I was lucky enough to meet Massimo Burgio, who Co-Chairs the Global Committee at SEMPO, thanks to an interesting story typical of Sharewood and especially of the social media world.
A month or so ago, I received an invitation to a new service that was launching online and after having spent a few minutes browsing around its key pages, I thought that there were some great opportunities to improve its basic implementation and to refine its marketing and sales approach. So, without thinking an extra second, I checked their contact form and sent in a short message saying I was able to provide my free advice and feedback if they were interested enough to listen.
And boy they were.
Next thing I learn after having provided my best advice to this group, is a thank you email in which I am spontaneously introduced to Max Burgio, as the people who received my free feedback had been working with him at SEMPO and rapidly realized that we were both based in Italy and would have probably liked each other a lot.
By giving out my insight and ideas for nothing in exchange, I learned and received far more back than I had to put in this exchange. Why? Because in the social world, unlike in the business one where we have lived and breathed until now, you first give and then ask. You first share and then take. You first offer something of value and in turn others will do the same with you.
That's how simple it is.
Social media marketing is all about learning to share, contribute and provide value to others in as many different and complementary ways. The better you become at doing this, the greater opportunities to significantly increase your online visibility, authority and reputation.
Here the first part of this rapid-fire Q&A on online social media marketing that I shot at Max Burgio in the sunny terrace under the Casina Valadier here in Rome:
Social Media Marketing - Beginner's Advice from Massimo Burgio
Give before asking
Hi, my name is Massimo Burgio. I'm Italian, but I live worldwide. I'm a search marketer.
The first big tip is: try to give, rather than getting, stuff.
The social networking world, like the blogosphere, is a world where people get a lot of value if they share their knowledge.
If you try to tap into social networking because you just want to get knowledge from the social networking, you won't get the most of the power of this.
But if you tap into social networks and you demonstrate that you are willing to share -- to share your news, to share your ideas, to contribute to other people's ideas -- in a very short time you should be able to be build around yourself that degree of relevancy around that social network, and that's very key.
Why Don't All The Different Social Networks Become One?
Basically, we all look forward to the future application that will allow you to make one single post and broadcasting your social networking space.
Actually, I am using something similar right now for my videos. It is called the TubeMogul, and it is great. That really helped me: if I have one video to upload in 10 social networks, I can do it in one operation. It saves a lot of time.
Then, of course, I have to keep up with commentaries and feedback on each social network.
Yes, there is a big problem in being everywhere - but is it really a problem or is it an opportunity? I believe it is an opportunity, because not everybody I know is on "Facebook".
Also, some other people might believe that other social networks can be more relevant for their business.
So, if I do not go to the other social network, because I believe I just want to stay on "Facebook", I will be missing that little bit of interaction of what was going on the other site.
Therefore, it is an opportunity 'to be' and a challenge 'to keep up', but the big value is in actually finding the right time to interact in the right way.
Then again, for somebody who is just starting, you do not really have to be everywhere. Just start with something really small, but try to aggregate good content.
Even start your own blog, because if you have one blog and you operate in the 'blogosphere', you do not really need to be everywhere in the social network. Yes, it helps - but you can concentrate your presence in a blog; from the blogs, by utilizing a lot of widgets and applications, you can keep track of stuff you are doing on other places.
A blog can be a 'central headquarters' of your online presence, if you want. But social networking really is the big court where you want to be present.
On Which Social Media Networks Is It Best To Be Present? There's A New One Everyday!
Yes, and they will keep coming up again and again. And possibly they will be joined by another list of other names from other social networks. I really think you should be everywhere.
It's not like a question of choice. I mean, you can choose to operate strictly on one network -- I know people who are strictly on LinkedIn or Facebook or MySpace. It really depends on what your target audience is.
If you're a musician, maybe you don't need Facebook. You better prefer MySpace, even if it's kind of old news. But if you're a professional, maybe Facebook and LinkedIn are the right places for you.
But there are more and more social networks coming out also around the media. Especially if you're writing or you're podcasting or you're video blogging. So maybe you can join other social networking to give more value to your content.
How Can One Manage Her Profile Across So Many Different Places? It Takes Enough Time To Blog Professionally How Can One Find The Time To Feed These Social Media Destinations Too?
Well, you sleep very little time at night and you work a lot, you can make it. This is very correct.
I was atSMX in London a couple of weeks ago, and there was a panel on social media. That was one of the topics, you better be on several places, you better be very coherent with your profile. But the very big problem is time for managing all these relationships.
Because it's not important just to be, just to appear, just to put your placemark. You really have to have an active participation within this network and this really requires time.
So the secret tips? A lot of coffee and stay up at night. [laughs]
OK, I think I learned more from this post than from literally hundreds of posts I read in last few months. Not to mention that I love Italy and all info coming from there has more power for me, lol.
I can't believe I haven't seen this blog earlier, with all the blog hopping I do. I guess it is true that the blogosphere is a big place :)
I saw several interesting titles here so I am off to do more reading. I just hope it won't take me as much time as this one did... but it was well worth it.
Hopefully the growth of data portability adoption across networks in 2008 will lend a hand in our not having to stay up quite as late at night, but for now we have strong Italian coffee to tide us over.
The good folk at http://www.dataportability.org/ are doing a lot to make that happen, and their latest initiative is aimed at open sourcing/cracking open these closed silos that keep our attention data, relationships and contact details locked in. More on that here: http://www.dataportability.org/graphsync/
Couldn't agree more with regards to giving to and participating in communities, however. It isn't enough to stick your flag in the ground and be done with it, for sure.