Dave Young, beloved instructor of Wizard Academy's Blog and Website Workshop, uses Social Media extensively and is currently writing a book about it. Got a good idea for a title? Email DaveYoung@Wizardofads.com
On twitter, the most important thing is to choose a strategy. There are engagement strategies and fan strategies. Most businesses need engagement strategies. Rockstars and gurus most often need a fan strategy.
For “gurus” who get overwhelmed with loads of emails, twitter offers an easy solution. People have the perceived access they desire through Twitter…they can ask a question or make a comment. The guru response on Twitter is only 140 characters, and can include a link to content where the guru has already answered the same question elsewhere. This helps ALL the fans because they get to see the conversation. This helps the guru by allowing him to invite repeated viewing/reading of his content. He can also ignore the question (letting it fade into the noise), or allow other fans to answer. Most gurus don't even follow many other people, if any. They use Twitter primarily as an outbound tool to feed their fans, choosing carefully which fans or messages to engage. They will typically only “follow” or befriend those whom they want to have private conversations with (Direct Messages in Twitter).
Opt-in marketing messages…food vendors (mobile kitchens on wheels) use twitter to announce their location. Restaurants and bars can use twitter to announce daily specials. Radio stations can use it for contests and requests, to enable nearly live interaction with listeners. Any business who needs an “in-the-moment” mode of communication. I've suggested that a busy salon, spa or chiropractor could tweet about cancellations to see if anyone wants their hair cut at 2:30 this afternoon. Just like opt-in emails, you need to offer people a good reason or benefit to engage, and then don't break your own rules.
What cannot be accomplished using social media?
Intrusive delivery of your message. Most “marketing” or “buy now” messages from people you consider friends will be ignored or may damage your relationship. The exception would be if your list is marketing oriented and your fans knew that before they subscribed.
Biggest misuses of social media?
Agressive marketing, spam and people trying to be something they are not. The space, naturally, is filled with multi-level marketers, info-marketers and coaches shouting about their crap. It's relatively easy to ignore.
What are the biggest myths regarding social media?
That it is easy and doesn't consume much time to do properly.