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The golden rules of a successful social media strategy Read more: The golden rules of a successful social media strategy | Creative Ramblings Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

I have had this idea at the back of my mind for several months already. And now is the time to share it with you.

Whether I facilitate workshops or advise clients, I often find myself having to explain what the phrase “social media strategy” stands for. Usually, people realize that they have been implementing a strategy all along. And, lo and behold! The door to a world of opportunities — and great ideas — suddenly opens for them.

Every industry is different. What works in a specific field may not work in another. However, some tips and rules are universal. And as such, they should be shared.

So here is the idea! I want to create the best collection of must-follow advice for successful social media strategies around. And I want to include you in it!

Whether you are a social media expert, musician, author, or small business owner, I am sure that I and others can learn a lot from you.

So, share your best tips in the comment section below. I will feature my favorites in this article with full attribution.

Listen - Mary Helen Ferris (Twitter: @greatpoetrymhf)
“Treating your prospects, clients, contacts, and aquaintances with the valued part they play in your lfe….they are the reason you are you. Be yourself with them. It is a fair exchange. They could do business with anyone. They have chosen you because you are authentic. Be consistently authentic. Listen. The word listen has the key to all relationships. It really means list ten…..list ten things your speaker is saying. They will tell you what they want. Your job is to give them permission to have it by investing in themselves through your products. You can help them acquire and achieve. You are the achiever they have chosen. List ten things they want from you.”

Engage - Louis
“engage with your customers, let them know that an actual human being is managing your social media account, not a bot
start a conversation, ask a question and encourage replies
be omni present – have the links to your social media pages visible on your page, in your email signature, on your business card”

Add value – Julio Viskovich (Twitter: @juliovisko)
“This most important tip I can give that is universal is to add value to other people. You can’t sell yourself or your product until people trust you. The cycle is know-like-trust-buy. In order to build the trust needed, you need to be genuine and add value to you audience and market.”

Be human - Mika Douglas (Twitter: @studentinlife)
“Be authentic, real and compassionate. Remove yourself from the technology and be human.”

Build relationships - Jerry Doby (Twitter: @jdobypr)
“Maximize the brief moments you have with your audience/customers and let them feel they are dealing with a flesh and blood human being and not some “bot” on a mission to clean out their pockets. GIVE them something they can hold onto, a good morning, hope all is well, anything interesting with you today? Those types of things build trust, comfort and the willingness to in return, hear what you have to say.”

Tailor your messages - Doug Wolfgram (Twitter: @dougwolfgram)
“Most people don’t stop to think about point-of-business. It is silly to think that one post applies to all social networks. Remember that each network has unique users with different mindsets when they visit. Tailor your message accordingly.”

Always pay attention to your audience - Tom George (Twitter: @netbillboards)
“In sales you hear catch phrases like “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak” It is also a fact that 80% percent of sales are made by 20% percent of the sales force. I think this concept can and should be applied to an effective social media strategy. You should comment and interact with your fans, followers and friends pages and posts often. Find the right ratio that works. This is how you build trust and get a dialogue going. The first thing you must realize is to avoid self delusion, to understand it is not simply all about “You” all of the time.”

Learn, teach and connect - Ileane Smith (Twitter: @Ileane)
“I’m here to learn, to teach, and to connect. I think if we can use social media to do those three things, we’ll have a great strategy in place.”

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