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#SMWLDN: Social Media (Schmedia) 101

by Emma Parsons on 18 February 2011

Hi, I’m Emma Parsons and I’m a Community Exec here at 1000heads.

Last week I attended a couple of events during London’s Social Media Week, which, aside from learning that apparently it helps to have a beard and wear a blazer *cough* @whatleydude *cough* (– yeah, thanks Emma! *WD), the events I attended really brought it home to me that social media is not about the latest platform trends or how many followers you have, but about communicating, being approachable, honest and friendly and above all just using a little common sense!
So, without further adieu, here are my:

Social Media 101 Top 5 Tips for Success:

  1. Add value to everything you do -
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    This is a BIG one for me. You always need to ask yourself – why are people going to engage? On the tube today was an ad, let’s say for “rustic socks” and they encourage tube riders (rageful, tired tube riders) to share their guilty secrets with “rustic farmer Ben” on their Facebook page. My response to this ad was – Why would you? Who is going to make a note of the URL, wait until they’re off the tube because there isn’t any signal down there, and then share their most intimate secrets with a made-up character on a public Facebook page? Which all your friends could see? Good luck if your guilty secret is sleeping with your best mate’s girlfriend. This is a classic example of social media for schmedia’s sake.
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  2. Showing up is not enough -
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    This is a no-brainer. Start as you mean to go on, because if you start then can’t be bothered / don’t have the resource / freak out because you don’t know what you’re doing, then go back to the drawing board and quick smart. You’re doing your brand damage if the last tweet you wrote was in 1985 (not possible, I know but the ‘80’s always hit home that I’m referring to a long time ago).
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  3. Help, support, guide, not sell, sell, sell –
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    People will follow you because you’re insightful, helpful, interesting and add value to their Twitter stream. Selling your hoovers with a 50% discount every 5 minutes only adds supreme irritation.
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  4. Measure success meaningfully -
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    Not by how many followers you have, but how engaged and relevant your community is. The Twitter feed I run for my client is for the fashion and beauty blogging community; 80% of my followers are from that community, and tweet at me as they do anyone else in their community, every single day. I never offer discounts or trials or follow irrelevant people, yet my followers have increased at a steady and organic rate. When I tweet, the people listening are the exact audience I want listening.
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  5. Being on Facebook is like being at (someone else’s) home
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    I love this, because it really captures just how personal Facebook is. You’re in people’s “living rooms” when you’re in their home streams so give people a reason to publicly declare they like you, reward them for wanting to have you in their living room. Don’t abuse it by updating every other minute, you’ll be like the dinner party guest that won’t shutup and you’ll swiftly be asked to leave.

There is a lot more where that came from so if you’ve got questions or want a full run-down of all that I absorbed then please, leave a comment or find me on twitter – I’d love to hear from you.

The events I attended were How Social Media Can Influence the Buying Process and Drive ROI, Facebook & Twitter for Businesses and Free Think – the DMA on social media, direct marketing and making money (this last one featuring fellow ‘head Miss Molly Flatt).

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  • beardsforshow/stubblefordough

    Good post, I attended a lot of events in schmedia week (I felt inferior as I have no beard & was in a suit!) which were a little helpful, but to be honest I was expecting a bit more. Some sensible tips in your blog, a little more sense and hard hitting tips at schmedia would have gone down well, but on the whole it was a good week. Hope you enjoyed it!

  • Kate

    These are some great tips, thanks Emma. I really want to forward point number 5 to a few of my friends!