I have just enjoyed a week sharing social media strategies with the world’s biggest privately owned company, the number one Arabic PR agency in the industry and a room-full of entrepreneurs looking for an unfair business advantage in the new global economy.
All this because, I posted a special promotion a few weeks ago on my blog and told a few friends to tell a few friends too.
The word spread and I have completed 8 events in a 5 day period in 3 different countries.
Everyone wanted me to share the following with them about social media training.
Many people will have a very healthy but skeptical view of the use of social media in the region. For many Facebook is a fad, LinkedIn is a way to head-hunt or research the opposition, You Tube is a poor man’s TV Channel and Twitter is a complicated waste of everyone’s time.
However, social media has created an industrial revolution unlike any other. We grew up with a media dominated by television, radio, magazine and newspapers telling us about the news that an editor, producer or CEO wants us to know about.
Pick a megalomaniac and see his influence in the media.
Whilst we have always accepted that there is a different ‘flavour’ to each channel and chosen the one that ‘feels right to us’, the ‘viewers choice’ was never really that. It was an editors choice offered/served to us.
Take it or leave it.
Incidentally, when did YOU decide to ‘leave it’?
Who's Your Online Family?
Social media is ‘citizen journalism’ and the start of a new information revolution because it is your voice that makes the final edit. You are the ideas person, cameraman, sound editor, journalist, presenter and publisher.
You don’t even need to answer to the money people because you probably don’t need sponsors either.
No commercial breaks?
It’s getting better already, isn’t it?
With Raymond Aaron (the world's No1 success coach) and Vishen Lakhiani (one of Asia's most successful entrepreneurs)
Want a real practical example?
In the last few months we have seen the Arab world speaking out both online and offline, with considerable effect in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and many other countries.
Governments have been toppled in comparatively bloodless revolutions.
How can this happen?
How did the relatively innocent protest page set up by Dubai -based Google employee Wael Ghonim called “We Are All Khaled Said” become enough of a spark to make over 500, 000 people suddenly ‘like’ the fan page and start conversations, share pictures and stories and get active on the streets?
Simply, because it was relevant and people wanted to know more.
They also had the chance to ‘share’ the information with their own group of friends with whom they had spent a life-time becoming someone you could know, like and trust (at the heart of any sale).
Whilst this is definitely not intended to be a political article, the evidence of the power of social media can’t easily be ignored either.
I want to share some some sneaky secrets about how you too can create your own tribe and share a common voice about your own business interests.
The eMarketing Republic (Internet Entrepreneurial Tribe)
Forget what you know about your target market.
That market doesn’t exist in the same way online as it does in the physical world.
In social media terms, markets are conversations? People in related industries or shared interests make online groups and chat. Deals get made, joint ventures get setup and policies get set.
They will all happen whether or not you are taking part in the important conversations. If you ignore them then the most likely thing that will happen is that no-one actually mentioned you last night and if they made decisions which will affect you, you can probably learn about later. In the most extreme cases, you could wake up one morning and the entire country has changed its mind and you are not wanted there anymore.
So what do you need to know about social media to get the edge?
Lots, but first, let’s give you a crash course in the concept of tribes.
I have written about it before on this website, but here’s a brief synopsis of how it works…
Marketing guru Seth Godin, first started this movement through his book ‘Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us’. This incredible idea suggests the way that an emotional message based group can organize, operate and grow.
Think about the tribal system in the Arab or African world with its chief, elders, spiritual leaders and heretics. That will give you a good insight into the system.
It’s also perfect for crafting your social media communities.
The Internet Marketers Course 2011
The basics are this:
1) Make your tribe about a message rather than a job title.
Therefore rather than ‘Lawyers in Dubai’, ‘Ethical Lawmaking in Dubai’ would be a smarter idea as it will still include lawyers, but also judges, police or anyone who has an interest in professional results. This can also include people bitten by bad legislation and campaigners.
2) Become the ‘Thought Leader’.
Start conversations, invite others to join the tribe, set up rules for all to follow and make it easier for them all to communicate.
The Social Media revolution is already here.
3) Respect the Heretics
Just because someone disagrees with your point of view, doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in the cause. They just have a different (but valid) point of view. Encourage heated conversations and be prepared to listen and learn from them.
4) Be Prepared for people to leave and start their own tribe too
Not everyone is 100% into your message, but they can belong to several conversations and organizations as can you.
5) Online Tribes are great but also make sure that face-to-face interactions happen too.
90% of people prefer to do business with someone they have physically met. End of story.
Now you have a basic idea of Tribes, let’s look at how it can apply to social media.
Conventional media is about one-way traffic.
This usually involves ‘interrupt advertising’ Or interrupting your viewing/listening/reading pleasure long enough to throw a barrage of advertising at you in the hope that something sticks. This has a tiny percentage of success (1-3% and annoys the hell out of the rest of us).
Social media is about two-way conversations. often between dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.
It’s also about multi-layered relationships and real communication.
Join The Life Designers Tribe
You can join my tribe now… just click the link below and register to get your own head start on creating personal success and learning the secrets to becoming an industry expert both online and offline.
Now imagine your market again as a conversation and think who in the world you would like to add to it.
Whether you choose to use just Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or You Tube, you can create groups, discuss issues, make joint ventures and advertise your brand. All can be online and can also manifesting into offline meetings.
So what do you need to know about setting up in social media?
Here are the 10 Killer Social Media Do’s And Don’ts:
1) DO – Treat Social media like going to a party
You’d never shout, sell to complete strangers or ignore people talking directly to you in polite conversation. Nor would you hand out business cards to people who never asked for them. Don’t do so here either.
2) DON’T – Worry about getting things wrong.
You can’t break it the internet, but you can easily boost or damage your brand without thinking too hard. Get advice before entering any website or program – even if means Googling what others have said about it first. Each one has a flavor and a protocol for conversing. Get it wrong and you may find your account closed without question or appeal. You will also lose any friends, contact or conversations that went with it.
3) DON’T – Ever hold anyone’s contact details to ransom
Never spam, always ask permission to market to someone. Don’t buy unfocussed lists, people are private and busy and will hate you forever, if they didn’t ask for and don’t want your product. Offer a way to be removed from future messages and respect their choice.
Connect with the best in the game.
4) DO -Talk to an expert
There are certain types of online etiquette that you should know before engaging. Let an expert show you the ropes so you don’t spend all day chatting and getting nothing done. Also an expert can make every minute cost effective and run your campaigns. Remember as this is now a 2 way conversation, you can get more feedback than the biggest billboard would ever bring to you.
You can talk to me.
5) DO – Be yourself (or at least the image that people should see)
Never fake your identity, nor make every conversation about selling. Online, people buy people and not products. Don’t be too honest (about your hangover, for instance) but also tell people what will make them want to do business with you.
6) DO – Be relevant
Time is precious and Google loves relevance.
So does every search engine (You Tube, LinkedIn and Twitter included).
So do people.
Never hijack their conversations, listen for a while and then join in when you have something to say that they will want to hear.
7) DON’T – Forget IT’S NOT YOUR ACCOUNT!!!
Seriously. When you signed up for Face book, LinkedIn, Twitter and You Tube, the small print says that THEY have the 100% ownership of anything you post (pictures, videos and messages). Be wary of what you say and do. It could be made public even if you said it in private.
Always retain a sense of humour whatever's going on.
8 ) DO – Only post what you want people to see.
You don’t have to share the truth about a bad break up. You don’t have to actually share it at all. Right now Facebook only allows the search engines to post advertising related to the kind of posts you’ve made (key word related). What if Google was allowed to make all your posts public? Be aware, be sensible and if in doubt – keep it out!
9) DON’T – Libel, slander or defame
You have a profile and an audience and THIS MAKES YOU A PUBLISHER. Whether or not you have 5 friends and live in a cave, you are subject to the laws of your host country and possibly international law too. Don’t laugh at the newspapers when they get sued, they can sell more newspapers on the back of the publicity to compensate. What are YOU gonna do?
10) DO – Connect with everyone
There has never been an unparalleled opportunity to rediscover old school friends (my current project), grow communities of like-minded people and sell with out paying a bean for advertising. Make sure that you are polite, get introduced through a friend (especially on LinkedIn and Facebook) and respect the privacy of others. Unless of course they choose to tell the world all about their own misadventures – in which case send them THIS ARTICLE.
Of course this doesn’t even skim the surface of the possibilities of using social media to make a regional impact. To do that you need to ask what people really want and then give it to them.
But you can research, start relationships and do really profitable business from your laptop to someone else’s mobile phone.
Everything is possible online with just the click of a mouse.
Want to turbo charge your brand?
Talk to me.
“When it comes to social media strategies, Dave is the obvious go-to-guy for the region, we are in a world where engagement and interaction is critical, and Dave is a master and this… He has a way of taking complex processes and procedures into action plans, so that means anyone can get to the next level with Dave’s advice and insights. Stop reading this now, go and do whatever it takes to work with Dave.“ Dean Hunt The Internet’s Number One Buzz Marketer
“One of the secrets to success, is to surround yourself with successful individuals that push you to excel and hold you accountable. I have had the privilege to know Dave as a mentor, coach and student. In all arenas Dave inspires you to excellence. I truly love his ability to provide good sound knowledge. Particularity in his social media and Personal Branding workshops such as The Celebrity Boot Camp and at the same time make it a fun experience. Over the last year Dave has helped me with my personal brand as the Rebel Networker and becoming recognized as The Networking /Referral Marketing expert in the GCC. In no small way do I attribute a great deal of this success to Dave’s influence. I am always impressed at Dave’s willingness to learn from others, help others, his modesty and his ability to see each “problem “as an opportunity to evolve. Phil Bedford ‘The Rebel Networker’ Master Franchisee Of The Referral Institute Middle East
“I recently participated in a Social Media conference in Dubai where Dave was the MC. He did a superb job of keeping the audience engaged and participating during the entire two days. I attended one of Dave’s shows. I’ve been to a lot of shows of this kind before and Dave’s ranks right up there with any of them. He knows what he is doing and that is to entertain his audience. He does it with style and humor. If you have a need for either an MC or a showman, Dave’s your man!” Rick Itzkowich ‘The Linked In Guy’ (The world’s foremost authority on LinkedIn Marketing)
The Uqast launch mastermind dinner.
As a result of my successful run of motivational seminars, I am now offering in house social media training.