Coalesce Inc.’s Blog

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Peter Shankman: Social media guru, author, and business man

Posted by coalescemarketing on October 28, 2010

Thanks to Northeast Wisconsin PRSA for brining in Peter Shankman, founder of HARO and world-renowned social media expert, to speak last Tuesday! As public relations and marketing professionals, it’s an honor to hear from a trailblazer within our field. For those unable to join us, the following is a 500 foot recap of Peter’s talk: “How Social Media can Save the World (and your business).”

As business professionals, we must remember: we don’t control the direction of our company, our clients do. But that doesn’t mean we sit back for the ride – we must create the structure or framework for success. In the social media world, Peter advocates the following four rules to optimally position a company:

1.       Be transparent. Information wants to be – and will be – free. Get in front of the talk by being open to sharing information. And we must always be honest.

2.       Learn how clients/prospects want to receive information – ask them. Information is so fractured today that, in order to be relevant, we must provide information in a form that people want, like or need. If we don’t, our competition will. Social media allows us to ask for client feedback quickly and easily. If we use these tools, we can be more relevant. In fact, statistics show that if we provide information in a form that clients are asking for, 90 percent are more likely to tune in.

3.       Be Brief. The average attention span today is 2.6 seconds – or 144 characters. That equates to a text message (not necessarily Twitter). Embrace the concept and length of a text message in order to effectively reach our audiences. But our messages – no matter how quick – must be well written in order to be enticing. A poorly written message will also be memorable – but in a negative way.

4.       Keep your business top of mind. And make interactions about the client. Peter predicts that soon, social media networks – whether business or personal – will all be connected into one. Instead of seeing threads/updates of all our connections, we’ll only see those connections that are most relevant to our everyday lives, based on the number of interactions.  Therefore, the more relevant we are to a client, the more top of mind we will become.

Also important, Peter noted that a company’s social media activities must be tied to revenue and sales generation – or it’s time to reevaluate strategy. For successful businesses, the number of followers or fans in our networks may mean nothing. We need to engage the right people. As Peter said it, “In business, revenue trumps cool. “

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