Social Media Mistakes: Are You Forgetting Your Fundamentals?

By Yaro Starak
91 Comments

It’s interesting as a marketer to watch how the Internet has changed over the last ten years, especially what has changed for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners.

When I started investigating how to make money online in the late nineties, most strategies were e-commerce focused, or built specifically to take advantage of the dot-com bubble.

You either set up a website to sell something physical like Amazon.com did for books, or you set up some kind of service and focused solely on user-acquisition, since most entrepreneurs were more interested in growing fast rather than making profits. The logic being you could figure out a way to make money after you built a huge user-base, but you usually get bought out way before that happens, so you exit rich, even if the company doesn’t make a dime.

I was keen to cash in on the dot-com bubble myself, though being in Brisbane Australia, not exactly a hot-bed for Internet start-ups at the time, it wasn’t easy.

I remember calling a mastermind meeting at my friend’s house to discuss opportunities. We had some good ideas, and some bad ones, but nothing really cemented together. My friends went off and started or continued their careers, while I went back to fiddling around with different web projects in my spare time.

Back then there was no blogging, or social media, or even Google. AdSense and Adwords didn’t exist yet, and affiliate programs were only just becoming readily available in different niches.

That’s why so many people had to focus on selling physical items using online stores. You could make money with advertising or information publishing, but most people didn’t have a clue how to do it. There weren’t courses or all the free information we have about these subjects today to help guide you. You had to figure it out yourself.

Fundamentals Stay The Same

As I’ve watched things change over the previous years I’ve noticed a few key fundamentals that haven’t change, namely –

All three of the points above are interlinked. When you carefully nurture your email list and build a solid authority website, your brand is enhanced. Your brand is the intangible energy force that is created as a result of the relationships you build through your email list and website.

If you combine these three elements you can build a sustainable business that has the potential to become life changing, if you work at it long enough.

Changing Landscapes

One of the wonderful things about spending time in an industry long enough is you start to see what is a trend and what is here to stay.

The three elements I listed above haven’t changed, however the environments they operate in have.

Having an authority website has always been an advantage and very likely will remain so as long as humans consume information using the means we do today (text, audio and video). However, how we build authority sites has changed. The tools are constantly evolving and what worked before doesn’t work as well today.

For example, back when I was building websites before blogs, everything was about getting links, any links, to improve your organic search rankings. Attracting links ten years ago was as simple as asking for a link exchange, and later on techniques like article marketing through article directories like EzineArticles.com became popular.

Google was just entering the search engine wars and the current leading search sites like Yahoo!, Excite, Lycos, Hotbot and Looksmart were more about keyword density than clever things like Pagerank.

As long as you used the right keywords in the right places and gathered a handful of links, regardless of where they came from, you could start ranking well. It was a very unpredictable science, oftentimes highly frustrating and plagued by keyword stuffing spammers.

The Pitfalls of Social Media

Over time new techniques came and went (remember banner networks, web rings, and blog and ping?). Link building is still important, but how you go about it has changed a lot, as has the entire landscape of Internet marketing.

If we look at the environment right now, you can easily see that social media is in focus, although the term “social marketing” is perhaps too broad, as it includes lots of technologies and techniques that need to be examined individually.

Let’s take for example two of the early social networking sites – Friendster and Hi5.

Now I profess to never being a huge user of either of these services, but I do remember when they enjoyed their time as leaders in the social networking space (pioneers even). I used to receive daily invites to join these two networks (spam), but they lost ground and eventually MySpace surfaced as the leader.

Today though it’s clear that Facebook is the dominant player, although it’s tough to say for how long. MySpace still has power, but you can feel that it’s no longer a trendsetter.

If you look at social bookmarking, the first site to get my attention was Del.icio.us. It was quickly superseded by the explosion that was Digg and later all I could hear about was Stumbleupon.

All these sites continue to command large pipes of traffic, but you can feel the energy shifts are constantly moving to what’s new. Twitter is a great example of this. It’s cool right now and enjoys the lion-share of media attention, but for how long?

All of the tools I’ve mentioned have been studied as marketing resources as well. You’ve got your Digg guides, your MySpace Marketing resources, your how to get the most from Stumbleupon articles, how to leverage Squidoo lenses, how to Tweet your way to riches, etc etc.

The problem, as I see it, and one that many new marketers fall into, is that few people understand how best to use these resources to reinforce the fundamentals I listed previously. The mistake is that they try and use these resources AS the fundamentals, which will result in a critical failure long term.

What do I mean by this?

Here are some critical problems…

  1. People look to create assets – authority sites – from resources they can’t control. You can’t rely only on your MySpace page, or Facebook profile, or even your YouTube channel as your asset base because you don’t own it.

    Your degree of manipulation over these resources is limited to what the companies who own the services let you do. If your means to reach people is only through MySpace, then you’re in trouble when they delete your page or change the rules regarding how you can communicate to your followers.

  2. You can’t control the subscription mechanism, nor do you own your list. List building is vital to any business, but if your only subscription mechanism is how many people are friends in your Facebook profile, or your followers in Twitter, you’re in trouble.
  3. Most social media is a trend, it won’t last. If you rely on certain channels of communication, for example Digg or Stumbleupon as your main source of traffic and eventually people move away from using these services to something else, you’re screwed.

    Obviously not having all your eggs in one basket is a sound business practice, and it’s just as important to understand the transient nature of the Internet and marketing. NOTHING stays the same, accept that and never get too comfy with any one technique.

So What Is The Right Way To Use Social Media?

The first thing you need to do is lay the framework to build your fundamental assets: Your authority website and email list.

I won’t go into detail into how to do this in this article as I’ve written plenty regarding how to use a blog to build authority online and how to leverage email marketing for massive profits. If you’re new to this, check out my Articles Page under the appropriate topics, and read my free reports, The Blueprint, The Roadmap and The Masterplan.

The key point to understand is that you use social media, while it’s popular and applicable to your industry and situation, to build your assets. Social media are communication channels, marketing techniques, just like all the techniques that have come before. Some will last longer than others, and they can represent huge opportunities, but don’t see them as the bricks to build your business upon – they are merely the roads to drive on to get where you want to go, you have to build your vehicle using much stronger stuff.

At the heart of all online marketing is an effective content strategy. Distributing content first through an asset you own, such as a blog or website, is the first step. Leveraging that content through social media is a fantastic way to increase throughput of traffic back to your site, and then, once it’s there, you need to use a mechanism to capture that traffic on to a permanent subscription base you control, in other words, your email list.

In what is typically termed the hub-and-spoke model, the different social media tools make up some of the spokes, while your blog/website and email list are the hub. The hub is solid, the spokes are changing, with new spokes added and old ones removed as they become ineffective. The content you produce is the grease that keeps everything working.

If presently your online strategy relies extensively on any resource you don’t own, or you’re not building a contact list you control, or you’re too heavily invested in a single marketing technique, then you’re asking for trouble. Get the fundamentals right first, then leverage the power of whatever is trending upwards now, by injected your current content strategy into the mix.

Yaro Starak
Socially Marketing

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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91 Comments

  • Yaro,
    A very important post for marketers and non-marketers trying to leverage social technologies. The focus should be on strategies that provide value, invest in a platform that cultivates a community that’s technology agnostic. Technology at the end is something that helps to bridge the gap between authorities and audience, what will you get when you cross the bridge? What happens when Google is gone one day? If you provide great long-term value, people will run after you instead of the other way around. Just my 2 cents, thanks.

    • Why would Google go? As I see it, they can only keep getting bigger and better as now they have a war chest to buy off any potential competitor.

      • I agree….especially since they will be releasing Google Wave soon which I believe will turn the tide again in social media

    • The asset is the idea and the execution that you own. The list, your site, your content, your ideas, the relationships you have with your readers/clients.

      The technology that connects you may change over the years. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter are all tools and distribution methods. They will come and go. The true marketer learns to manage them and use them just as a plumber learns to use a new device to clear a toilet.

      Google may one day disappear as a competitor does a better job than they do at providing what people want. Or if the government hits them with anti trust suits for becoming too large.

      I think Google will be around for a while but they aren’t unbeatable. Just overwhelming at the moment.

  • Just recently I became I huge fan of social media. It has gotten my 500% more traffic than I have ever had before, and I am enjoying interaction with my readers and a higher subscription rate.

    I definitely resonate with what you are saying about an email list. It scares me that the near 5,000 followers I have on twitter could be gone with a simple change in twitter policy, or something of the sort.

    The three rules that you mentioned at the beginning of the post are paramount, and I think that using social media to further those three rules will help you grow your business or blog at exponentially faster rates.

    Thanks for the great post! It’s amazing how much social media has been getting attention lately… It’s good to hear your opinion on it!

  • I can tell you there are 5 important things to know about social media

    1. It’s social so make sure you join the community
    2. It’s social so don’t try to cheat, or you will get banished
    3. It’s social so make sure you do something that’s really helpful to the society
    4. it’s media so make sure you show relavence
    5. It’s social media so understand that you can’t survive or get popular except getting yourself involved and opted by a large number of social and media influences :)

  • This is a great informative article.
    Many people get swept off their feet by new “hot” social media platforms and forget that hundreds of followers don’t mean anything if you aren’t converting them to your platform/list.

    I get the impression you could convert the message in this article into a pretty sweet flow-chart that maps out how to leverage SM back to a central blog etc.

  • Thanks for your analysis Yaro! While social media is a great communication tool as far as connecting with your audience is concerned, I agree that depending on it to develop your website is definitely a big risk.

    Social media is a useful brand enhancement tool but should not be seen as an easy substitute for the work it takes to build a brand.

    Thanks again for your insightful post!

  • I completely agree with you Yaro. My views on things is build subscribers for your mailing list and let the mailing list grow your blog and social profiles. I kind of lost my way for a bit with my twitter account but now on the right track because yesterday I unfollowed everybody that I didn’t want to hear from. :)

  • What I remember despite this excellent post is when on FB you asked about 20 times about your fridge and I kept telling you to turn it off for an hour
    I remember not even a response Thanks nothing
    I see many of you well known bloggers lack those basic skills
    and I’m glad because I do and people see what is really UP :)
    THANKS <try it sometime it works better then this whole post
    1 word ;)

    • Haha, john, you know I did thank everyone via Twitter – which is where all my facebook messages originate.

      • hey it’s just another tool MOST bloggers fail to use. A simple thanks goes along way
        Sorry to pop off but I noticed a trend with well known bloggers it’s an absolute and among the the up and coming they hardly say thanks anyway it’s their loss :)
        Hey at least you responded so your not in a cocoon like most Thanks
        PS now give me something to PROMOTE LOL :)

        • When I first started using twitter, the first thing I did was look up Yaro and become his friend. I near fell off my chair when he responded with a nice thanks and invitation to read more of his tweets. Sometimes I think that is the reason I keep returning to twitter.

          Wynn

  • It seems to me that you are forgetting your fundimentials.

    A rose by any other name still smells the same.

    Social Media by any other name is still Social Media.

  • Yaro, Thanks for sharing. This post is very helpful. Since I ‘m starting my blog. It could guide me to build my fundamentals.

  • The internet has vastly changed to what it was a few years back, even in the relatively small time I’ve been online. I really do wonder and im also excited to see the changes that will happen in the next few years.

    Great fundamental points, if everyone could focus on them everybody would be a lot better off. Hub and spoke model, I like that.

    Basically “build your OWN asset”.

  • Yaro,

    Very informative article. In any business you should never put all you eggs in one basket. The trends will come and go but if you have a solid foundation with spokes that can be changed quickly and effectively your business will keep thriving.

  • Very important article. So many people put the cart before the horse.

    I’m going to read, reread and reread this post until I can get the gist of it stated in a single sentence.

    Thanks!

  • Thanks for the friendly reminder Yaro. I’ve been the culprit of this with Squidoo. I built an authority page using squidoo only to have it taken away from me when google slapped squidoo as a whole. Now I spend the majority of time on my own blog and use other resources sparingly.

  • Great advice, thanks Yaro.

    I think we also need to be careful of using social media to replace other fundamendal methods that work like SEO and article marketing. Because social media traffic like twitter is there and gone but there are other ways to build traffic that continue to bring traffic long after (years after) the initial work is done.

  • This was pretty interesting read, taken that I’ve only recently written a couple of posts about social media and related topics too…

    When the post mentioned people having guides on “how to use digg/stumbleupon/twitter/etc.” it got me thinking that many of these “guides” focus on how to “exploit” these systems, leaving the social out of the social media.

    And that’s when those people and guides fail, or at least only see only short-trem results. Social networks are networks of people, something everyone should remember…

    I believe that the most successful way is to get involved (= socializing, discussing, forming relationships, etc.) in the social networks and use them as support for your hub/authority site and list, just like Yaro said. And when you get involved as yourself, honest and authentic, you keep building your personal brand — an asset no-one can take away.

  • Great article about social media and you are right that people forget that other social media that they don’t own them so it is very neccesary how to use them.

    Thanks for sharing this useful information.. waiting for more things..

  • Hey Yaro,

    Another timely article – you always have your finger firmly on the pulse. Content and relationship building is the bedrock of a solid business online and a social profile should stem from this not the other way around. As Daneil touched on above, if you build a solid asset then your audience will help raise your profile for you, thereby building something authentic, respected and far more valuable that that which can be accomplished trying to game the system.

    It’s a pleasure to join you on your journey Yaro. Keep up the great work.

    Best wishes,
    Josh

  • I dont know how long Twitter will have the Lion share of media attention. Maybe Google Waves can shift the market again? Let´s see…

    cheers,
    Thomas

  • Brilliant article. I liked your flash back narration regarding social communities and your standing against them.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Great article as always. Can’t wait for the next podcast Yaro.
    Yes I recommend always returning to the basics and you will never have to play catch up ever. the basics always work and will always bea staple of my course.
    Larry C.

  • Dex

    Well thought out article Yaro but I think email marketing is also going to go by the wayside too in favor of real-time social communication.

    • The only thing I have seen so far that has come close to replacing email is Facebook, and I only say that because my 20-something cousins use the facebook system to communicate with friends rather than email.

      The day people don’t login to read their email is the day that email marketing is dead.

      • I think email is never going to be dead as the relative privacy you need for at least some messages or communications cannot be found in social media. As the name implies, they are used for the social interactions, not private ones. So, every one of htem has got its own usage.

      • I’m a Magdalen Islander. Large enough to crowd into FaceBook yet small enough that our local newspapers are taking a huge hit. I wouldn’t know anything about my next door neighbours if it wasn’t on FB. I’m FaceBooked for everything from riding to working to translating to history to the islands news and everything in between. But I don’t like FB. Go figure!

  • I’m getting tired of Twitter. To keep track of all the Tweets would take all my time (and I only have about 100 people I follow). I’m thinking of deleting all the marketing people I follow and just sticking to those with similar interests (health and self-development).

    Facebook I find useful as a place to connect but almost pre-marketing rather than marketing.

    I sold on eBay for a while. Everything you say about relying on someone else is absolutely true. It should be bolded and triple underlined based on my experience with eBay.

    • Indeed!! The pproblem is that there exist people on Twitter that really talk every 5 minutes! some of them think that Twitter is the best way to communicate with their friends but for me starts get annoying. Every week I stop following a number of people…

      • Mostly I rely on my name rather than home on twitter. I have almost 15 hundred followers and there is no possible way to follow them all closely, however if I’m directly tweeted about, I respond right away. I don’t really tweet that much. Mostly about that which interests me- the islands and the horses.

        Wynn

  • Great post, and you’re absolutely right about the landscape constantly changing. It will be interesting to see how all these knockoff sites push the current dominant players to evolve.

  • I love using facebook and it’sjust an amazing tool.Imagine what other tools to expect that could be well better than facebook or twitter. Things are changing fast and need to go along with change

  • Great post Yaro, people on twitter only have one purpose and that is just to sell or just post random comments every 2seconds! The traffic is there in social media its just you have to use it in the right way.

  • Yaro, how do you rate social networking as a tool for seeking employment?

  • I enjoy Twitter for the interaction with real people. It can so quickly connect you and keep you in touch with people with the same ideals, value and interests as you. So the greatest business benefits I see through Twitter are collaboration and networking. That’s why it’s called Social Networking and not Social Selling.

    If you go in with your eye only only making money, then you miss the power of social networks. And will not likely make much money in the process!

  • Thanks for this post Yaro, I’ve found social media to be somewhat a challenge to navigate and wondered how much time and energy should be devoted to it. Nice to know that from all your years of experience online the fundamentals are still the main levers for our businesses.

    By the way, I’ve included your blog in my Kreativ Blogger Award list, if you’re interested you can read about it on my blog. :)

    • I will spend a day on that thing (Twitter) and I will make a new JV Partner connection. I found out so much about a certain blogger/business person in my chosen niche from Twitter.

      It really is an amazing tool. I’ve just started IM and have made so many JV connections very quickly bc of Twitter.

      Diane.

  • I love the points you make about the shifting plains upon which we’re constantly dancing, trying to find news ways to make old things work. Very true, the trends change, but the core idea stays the same

  • Thanks for the focus on the fundamentals. It’s so easy to get sidetracked with all the trendy methods of socializing and sharing content. It’s also a little overwhelming to try to be everywhere all the time at once. By focusing on the fundamentals, then it’s easy to make a game plan and use different sites for different purposes thus getting the most out of your time.

  • Good article. Your point is well-made that you really need to invest most of your energies in assets you own and can control. Social media presences are best viewed as “outposts”, I think (see Darren Rowse.)

  • Hi Yaro,

    I really liked your post and I did comment on it but somehow my comment got lost.

    What I was saying was that I tend to think that social media gets a bit overrated especially twitter. The craze to get as many followers as possible.

    Facebook is cool and I just recently started with it.

    Vance

    • I used to think the same, but the trick is to get a targeted audience. This is a lot easier to achieve with twitter than it is with Facebook. Good luck in your social media endeavours, and enjoy!!!

  • Interesting to reflect back on the evolution of the internet from the late 90’s until present. The important point to grasp here is that the goal is communication of your content as well as your ability to leverage whatever new platform is “hot” right now. Stay adaptable and don’t get too attached! It will be interesting to see where sites like Facebook and Twitter will be in a few years out as well as what new technologies wait for us on the horizon yet unknown. Chances are the authority model will still prevail.

  • Social media will play a big role in the success of your business if you know how to utilize it appropriately. It is a growing trend that is not about to slow down anytime soon. It is essential that you take the time to learn more about social media and appropriate use of social media marketing. Meet people, give value, and build your network. In the end your business will be as big as your network.

  • I agree with most of the comments here about the fact that people get carried away with the latest social media ‘buzz’ and end up trying to get hundreds and hundreds of followers for traffic.

    The fact of the matter is those followers are very rarely targetted, which essentialy means your just getting junk traffic. It’s much better to focus on your SEO efforts and high quality content to ensure the visitors you get to your site/blog are targetted and therefore convert.

  • Yaro, the simple things that make life so pleasant like saying please, thank you etc seem to be passe with the way offline life is going and that is getting translated to online life too it would appear. A timely wake up call indeed. Thank you.

  • I agree that building a list and a good relationship with that list is key to online success. I’m still pretty new to blogging but am learning a lot from you…thanks for all the great content.

  • ‘The times they are a changing’
    True then and true now. Great post Yaro, as always!

  • Very informative post, Yaro…thanks. In my opinion, there is no such thing as getting ‘too’ involved with one social media or another, but I believe that you can become too involved for too long and for the wrong reasons in any one social media outlet. Also I agree that the hub and spoke methodology should always be foremost in your plans.

    I suggest to most of my guys to concentrate on whats coming next. There are several places you can research online and find out GOOGLE’s newest loves. Invest yourself in one site then move on to the next. Don’t become a Twitter junkie just because it’s the hot spot right now.

    I don’t have anything against Twitter (as a matter of fact, I love Twitter) but I believe that as more and more corporations realize the power of Twitter to reach their audiences, the little guys will no longer be able to compete in the near future.

    Just my opinion and I would love to hear any feedback.

  • I just started IM and am loving it! The social media has been a great tool for me to get out there and connect with people who are interested in what I have to offer.

    I’ve already positioned myself as an expert for my chosen niche and Twitter has been the reason and the source. I also use FaceBook and was chosen to be on the radio by a popular radio personality because I totally took the opportunity to promote my business and myself on my page from his Ning social network site!

    Thank you for you blog. I’m learning alot Yaro.

    Warmly,
    Diane Williams

  • Thanks for the insite. As always you give us plenty to think about.

  • Your Message Great solid advice Yaro on your authority site and social media sites as the
    spokes and your blog/web site has the hub is a good analogy. I like to use the analogy of
    a three leg stool. The stool is your authority site, and it’s supported by your email list, your social media list, and your off line marketing strategy is the 3rd leg of your stool. So long as all three legs are equal and strong you are golden. Diversification is the key to your success.

    Feel free to follow me on twitter at=> http://www.Twitter.com/FrugalityAdvice or you can read my articles on my blog at => http://www.BCody56FrugalityAdvice.blogspot.com
    any time.

  • Great post Yaro
    One thing about your content, it is always full of well thought out information and very thorough. I have just recently started using facebook and find it to be an excellent place to connect with my past friendships which I really enjoy, but as far as using it as an advertising medium, I need more information. As far a Twitter, I find it to be very noisy, no real flow to it and I,m sure a lot of that has to do with who I have following. Anyway appreciate all the hard work.

  • Hi Yaro!

    Great content rich post, as always; and on the hottest topic of the moment for sure.

    On a bigger picture note, I’d just like to share what an incredible example I believe you set for other entrepreneurs when it comes to the sharing of knowledge and content. I think so many are afraid to “give away too much”, but the truth is, the more content, the bigger the audience; the bigger the audience, the more clients one has an opportunity to secure!

    Thanks again, Yaro, for continuing to share posts rich in content and value!

    All the best,
    -deanna

  • Very great post. It just simply shows how competitive things are in the world of internet. Which is why getting into the latest trends is a must to be able to survive. I like your illustrations about Friendster and Hi5 on how they grow and then later on came to a point of their downfall. I strongly agree with this because I myself have witnessed it.

  • Thanks. This post really hit me hard. The times are changing but the ultimate goals remain the same

  • Great reminder to focus on the fundamentals. The tools are just that…tools to support you in building the fundamentals, and those tools do change. Though I wonder about Twitter over the long haul and certainly wonder about it’s recent valuation given it has no profit (another business fundamental is to be taking in more than is going out), but I do think it or some other microblogging system will survive over the long haul because it is such a simple and immediate way to communicate. The thought of going back to email as a primary means of communicating doesn’t strike me as plausible or desirable.

  • great information but the concept of having a brand is still difficult for me to understand

  • Yaro –

    This is an excellent post for everyone to keep in mind while determining their top priorities in building an online business (or any business for that matter). Like you mentioned above, sustaining a business model that is predicated and built around a “fad” may be profitable in the short-term but is not a viable long-term strategy.

    Breaking it down as you did to (1) assets / hub and (2) leveraging tactics / spokes was clear, concise, and more importantly, undeniably true. Thanks for the great post.

    Paul

  • Good point Yaro.

    I’m glad I’m using the two fundamentals you mentioned in this article because otherwise I would another fly-off-the-pants business owner who is striking it rich one day and then has nothing but the shirt on his back the next.

    I can see (from my own experience) how having an email list and being an authority go hand in hand. Thanks for reinforcing the fundamentals and talk to you tonight on the call.

  • I suspect most of us are trying to earn money online in order to give ourselves freedom from the nine to five and hopefully the much talked about a two hour work day. (Or even 6 would be nice!)

    In order to work two hours a day we are encouraged to outsource as much as we can, so many people outsource their social marketing. That’s not very sociable is it?

    And if you want to do it yourself, who has the time to keep up with Twitter, FB, Myspace, Stumbleupon, Blogcatalog, Digg, plus another 50 or so media sites AND be active in forums AND comment on blogs AND get your work done on top of that!

    I think all of these social media sites have made it harder to succeed online and had the effect of increasing our working hours to around 15 a day. So I am trying to build my list without social marketing. So I am building a small list.

    There. I feel better! You can’t beat a good whinge can you?

  • Hit the nail on head again Yaro. Too many people these days rely on social media for their internet marketing prowess. This should be a last resort as you build and share value online is usually the most important and best way to position yourself with some authority.

  • Ami

    I’ve been receiving your email newsletter for years, and I never found any of the articles this much interesting. At last, you’ve done something to impress me :-)

    I 100% agree with your thoughts about “who owns the content?”. Companies are obsessed in sky rocketing the FB followers lists, but what is FB all of a sudden start charging for every status update you post on your FB page?

  • This is a great post. I think there are so many advantages to social media, but at the same time, the disadvantages are pretty huge. Relationships (real ones) are getting mixed up with the ‘internet’ ones. The lines get all blurry. Now, as a marketer if you know how to take advantage of the blurred line, for the time being, one can do very well. But be prepared for short-term profits only, if that’s all you are going to put your energy into.

  • Pat

    Good information. Thanks. I use both twitter and facebook, but have to admit, they both are just so full of spam… I find it useless most times. I don’t see how it helps to have hundreds, even thousands of tweets coming at you all day long. Very few stick or are of value. I’ve tried sending tweets and they instantly drown in the never ending deluge of tweets. Any ideas to make a tweet stand out?

  • Yes Yaro,

    The fundamentals of building relationships are same at both places: In WWW or in Real Life.

    It is always the intention behind your interaction that is important. If we start with an intention to make profit, that is reflected on others without our awareness. While, on the other hand, if the intention is to provide value to others, people recognize even that and the bonding develops easilly and lasts longer.

    Learned a lot and resonated fully with this post.

    Kind regards.

  • There are so many options – Web 2.0, SaaS apps that interface with the Social media – but we have the same amount of time.

    It’s crucial to decide what we want to follow or interface with – I believe that Twitter is the fastest way to interact and converse.

    I always enjoy reading the articles and it’s very exciting to learn something new everyday.

    All the best,
    Dan Gabriel
    http://www.twitter.com/gdan

  • Great post Yaro. It is way to easy to spend to much time on social media without seeing the results we would like. Thanks for reminding us that building our “Authority Site” is the main priority.

  • Great post. I always like to hear how successful people got their start. It gives me motivation to see exactly what people have done to get where they are. I admit that I don’t use social media to its full advantage. I am still trying to figure out the best ways to use these sites. I guess I have it too engrained in my head that a lot of these kind of sites are big time wasters. So I have been avoided them in fear of wasting time. Perhaps now is the time to rethink that strategy and make another attempt at using social media effectively.

    • The “time wasting” aspect of social media is easily vindicated if you are busy with a steady “growing” process. It doesn’t function like a regular link building process where you are impressing the search engine spiders, but you are building a real network. Targeting your audience is the challenge, and key to success here. Playing Mafia Wars on facebook doesn’t count ;-)

  • Thanks a lot Yaro for sharing your knowledge. What ever you said about hub-and-spoke model really struck me. It is very important to know how to use each of the asset we have and use it for the success of our business.

  • Content and relationship building is the bedrock of a solid business online and a social profile should stem from this not the other way around. As Daneil touched on above, if you build a solid asset then your audience will help raise your profile for you.

  • Great post Yaro.

    I was actually in the process of writing a post similar to this one. It is very true to have a solid foundation first before thinking of using everything else. You have to build a good base like your blog and email list. If you don’t own the resource you are building, such as a social networking profile, it could be gone tomorrow and you would be starting all over.

    Social networking is wonderful and I love it. I love Twitter, Facebook and all the others but one day there maybe something shiner that comes along and everyone will flock to it. Since I don’t own them, they are tools to help me connect and build relationships along with traffic; they are not the base that I build my business off of.

  • Hey Yaro,

    Really we all are talking and using twitter and Facebook for our marketing business, but this is not sure for how long, something much better than twitter will come tomorrow and we all have to make a change then.

    Being with the basics is the best practice because, you don’t know when the trend will change. The basics that you have mentioned are now in my list.

    Thanks for introducing these wonderful social media basics.

  • Hi Yaro,
    Great post you certainly hit the nail on the head with this one.Great stuff. I will be back.

    Michael

  • Just some food for though…. It is interesting that as we evolve and our technologies enhance, in the end the basic fundamentals of human interaction, and things like that stay relatively the same. I first learned about this in my Management course this semester, where alot of the principles of management that we are learning, have been around for centuries and still apply in Today’s day and age.

    Till then,

    Jean

  • Very nice article for someone like me who just started getting serious about this whole thing online. I hope to shape my activity along this premise especially for my new site which was only up and running last July 2009.

  • Your discussion of this topic is very timely. A few years ago, I wanted to try all the latest web 2.0 sites. These days, it’s hard to find time to read a description of each one. Your article brings a good perspective to the issue.

  • I get the fundamentals of building an asset and communicating with your prospective and actual customer base once you have a list.

    What are the fundamentals of social media – the vehicles for it change according to innovations and popularity but how do you personally engage with people in such a way that they think, “Wow, interesting, my kind of thinking, my kind of person”?

    There must be a simple formulaic approach with an 80/20 bias in it somewhere. If anyone has figured it out then I’m dying to know.

  • Yaro, thanks for this. I have clients that insist upon using Facebook as their main source of advertising and exposure; this article spells out why that is a good tool to use–but certainly not the only one. I am quite fascinated by Twitter right now and trying to decide if it’s a useful business tool or just a trendy waste of time. Anyway, thanks for this insight!

  • Hi Yaro,
    Great information about social media everybody talks about but nobody really spells how it works or how can be useful. Thank you

  • Its all about being social, hence “social media” its just about connecting with people and telling stories. All these Web2.0 sites like Twitter, Digg, Facebook e.t.c are just tools to facilitate the communication.

    I think a big pitfall is those people who don’t really grasp the idea that this form of new media is about connecting with people and sharing experiences, they think because they use twitter there using “social media”

    I agree with you about Branding, if your “brand” is consistent you will gain authority and attract an audience, its all about standing out from the crowd.

    Thanks for the great tips Yaro!

  • It’s so common for marketers to treat social media purely as a promotional vehicle for their main asset (web site) that they could use a little more generosity when it comes to content for these sites.

    Building a presence at various social sites beyond just trying to get people to your site can pay dividends over the long haul (if these web 2.0 site last that long). And unique, valuable content made just for certain sites are the best way to go. Most everybody will either syndicate their existing content or have promotional messages masquerading as content… and you can really make a name for yourself by going one step further.

    And really if you are niche on your main site there is plenty of article ideas, bookmarks, videos, pictures, whatever… that don’t work perfectly there but would be much better on some social site: you build an audience there (where the people are already) and some of them will trickle over to your main site.

    Just because you want to build an asset doesn’t mean everyone wants to go along without getting to know your first, if ever. So you might as well keep in touch with the people that will never leave those sites rather than spurn them since they won’t come to your web site.

  • I couldn’t agree more with this idea. Social media should be a medium of keeping contact with your customers an it’s hard to imagine a sucessful business without them, but depending solely on them seems like a risky play.

  • Another great artical Yaro. Thanks for the tips

  • Good Article Yaro, most of the people forget the basics .

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