Peter Shankman Invites Small Business to JUMP into Social Media

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OrangeSoda recently invited skydiver, adventurist, and entrepreneur Peter Shankman to talk about social media.

Peter is best known for founding (or HARO), a site where  journalists and bloggers put up queries describing what they’re writing about. If you answer and it’s a fit, you could be interviewed and mentioned in their story. It’s a great way to get free publicity for your business.

Over 200 small business owners came to hear Peter (here’s a blog post with video clips). He’s really funny!

This video introduced Peter Shankman and the idea that with social media, the best way to learn is by immersion — just jump in.

Here are three social media tips for your small business

If you prefer to listen to these tips, go to this wrapup I did for the Web Marketing Weekly Show.

1. Everyone has ADD online, so be brief.

Your customer has a short attention span. It went from about five minutes in the 80s (about the length of an MTV video) to 2.6 seconds today. On Twitter, it’s 140 characters. That means you must get to the point, and fast.

2. Use social media to stick in your customer’s mind.

No one can be your customer if they forget (or don’t know) that you exist. Social media makes it easier to stay in the mind of your customers. For example, Facebook tells you when it’s someone’s birthday. Peter wishes people a happy birthday as a way to connect. You don’t just reach existing fans when you reach out. If people like you, they tell their friends. Peter  got at least $150k in consulting jobs last year because his fans recommend his services to their friends.

3. Plan for success, not just failure.

First, realize that anything you post on a social networking site is not yours. It can go away, or go down.

“What would happen if Facebook decided you did something wrong? Or Twitter went down, or pulled your account?

Do you have a backup plan? Do you know who your fans, followers, readers, or subscribers are, and have an alternate way to contact them?

Don’t you think you should?”

Source: Peter Shankman’s blog

Don’t just plan for the worst, think about what to do with wild success.

Thanks for everyone who came.  Special thanks to Peter Shankman, our team, and cosponsors Cowboy Leaders.

What questions do you have about social media? Tell us in the comments.