities and for general longer-form communication than microblogs (e.g. Twitter).

What tips do you have re: best practices, that you think I should share?

___  ___  ___

P.S. I recently did an interview with the Casual Encounters blog (primarily about my other blog)


Entry filed under: blogging, facebook, Social Marketing, social media, twitter. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Cesarini  |  July 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Me like the best practices Monica, I think that those becoming acquainted with social media definitely need to prepare to communicate authentically and conversationally, or risk big setbacks in community engagement. I like your point about needing structure as well – people shouldn’t think of structure as being restrictive, but as the necessity of being dedicated and ‘invested’ in their social media venture to the extent that enables their network to thrive.

    In terms of additional best practices tips, your post ends with a great one – ask questions.

  • […] 2009-07-06T13:52:03  Got a social media best practice? RT @monicahamburg: (New "Interweb" blog post) Some "best practices" re: social media [link to post] […]

  • 3. Glenn Hilton  |  July 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Great post Monica! You mentioned that some people are “revealing too much” in their social media usage. I wonder if you might happen to have any examples of this? ¡

  • 4. Nora McDougall-Collins  |  July 7, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Coming from a forum background, you are so right to ask participants – to participate! Everyone has something to give.

    On the other hand, when someone is new, it does take a while to jump in! Reminds me of grade school where our whole class was jumping rope (the long ones with two people at the ends and three people jumping at the same time.) I didn’t want to be the one who tripped and stopped the action. Then I realized that they would just start twirling it again – it wasn’t about me, it was about everyone having fun!

  • 5. monicahamburg  |  July 8, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    @David Thanks – it is really important that people understand how to use it effectively. I see so many Twitter feeds that only have tweets about the persons own blog posts or ventures and I think… ya, good luck with all that.

    @Glenn You funny!
    See this video 😉

    @Nora Thanks for commenting! And what a great analogy! I totally get that. At first I didn’t get the appeal of Twitter at all – now it’s my pulse to the world around me & an almost constant connection to my friends/Tweeps 🙂 Once the focus is being present and communicating/connecting (rather than on something like selling), the interactions are more fluid – and more fun.


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