The Social Media Revolution – How to Make it Work For You

After trading since 2001, I now get 98% of business via word-of-mouth. Although I provide traditional marketing services to my clients, I do very little of it for myself. I don’t even do as much face-to-face networking as I used to. These days, I win business through online marketing. It’s free! But it does take time, and you can’t do it all at once.

Here is my recommended order of events:

1. Have a website that offers added value, because most people use the Internet to search for ‘how to’ information (mine has pages of free resources and fun stuff)

2. Send a regular newsletter that offers added value (mine includes hints, tips and wordy humour)

3. Start a blog that offers added value (mine is about what business owners can learn from UK advertising)

4. Upload articles that offer added value e.g. on sites such as EzineArticles

5. Share your expertise on networking sites e.g. Groups and Answers on LinkedIn

6. Include links to your added value content in your Facebook status and/or Twitter updates (mixed in with social and fun content to add personality)

Have you noticed a theme? Like face-to-face networking, online marketing is about adding value, showing personality and sharing expertise. That’s what wins clients these days. OK, so that’s anecdotal. If you want some statistics about the impact of social media, watch this YouTube video.

And it’s not just small businesses that use social media to promote themselves. Big brands such as Skittles know the value of bottom-up content instead of top-down selling. Their home page now comprises a series of links to external websites where their customers discuss their product. ‘Chatter’ goes to Twitter. ‘Friends’ goes to Facebook. ‘Media’ goes to YouTube and Flickr. If this marketing strategy is good enough for a major confectioner, it’s sweet enough for the rest of us!