10 Social Media Tricks I Learned From My Dog

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Ah … yes, we all think that we are smarter than our dogs. Don’t we?

In fact, we are supposed to be the masters of our furry, four legged, K-9 creatures, but sometimes they do teach US a new trick or two.

While I was out walking my dog this morning I started to think, that perhaps, my dog can actually teach those of us who are working to develop a social media footprint for our small business some valuable lessons.

I have three dogs that are all rescues, but this post is specific to our (highly) mixed breed dog named ‘George’ and how his personality can help you (US) to discover how to “Do” social media.

Trick 1: Friendly and non judgmental – George doesn’t care who or what you are – – skinny, fat, orange, green, tall, short, a celebrity, etc – – to him, we are all the same. There is no better way to develop trust portals, grow your reputation, and build your small business social media footprint than being open and honest.

Trick 2: Consistent – George is here everyday. If you are attempting to develop your small business reputation in the social space, consistency is key.

Trick 3: Eager – When he knows he is going for a walk or a beach trip, George does an all over body wiggle out of pure excitement that is akin to someone who is being tasered. Now, I am not suggesting that you need that level of enthusiasm, but if you’re passionate and excited about what you are doing it’s going to resonate with your followers, friends, and fans.

Trick 4: Happy – We all have bad days, but very few brands and small businesses pull off sulky and desultory well.

Trick 5: Helpful – George has actually been known to carry a water bottle on a 10 mile run. Are you being helpful and obliging others before seeking assistance for yourself. No matter how big you get, always try to be helpful.

Trick 6: Smart – I don’t know George’s IQ, but I would venture to guess he is pretty smart (in dog terms :-)). Original, smart, and thought provoking ideas will help spread awareness of your small business.

Trick 7: Playful – George does not take himself too seriously and you shouldn’t either.

Trick 8: Loyal – Perhaps one of the most important tips that George can teach us about using social media for small business or brand awareness. If you have followers and fans who continually support your work, repay them by being loyal in return. (Remember karma?)

Trick 9: Persistent – George has been known to eat green coconuts with the focus of a brain surgeon. Never give up!

Trick 10: Your turn – – What would you add to this list?

(OK, you got me! Most of these are traits not tricks….but “Traits” just didn’t work in the title.)

If you liked this post, let’s connect on Twitter @mark_hayward. And you might also like:
Ideas for Social Media Types (from a Small Business Owner)
How to Use Big News Stories to Improve Small Business Search Engine Rankings
How I Use Social Media to Promote My Business

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25 Ways to Create Your Social Media Footprint Today

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My primary goal with this site, speaking as a small business owner (not a consultant nor an ‘expert’) who actually uses social media, is to try and make the transition easier for other business owners out there who would like to use the (mostly free) online tools that allow you to promote you, your brand, and your service or product.

A reader recently emailed and said that they still have NO IDEA where to begin with all of this social media ‘stuff’.

The following is my simple response. It is not meant to be a thesis extolling the virtues of social media or a “be all end all” list. But it is meant to be a starting point for the rookie Do-It-Yourselfer and to get people thinking and talking. Please add more suggestions in the comment section.

  1. Think about and list out your social media goals.
  2. Create a Flickr account and upload some photos.
  3. Start a blog (use WordPress or Blogger they’re free)
  4. If you have a video camera (you can get a FLIP for $100) shoot some vids and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo. Make sure you tag and describe them properly.
  5. Visit and participate in forums that cover your niche.
  6. Leverage the power of FaceBook.
  7. Develop your LinkedIn Profile
  8. Research key words for your business (Seo Book has a nice tool for this)
  9. Help someone who has even less social media skills than you (remember it’s all about Karma!).
  10. Comment on some blogs.
  11. Engage and interact with your customers and competition online.
  12. Write a guest post or two.
  13. Email some people with similar interests to say ‘hi’ and to open the door for possible collaboration.
  14. Compose an incredibly useful and freely downloadable e-Book or publish your manifesto.
  15. Create profiles on StumbleUpon, DIGG, Reddit, and other SM platforms.
  16. Start reading a lot of blogs. (I know, technically this does not create a discernable footprint, but it gets you in the habit of searching for relevant information…which could lead to comment, which then leads to a footprint. :-))
  17. Search newspapers for articles on your niche and leave comments (I still can’t believe how much traffic we get from one NY Times article where I left a comment.)
  18. Email your friends and let them know your social media profiles
  19. Add your web URL to your email signature.
  20. Join Help-A-Reporter and reply to some inquiries.
  21. Setup your ‘listening strategy’ with Google Alerts for your keywords and use Twitter search.
  22. Draft a press release about your small business and submit it to a free service like PitchEngine.
  23. Create a Squiddo page.
  24. Brainstorm and come up with at least 25 blog post ideas (focus on headlines) that you can create full posts from later.
  25. Join Twitter – listen, learn, and engage in the conversation.

Even though it’s not mentioned in the actual post, the key message to be drawn from the above list is, “today.” Don’t wait until tomorrow, or until cash flow problems arise because of the economy. Get started with your social media efforts TODAY!

(Note: If you like what you see sign up for the RSS Feed or continue the discussion on Twitter @mark_hayward.)

image source: jpverkamp

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