The Best Social Media Marketing Advice I've Ever Given

If I do say so myself, I think this is the best advice I've ever given anyone on how to engage with customers on social media:
Come to your social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. every day with the intention to do good, to help someone, to add value, or to just be a nice, helpful person.

Sounds touchy feely doesn't it?

But the fact is that social media is a "place" where being a good person matters. More than matter, it is the key to success.

And that does not mean being manipulative. This is one of those times when the things we learned in kindergarten applies big time. Make friends and watch out for each other. Maybe even hold hands when you go out.

Ok it sounds nice, but isn't marketing about the real world of business? Yes it is, and just like the real world, people want to do business with other people they like and trust.

Your job on social media is not to tell the world about your company's newest widget. It is to make individual connections with one person at a time. If you do this, you will unleash online word of mouth activities that will tell more people your message than you could ever have reached merely by carpet bombing Twitter with spam messages.

So how do you do all this?

Assuming you have your Tweetdeck or Hootsuite account set to monitor your primary keywords in real time, the moment you spot someone talking about your subject matter, give that person a dose of encouragement.

Retweet their excellent article. If the article is not excellent, at least thank them for letting you know about it.

What else?
  • Promote someone who shares or writes good information.
  • Encourage your followers to connect with certain quality people.
  • Give advice, if asked, when someone is having a problem.
  • When someone shares something about their personal life, give encouragement.
  • Share great resources you find on the web.
  • Support a community, cause or even a good product.

What does all this have to do with building your business or marketing your widgets? I can't tell you how often I look at someone's profile or website after I see them doing something uplifting and generous on a social media site.

Seeing them as quality human beings makes me want to look them up. If I'm not already following this person, I follow her. I will spread the news that this is a generous social networker. I read articles on their sites and send out tweets about the good ones.

Being a good person on social media will attract a lot more interest in your website, business or widget than if you just try to sell it. (Which is another reason to give attention to you profile page.)

Being human is how business is done on social media. It's not only business, it is good business.

If I do say so myself.

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June 23, 2010 at 11:54 AM Larry said...

Charles, this is great advice -- and not just for marketers. In fact I've quoted you in my blog (

I see more and move overlap between the worlds of marketing and technical communication, especially when it comes to cultivating relationships and building trust.

June 24, 2010 at 6:55 AM Charles Brown said...

Thank you Larry. I checked out your blog. I never thought about the overlap you speak of but I think it is a good thing.

I really do appreciate your kind words.


September 5, 2010 at 12:35 PM Cindy said...

I facilitate a book group that was founded on the principles of the book Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders. What you said is pretty much the point of it: In business these days, you're going to go much farther by helping other people and sharing what you know. The old (!) idea that it's a cutthroat world and you'll beat out your competition by jealously guarding every advantage you can grab just doesn't work any more. People talk (Tweet, post, blog, email) too much for that to work. If others can't trust you...well, to put it bluntly, you're screwed.

Great post, Charles!