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December 28, 2009

Why Social media Works

The basis of all marketing is trust.

You need to trust that the media you choose will reach your targeted demographics, that it will capture their attention, and that this form of media will be more likely to convert.

The audience needs to trust that you are sincere and authentic, and that you can deliver on what you say you can do.

With decades of asterisks*, bait and switch techniques and blatantly misleading ads - is there any wonder that people are cynical. It means you have to work harder to get their trust than ever before.

Social media works because we get to meet with people, not anonymous email addresses, or faceless graphics in magazines, but with real people.

And if there is one thing that I have learned while consulting it is that people buy people before they buy products, benefits or features.

Whether you are publishing videos on YouTube, participating in a LinkedIn forum, tweeting your news out 140 characters at a time or even running your own Ning-style network... you need to be human and personable above all else.

Here are some tips to improve your trust account, and to reduce the time from acknowledgement to a willingness to trust:

- If you can show proof positive that others trust you (LinkedIn recommendations, Amazon book testimonials, YouTube comments etc)

- If you can write posts, articles and short pieces that show unique and insightful thinking

- If you can take a well thought out contrarian position in forums and discussions

- If you can start a chain of referrals. People will always value advice from a person they trust over almost anything else.

Good luck, if you are interested in more tactics on each of these please let me know in the comments and I will be happy to talk about what has worked for me.

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