Do You Want To Learn Social Media? Here’s A Little Secret.

      

For most people, the thought of educating themselves in social media is overwhelming. There are thousands of bloggers who have written tens of thousands of posts on the topic, classes you can take, conferences to attend and webinars to sign up for. If you can afford to hire a consultant, you still need to learn enough about social media to figure out which one is right for you.

One way or another, get yourself educated and when you can, get help from a pro in social media because it is the future of shopping and buying.

But, what’s most important for you to know about social media is this: you already know how to do it.

With a few basic principles, and a little bit of technical set up  you can do as good a job at social media marketing as the biggest international, multi-billion dollar, Fortune 100 company. Maybe even better.

To give you an example of what social media is about, think about two stores in your town.  They are both hardware stores.

At AAA Hardware, when you walk in, you wander aimlessly through the aisles looking for the specific halogen bulb you need for the living room lamp.  When you give up, and ask the kid behind the counter for help, he points in some direction that you know you’ve already looked , while not looking you in the eye.

At Ray’s Hardware, on the other side of town, when you go in, Ray greets you by name and asks you what you’re looking for.  You tell him you’re thinking about replacing the faucets in your bathroom.  He tells you about the faucet that he used to when he built his new bathroom.  He mentions that he can order them in a different finish than he has in stock and shows you a book he is reading about how to design a bathroom. Alice, who is shopping and happens to overhear the conversation, mentions that she wants to redo her bathroom as well and is looking for a contractor. Both you and Ray talk to her for a while about the people you  know who have done good work and the ins and outs of hiring a contractor. You remember that the last time you were in, you were buying paint and tell Ray and Alice about how great the room looks now and how you celebrated the new look of the room by inviting the neighbors over for wine and cheese. As you say good-bye to Ray, he mentions that there’s a great new restaurant opening up down the block and you make a mental note to give it a try. When you’re ready to buy your faucets, you’ll know which ones to choose and where to buy them.  That’s what social media looks like.

Put those conversations on the web with some know-how about how to use the specific tools—Facebook, Twitter, Blogging or YouTube—and you’ll do just fine.

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