What’s not being said about social media and what you need to understand

Having worked on the social side of the web for over ten years, there is tons that I've learned. Sharing is what I do for a living and I want to share my experiences on the social web:
It's hard work
– getting traction, conversation and measurable results are hard work.  Don't be fooled that social media is a magic bullet.  There is work involved to grow your community and even more work to scale your conversations.

Choose your community
– the loudest person in your community may not be your best customer.  If you have trolls or cliques in your community keep an eye on them. They may be preventing your community from growing by creating an unpleasant online environment. With trolls, try confronting them head on. I found it best to pick up the phone and call them (always disarms them). Usually they either become advocates or agree to walk away quietly.  As for cliques, they tend to want special status. Give them with clear delineated boundaries with modest status. All in all, don’t let the lunatics run the asylum.

It’s all happened before
– online conversations are not new and marketing is not new.  Sure, the medium is different but what has worked on the past will work again.  For example, a good headline makes for a good tweet, free offers still resonate and being a jerk, is still being a jerk.

Don't get locked in
– technology is moving fast with innovation happening at a wild pace.  Old business models of getting locked into enterprise contracts are over. Can you imagine getting locked into a two year contract to manage your twitter accounts? I can't.  Find free tools, try them and combine them.  Using free tools and combining them can get you to near enterprise level functionality. Check out my example of managing all my Facebook fan pages with free tools.

You are on island
– the work can sometimes feel like it isn't going anywhere.  You can spend hours using twitter and get 5 referrals to the site you are representing. It can be discouraging.  Keep working at it, try different platforms and see where you get traction.  It will pay off with focus and understanding of your audience.  Focus on the process and the results will follow.

Know your audience
– understanding the demographics and size of the platforms you are choosing to use is vital.  For instance, if you're hired to work for AARP and focus your efforts on tumblr, you might be disappointed. (Tumblr is has a younger demographic). Or if you are working in sports and targeting males with your outreach, you don't want to use your time and efforts with FarmVille players (60% female audience)

Do you have any other advice on work that that isn't being discussed?

Originally appeared from

By Laurent Courtines

I'm here and I am ready to go. Been doing my homework and I have things to say.

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