Im supposed to be writing an insightful, amusing, introduction to this article to get your attention, but to be honest, if youve come this far youre probably already doing one of three things:

  1. Skipping this (allegedly) insightful, amusing introduction to get to the juicy article goodness below, hoping like hell theres an idea you can, with implied consent, appropriate for your own use.
  2. Re-tweeting the link that brought you here to all your social media nerd friends (its OK, Im doing exactly the same thing).
  3. Quickly skim-reading the page to see if theres anything worth tweeting about. In which case, and just quietly, Id be heading straight to item seven.

Either way, youll have realised that this is not an insightful, amusing introduction at all. Apologies for that, here, instead, is a list of ten brilliant social media marketing ideas and a drawing of a spider.

1. Start a Twitter account and give people incentives to follow you. The more topical the better – it keeps people interested and theyll stay tuned. Like this:


2. Use Google Insights to find whatever keywords related to your business are being searched for the most and watch for trends. Blog about them and make videos about them. Make them entertaining. Watch your web traffic go through the roof. Like this:


3. Become an expert, start a blog and use your knowledge for good. Industry secrets dont exist anymore. If you try and keep them to yourself someone else will trump you. Were operating in a knowledge-based economy. Be the fountain of knowledge, be prolific and people will turn to you, and when they turn to you, you can start relationships with them (you know what I mean, dont be rude). If you cant write, podcast it. If you cant talk, make videos out of it. Make claymation. Do something, dont just sit there hoping people will come to you because you know so much. Publish. Its free.


4. Start a Facebook group that people will want to join and subtly sponsor it. Dont just start a fan page for your business, create a community that people want to be involved in. If you sell surfboards, create a fan page for six foot waves. If you sell wedding photography create a page for people who hooked up with a bridesmaid and are proud of it. If you sell candles start a Facebook group for people who are afraid of the dark. Like this:


5. Figure out whoever the key influencers are for whatever it is youre selling. Read their blogs and leave comments on them regularly. Proper ones. Ones that make them feel loved. Theyll get to know who you are and then when you want to sell something you wont have to make a bunch of new friends. Never forget that the purpose of a conversation with a new friend is not to sell something. It’s to have another conversation. Seth Godin told me that. It doesnt matter what industry youre in, or what youre selling.


6. Follow people on Twitter who talk about things you talk about, but do it in a way that will actually help them. Give value. Make them glad someone like you took the time to follow them and start a conversation.


7. Create something amazing and give people a couple of minutes of internet joy. Unless youre the President of the United States or Paris Hilton, no one cares about your dog or what you had for lunch. Stop putting banal content out there and do something amazing (or something amazingly bad). People love to be entertained, people love to waste time on the internet. Give them a couple of minutes of internet joy. You dont need talent to do this. In fact, the less talent you have, the better.


8. Get people to Digg what you do. All you have to do is ask them and make it easy. There are heaps of free plugins that easily allow you to add Digg This buttons to your articles, website, blogs and goodness knows what else. Take advantage of them and your traffic will go through the roof.


9. Make Lists. Lists of anything. People love lists. You could make a list of the top ten fire hydrants in Surry Hills and as long as you included relevant YouTube videos, people would love it. December to January is prime list breeding season, but dont let that stop you.


10. Read How to Win Friends and Influence People; its the original social marketing textbook. You can buy it online for a cent and it will change the way you think about talking to people, especially if your end goal is to sell something. Unlike most self help books these days, its aimed at professionals, not daytime/late night television watchers. The book was first published in 1937 when personal (read: social) selling, as opposed to television commercial selling, was at its peak. The six ways to make people like you are just as relevant online as they were before:

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a mans name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in the terms of the other mans interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

…as long as you can put up with a little period misogyny of course!