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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Hierarchy of Trust Portals for Small Business Social Media Marketing

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The other day after my ProBlogger guest post, How to Go Beyond Your Small Business Blog and Create a Social Media Footprint, I received quite a few emails from people who were still confused as to where to begin and what the varying levels of social media activity are.

Well, Mr. Brogan and Mr. Smith were smart enough to coin the term and write the book, “Trust Agents” and I have always viewed my small business social media marketing activities at various sites as an act of creating ‘trust portals’.

Hence the phrase and post title – Hierarchy of Trust Portals for Small Business Social Media Marketing

First, for clarification:

Trust – firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing. (source: answers.com)

Portal – a specialized entry point to a specific market or industry niche, subject area, or interest. (source: wikipedia)

Your hierarchy might look a little different or a lot different depending on the sites that you concentrate on for your small business social media marketing.

When I began, my business started off with NO web presence and I first moved into level two with a minimal engagement strategy where I was just posting photos and videos online, drafting a few press releases and responding to some HARO queries.

As I began to understand social media a little better I moved up in my hierarchy. Subsequently my levels of engagement increased and the most positive outcome was that my opportunity to build trust also increased.

The general hope if you’re just getting started is – – if you interact in the first three levels appropriately, and act as genuine member of a community who is truly trying to listen and help, then potential customers might move on to level four where they invest a little more emotional capital and check out your website and small business blog. All of which could lead to increased sales and referrals.

Here’s the thing: As a final note, I feel it’s important to mention that with every new interaction online the hierarchy begins all over again until trust has been established. It takes a lot of work!!

This diagram is in very rough format and I would truly appreciate your constructive criticism, thoughts and feedback.

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