I’m writing this blog on the day that Friends Reunited has announced it’s closing and like many I’d forgotten if was still in existence

Without context Digital Marketers are often seen as people who got lucky or were there at the right time

That’s a lot of people who go lucky several times over

In reality what marketers often do is have a sense for where things are moving, spend huge amounts of time learning new platforms and carry on the knowledge from what they have learnt previously

I often joke in local Social Media talks that I need to tell my backstory because “most of you think i’m just that bloke on twitter” and it’s half true – some people think I was born at 30+ years old, landed on planet Altrincham and started tweeting without any history

So here is some history of digital, some lessons and some signs for the future

Proboards
MESSAGE BOARDS – LISTENING IS IMPORTANT

Pre-social media the places where you hung around if you had a specific interest was message boards, forums or newsgroups

There was literally something for everyone – whether it was the forum for your latest favourite band or something random like a group for Beekeepers

In those days I was writing about music for publications around the world and the one thing I practitioned in was extensive listened and researching away from the official press release

The press release only told half the story and sadly today partly due to journalist cuts at publications and partly due to the need to be 1st on Social Media, it’s often the only part of the story you hear

But back in 1999 and the early 00s I knew that if you went on Forums you could listen and research the posts of Super-Fans of artists and find out stories that had happened literally hours before an interview

Listening is hugely important and it’s something I still do to this date every day on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Listening is where the nuggets are found

Friends Reunited Logo
FRIENDS REUNITED – CONFIDENCE DOESN’T ALWAYS WIN, IF IT’S NOT BACKED UP WITH TALENT
I never used Friends Reunited for marketing, but I have one abiding memory of the 1st time I logged on

I did as everyone else did in those days – checked what everyone in my year had been up to in the intervening years before leaving school and Friends Reunited existing

And there I saw it – the rich confident girl that everyone loved at school was an assistant manager at McDonalds

As harsh as it sounds – the confidence that made people in the school playground needs to be backed up with talent in the real world

It’s something I’ve kept with me years later in business – confidence and presentation still need to be backed up with talent, so show me the talent

When people say people buy from people it’s true – but it’s important to buy from people that have talent

And if you have talent – don’t shout about it until you get results!

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MYSPACE – REGULAR FRESH CONTENT IS KEY
If you chat to Digital Marketers of a certain age you’ll know how many of them made the journey from the music industry to digital marketing

People forget it was Myspace that made the selfie popular before it was even called a selfie

But marketing bands and live music events for several years via Myspace the lesson I learnt was that fresh content on a weekly basis ruled

The word NEW was this magic key to engagement so marketing events and bands was about regular providing different audio, video and photographic content

User generation content was also encouraged by as many people as possible

In fact all the talk about content marketing for businesses in 2012-present day was being done back in 2004-5 by unsigned bands

In social time must be made to create fresh content – you’ll notice for every blog we write there are also 5-6 social tiles that go with it, a business presentation and occasionally a periscope video

In fact the reason we blog every week is indirectly through that early marketing on myspace

Facebook- LIKE PHOTO
FACEBOOK – THE RULES WILL ALWAYS CHANGE

Social Media will always change and platforms often evolve much to businesses discontent and displeasure

Facebook changed a lot in all the years from Groups to Pages, events that would invite everyone to no more than a handful at a time, to organic reach which seemed to affect musicians way before it did small businesses

What Facebook taught us is that rules will always change and when the rules and you have to adapt and play along with the new rules

It will be the same with Twitter and the talked about 10k Character changes – very few people like the idea of it, but when it happens marketers and businesses have to change adapt and reach the full potential with the changes

Learning to roll with those changes is key – doing what you used to with diminishing results is a fools games

Twitter Marketing
TWITTER – CONVERSATIONS ARE KEY
Amazing things can happen from one word – hello

Twitter is literally a conversational platform on steroids and most people in business don’t make the most of the conversational elements

Never before had the world been so open and so connected and twitter is a world where strangers become friends if you’d just give it a chance and chat to them

So many small businesses are so inward looking that Twitter is the perfect outlet to meet other people in business

I truly believe all businesses should spend a little time each day chatting to other local businesses … and where possible arrange to meet for a coffee

Tell us what hello brought you

AND NOW ….
Well Instagram and Periscope are teaching us important lessons, but it’s with the benefit of time we’ll look back in several years at them

Let us know what your digital journey taught you

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Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

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