Social Media Marketing – is it REALLY all that new?

new2Let’s be real – Social Media Marketing isn’t really all that new…

We were clicking, viewing, commenting and sharing, long before the term ‘social media’ was coined.

The world of business is going mad for social media, with a recent study suggesting 92% of businesses in North America are using it in some way.

This is exciting of course, but in this excitement, many seem to have forgotten that while some of the technology may be new, the phenomena is not.

In fact, this interactive methodology has been at the core of internet marketing since its very inception. Web pages are, after all, interactive and multimedia by their very nature. We were clicking, viewing, commenting and sharing, long before the term ‘social media’ was coined.

In fact, ‘social’ has always been as aspect of marketing. So, how can the lessons of the past inform the way we approach social media marketing today?

Mistaken identities

What is new to many businesses trying out social media for the first time is the idea of anything other than direct selling. On your website, if you want to you can say what you do, why you are the best at it, ask people to buy and no one will bat an eyelid. The same goes for advertising, of course. But in the social media space, this is not so. Or at least, it can’t make up the majority of what you say.

If you’re familiar with networking in the real world, this will come as no surprise, but if you’re not and you try to use your social media profile as advertising space, you’ll be sorely disappointed at the results. Put simply, your social media profile should be more akin to your whole business persona, not just the advertising part of it.

In real life, you wouldn’t just sell, sell, sell (I hope), you would be informative, knowledgeable and helpful. Knowing the value of word of mouth, you would build connections, have conversations and generally get involved in your community. You would take an interest in others and sometimes, your conversations would be with a view to selling, but sometimes they wouldn’t.

Once you think of it like that, your social media strategy should look a whole lot clearer.

Same game, new pitch

So once we accept that social media goes beyond simple advertising, what else can we learn from the marketing that went before? What can we do to ensure it’s not just chat for chat’s sake?

Three techniques that can work wonders in the social media space are: offering free information, helping promote others reciprocally, and giving exclusive offers to others in the online ‘community’. But, again, these techniques are much older than the space they now inhabit.

Ever given out a free fact sheet to anyone that visits your office? Or helped out a person you meet at a conference by passing on the details of a third party? Or offered a ‘buy on get one free’ deal via your shop window?

These classic promotional techniques existed way before social media, so what’s the lesson here? A lot of social media marketing isn’t about reinventing the wheel, it’s about taking what we’ve collectively learned from other marketing activities (in our offices, at networking events, on our websites) and looking at how these can be carried through to our social networking personas.

Making it work for you

The beauty of social media is that the initial outlay is exceptionally cheap compared to many other forms of marketing. Get yourself a profile and then listen carefully to the buzz that’s happening around you. Follow people you’d like to emulate, and those you’d like as customers. Engage as a useful resource long before you begin to add straight sales techniques to the mix, and above all, keep it up. Again, just like any other form of marketing, social media is about keeping a consistent presence. Drift away, and so will your audience.

Need some help with your Social Media Marketing strategy? Give our Mentoring tryout package a try!


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Recent Facebook Page Changes – what do they mean?

fbpageA Guest Blog By Angie Stewart of Maginus

Last week Facebook announced an upgrade to managed pages. According to Facebook, these improvements provide “Better Communication”, “More Opportunities for Expression” and “Improved Relevancy”. So what does this all mean and how can it help you as a Facebook page owner? And what new opportunities does it open up?

Below I’ve outlined what it really means for your business and how it can help your brand.

Interact as your page

Previously, Facebook did not have the functionality to comment on other facebook pages as your page. Any comment you made on other pages would be from you personally as opposed to your page. There was a work around for this, but it was not ideal and not suitable for all situations. This new functionality allows you to increase exposure of your page by commenting on and liking other
industry relevant Facebook pages.

Notification about Fan activity

This is very useful as many find it unproductive and often unachievable to keep checking Facebook pages for activity at regular intervals. This new functionality provides you with e-mail notification of comments and activity meaning you can respond immediately to customers. You don’t need to do anything to get these notifications, as default, all administrators of your Facebook page will receive

Photos and Images at the top of the page

This is another nice option for many brands. Perhaps you want to showcase your some of products, encourage people to events with enticing images of the last ones or encourage client interaction with images of them at your store/branche/venue. There are many ways you can creatively use this space to enhance your brand.

Feature Favourite Pages

This is very useful if you are a large company with different pages for separate products or niche offerings, as you can feature one on the other. It can also be used for mutually beneficial relationships with other companies operating within a similar field. I.e. if you sell outdoor clothing, you may wish to pair up with camping sites and outdoor activity clubs for reciprocal features.

Identify Admin Users

In many situations, it’s beneficial to have a personal face to the brand. People like talking to people not logos, so the ability to show page administrators will increase interaction and trust for a lot of brands.

All in all there are some great changes that, in my mind, will really help you to grow your brand and increase your exposure.

Angie Stewart, Online Marketing Consultant at Maginus. Maginus are a Manchester based online marketing services provider. Angie is a keen contributor to many industry blogs as well as recognised as SEOAngie on Twitter.

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What's my 'brand'? The good AND the bad…

Toy sampling megaphonePeople say to me all the time: “But Nikki, YOU are your brand”, and to a certain extent that’s true. I’ve tried to work hard at being in the ‘right’ places, giving the ‘correct’ advice, and helping out. I want to be known as fair and helpful, I want people to trust me, and I want people to know that if I can’t help them, I’ll tell them.

And it seems to work. I have a steady stream of new clients, enquiries every day, my team is busy on a constant basis, and I THINK my brand is good.

But that’s the problem isn’t it? We all like to THINK our brand is good. And it’s fab when people say nice things about us; I’m the first to show off a testimonial or a nice thing someone has said.

It’s not the full story though is it? What about the people saying not so nice things? i’m not talking about competitors, or people with a vested interest, I’m talking about people who have dealt with or tried to deal with us. What are they saying that might not be so good? THAT’S as important as the things that are being said that make you feel great.

There used to be some saying that if people were happy, they told X number of people about you, but if they were unhappy they would tell Y number of people (with Y being significantly larger than X!).

If that’s true, don’t you want to know what’s being said about you?

So, in the interests of open-ness, I’m giving you carte blache here to tell me how YOU see my brand. This isn’t an invitation for anonymous nasty comments, or a chance for my competitors to stick the boot in – it’s an invitation to a conversation about MY brand.

Tell me what’s good. Tell me what nice things you’ve heard about me. Tell me the things you know I want to hear 🙂 Then bite the bullet and tell me what’s bad. Tell me what’s downright dreadful, and what makes you think twice about working with me or recommending me. Yes it will be hard to hear, but honest and constructive criticism helps us all to build our brand, grow our businesses, and make sure we’re on the right track.

And when you’ve finished telling me what’s good and bad, post a similar blog and ask people what they think / know of you.

Go on, I dare you 😉


Creative Commons License photo credit: altemark

Two new articles – Internet Marketing Myths & Brand Trashing Online

A big thanks to for featuring two of our recent articles on their website. And an even bigger thanks to Emily Cagle of Emily Cagle PR, who has been doing some great PR work for us, and is responsible for bringing us to Mad’s attention. If you’re looking for online PR, then drop her a line and see if she can help you too!

Below is a synopsis of each article, with a link so you can read the full thing if you want to!

It’s every business’s worst internet nightmare: you head over to Google, tap in your company name to see how your web presence is coming along, and there in prominent position is something far from positive about your brand. Deserved or not, this entry could be damaging your business with every passing second. Nikki Pilkington, founder of explains more.

It’s very common for a business’s first foray into internet marketing to be a low cost DIY job, but this approach carries risks explains Nikki Pilkington, owner/founder of

Here are ten of the most common misconceptions about internet marketing, and what you need to know to ensure you don’t fall foul of a DIY disaster.

Have you developed your ‘Circle of Credibility’?

I’ve been talking about this for a while, but this is the first chance I’ve had to put thoughts into words properly, so hopefully it will ring a few bells with some of you!

We’re all pretty much aware by now that one of the first things a potential client does when considering working with you is to ‘Google’ you – they’ll head off to google and type in your company name, maybe your director / owner’s name, and probably look through a few listings to see what others are saying about you.

The results that are shown here form the basis of what I call your ‘Circle of Credibility‘. Your Circle of Credibility is the extent to which you appear to be credible online. When someone searches for you, what’s the impression you get?

Without a doubt your company website should be appearing on the front page of those results, whether the search is for your company name or your boss’s name, but what else can appear in that search result to help compound the good feeling the potential client is going to get? And just as importantly, what can appear that can make you look bad?

The Good

Your company website. Ideally your website will be in the number one position, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have prominent links showing to the main areas of your website, including testimonials.

Your website is probably the first thing someone will be looking for, so make sure it contains some great testimonials / reviews, and shows you at your best. Case studies, examples of work and quotes from happy clients are great for showing you in a good light.


– Your blog. Whether your blog is attached to your website, or a separate entity, it gives any potential client a flavour of your thoughts, opinions and expertise. A quick read through a corporate blog can often tell you much more than a company website, as a blog tends to be more informal and have more of a ‘personality’ – make sure yours is visible and showing the side of you that you want people to see.

– Your Twitter profile. Of course, this is only a good thing if you WANT people to find it, and if you’ve thought about your company image and brand while posting tweets 🙂 If your Twitter profile is full of ‘Got a hangover and don’t know the name of the man I woke up with this morning’ then it’s probably best if you give it a different name 😉

However, if you use your Twitter profile as part of your company brand then having it show up as one of the results for your company name is a good thing.

Your LinkedIn and online networking profiles. Along with places such as UK Business forums, UK Business Labs, Xing,, BT Tradespace and more, your LinkedIn profile shows that you appear in various places online that are related to business. These profiles, especially if very active and up to date, show that you’re not just a fly by night, and that you can be tracked down in the event of any problems. This is especially important if you’re a ‘virtual’ company, in my opinion.

Articles you’ve written. Whether they are articles on your own site, or articles on somewhere authoritative such as Ezine Articles, having your content easily findable shows you spend time promoting yourself, and those articles could be the difference between you showing your expertise or becoming just another ‘also ran’ in the competition for someone’s business.

Interviews. If you’ve been asked to do interviews and the transcripts or audio files are online, then they’re a great way for a potential customer to learn more about you – if you’ve not been asked to do interviews, start making it known that you’re available!

Videos. Whether it’s your very own YouTube channel, or videos on your site, having videos show up in the search results for your company name is a good thing. Not everyone likes reading reams of text about how great you are 😉

Your Facebook profile and / or  Fan Page. This is only a good thing if you’re aware that your Facebook profile could be seen as part of a ‘fact finding’ mission by potential customers. If your profile is available to all (and Fan Pages are by default) then make sure it shows your best side, not just your wild and possibly drunken side 😉

Basically, you want the search results for your company or your name to show a well rounded promotion of your company and services. When people see your website, your blog, your Twitter profile and Facebook Fan Page, numerous articles written by you, interviews, videos etc, they see that you’ve been around a while, that you’re not going anywhere and that you’re probably the person that they want to deal with.

That’s why we always recommend to our clients that they have up to date profiles in as many places as possible, that they blog and write articles regularly, and that they bear in mind their Circle of Credibility, no matter what they’re doing online.

Need help with some of the things mentioned above? Drop me a line to

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