Join the cocktail party

“I was at a cocktail party the other night; I have been looking for new ways to promote my business, so I just walked into the middle of the room and at the top of my lungs shouted ‘Buy my Products”

Needless to say this is not something anyone would advice or do. Cocktail parties are not a place for the ‘hard sell’ approach. Instead, they give people a chance to talk, create relationships, network with each other. I don’t think anybody argues how beneficial events like cocktail parties can be for your business. Well according to David Meerman Scott author of ‘The New Rules of Marketing and PR’ social media social media should be treated like a cocktail party. What does that mean? Well don’t for the ‘hard sell’ approach. Instead, build your relationship, network with people and engage your ‘followers’

According to Amas.ie, 47% of Irish adults have Facebook accounts, that’s over 2 million potential customers waiting to be engaged. But simply setting up an account is not enough. Just like showing up at a cocktail party is not enough. You can’t just sit in the corner and watch people talk. Be in the centre of the crowd, be seen and be heard.

I’m not suggesting you bombard people with Facebook updates. Just commit to it. If somebody follows you then you need to make sure they don’t forget your brand. Take the Cork Independent as an example. Every morning then update their status on Facebook and Tweet (the two can be linked easily so you only have to do it via one of them) ‘Good Morning Cork!’ Simple, effective and friendly. It’s no wonder they have over 15,000 Facebook ‘likes’. It’s easy to over think social media, to over think status updates.  But simply saying ‘hello’ to people can have such a positive impact on your brand and increase transparency.

But of course social media isn’t without its flaws. I mean how to do monitor? How do you control? There are so many different platforms out there, so many options and so many people. How can one small business possibly cope with it all? Thankfully, there are so tons of social media monitoring tools available. One example is Social Mention Social mention is a web based tool that allows you to track your brand across user-generated content. All you have to do is put some keywords into the search bar and watch as the results appear. This is just one tool; there are 100s of others, free quick and useful if you want to see what people are saying about you.

Social Media is everywhere, and it’s not going away anytime soon. So it’s now or never to join the cocktail party. Have some fun with it. Don’t think of social media as something you have to do, think of it as a cocktail party with over 2 million guests who are just waiting to talk to you.

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