Oct 2010 28

The laws of social media marketing - part 1


Posted October 28, 2010 by |  

Most people that experiment with using social media as a business promotion tool get little or no tangible results.

If you’ve tried it yourself there’s a good chance that after spending hours tweeting, posting and updating you experience no apparent traction and most definitely no actual leads or sales.

Your natural conclusion is that social media is an overrated waste of time.

This is rather odd since the pundits are forever telling you that social media is the future of marketing. That’s why you tried it in the first place, right?

The reality is that social media can produce results - you just need to know the first two laws of social media marketing.

First law: Go to the places your target customers hang out.

Second law: Be helpful.

That’s it.

The easiest way to explain these laws is to give two examples. One example of the wrong approach and one example of the right approach.

Firstly, the wrong approach:

  • Sign up to Twitter because you’ve heard that’s the latest thing.
  • Start with a flurry of tweets about the weather, the local area etc.
  • Throw in a few retweets of popular Twitterers once you run out of your own ideas.
  • Figure that you’ve built enough cache with the Twitter community from your previous tweets to start posting blatant advertising messages about your business.
  • Get no response, no website hits and no sales calls.
  • Complain that Twitter is a waste of time.


In this example the first law is broken since you’ve signed up to Twitter solely because it’s the latest thing. The second law is broken because the sum total of your efforts is neither helpful nor adds value to the community.

Now, the right approach:

  • Discover that a number of your existing customers regularly use the Flying Solo small business forum.
  • Create an account and fill in your profile in accordance with the forum rules. Add a signature to your profile that includes your name, expertise and a link to your company website.
  • Regularly post well crafted, informative replies to questions from other forum members that fall within your area of expertise.


In this example you have determined that your target customers hang out at this particular forum (first law) and by posting informative replies to questions you are being helpful to the community (second law).

The net result of your efforts will be that you build trust and demonstrate expertise. And, without any self promotion, there is a good chance that readers will want to know more about you and your business.


Last modified by Nathan Curtis on Feb 6, 01:57 AM | Back to top

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