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18th August 2010 |  Written by Guy Levine

Social Media Tips From The British Library

In July I chaired a panel at the British Library on Social Media. There were some really good tips and I would like to share some of the best here.

Use social media for crowd sourcing, which is basically asking questions of your followers. Many companies often say they have nothing, or don’t know what to talk about. So instead just tweet “what is the biggest problem you are currently facing?” or “what do you think are the key issues facing the … industry?” This will get the conversation started. 

Use social media to amplify the conversations which are happening in the real world of your businesses. If people/customers are asking your sales people or support lines questions, share the information online. This is a really good way of taking information which is timely and relevant which works really well with social which is ultimately a conversation, and therefore time based.

A strong theme was ‘engage before you promote,’ by which I mean don’t just go and spam your followers with tons of sales tweets. Start by building relationships and then promote. Promotions with news relevance also work really well as it includes a familiarity aspect in the promotion.

YouTube is becoming the new place to run TV style advertising, especially if there is a viral element. The great thing about this is that a YouTube advert is much closer to a click than someone watching a TV advert, then remembering to Google it or go to the website.

Twitter messages are the new elevator speeches. In ‘old school’ business, there was always the story that you had to be able to sell your business in the 30 seconds in takes a lift to go from the ground floor to the 30th floor with a potential new client aboard. Now it’s can you sell your business in 140 characters?

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