7 Social Media Tips: First, Forget You're A Business

Taking Advantage Of Social Media

Social networks and technologies have become the lifeblood of our culture and are quickly reshaping the way businesses interact with consumers. As social behaviors among consumers continue to evolve, it is important for solution providers to constantly innovate in order to keep up.

In a keynote at the recent XChange Latin America conference, Dana Griffin, an expert on global strategy at social media marketing and communications agency Attention, provided insight for solution providers on understanding and utilizing social media to grow their business.

Understand What Social Media Is, What It Can Do For Your Business

Social media is an inherent behavior and is entrenched in what we do and how we communicate, every day. It is an addictive biological behavior as well -- there is a dopamine release when you check your Facebook page, Twitter account or get tagged in a post, according to research by Attention.

On a business level, if you want to impact the way that people view your brand and what they think of it, you simply have to be human, Griffin said. Don't think about the technology, infrastructure or platforms, instead think about it from a human perspective. If it makes sense to you and is easy to digest, then it will be successful. "Everything we do for our clients is through the lens of social media," she said.

Understand The Supply And Demand Behind Social Media

There is supply and demand within the social media space. The supply is the consumer attention, which is relatively fixed, and the demand is growing exponentially. The demand for consumer attention is so huge that to break through the social barriers and make an impact on the audience, you have to commit to providing utility, entertainment, value and reciprocity.

"If I am going to follow a brand on Facebook, I want to get something out of it, I want an experience and I want to know that my time is being valued and respected," said Griffin.

Know That Influence Is A Money Ball

Social media can impact your bottom line. If your goal through social media is to increase your ROI, revenue or target completely new audiences, you will be able to do that through social media, according to Griffin. "You have to make sure that you set the right metrics and measure them correctly against the right benchmarks," she said.

If you are trying to reach a variety of markets, target the people who influence them. Who do you want to be your client? Who is your audience? Who are they listening to? Let them give the message about your company. That is how your company is going to grow authentically and organically, according to Griffin.

Use Social Media As Strategic Marketing Tool

Social media wrapped the traditional marketing funnel into a loop. In comparison to the traditional marketing model, which included awareness, consideration and acquisition, "the link from awareness to acquisition is just one click today," said Griffin. And to keep loyalty and create advocacy, it is important to understand that the lifetime of customer value increases by 40-plus percent when customers engage socially on a repeat basis, according to Attention.

Understand how social media can positively impact your business and how can you educate your clients to make their own businesses more successful, said Griffin.

Create A One-On-One Relationship With Everyone In The World

Connect with the world on a digital level today. Know that social media is highly dilutive of brand -- if a peer tells someone about their experience with a brand, it will mean more to that person than what the brand tells them about it. People are even more likely to listen to a stranger nine times more than the brand itself giving the same message, according to research by Attention.

"You need to be extremely aware of who is talking about your brand," said Griffin. "You need to be ready to embrace and manage what others are saying." By creating a one-on-one relationship with everyone in the world, you will be able to manage the conversation.

Know The Most 'Social' Markets

It is important to know your market and which markets are the most engaged. Latin America is one of the most active regions for social media -- five out of the top 10 markets in the world are within the Latin America. More than 127 million Latin Americans visit social networking sites per month, according to Griffin. That is 90 percent of the entire Internet population. "Latin Americans spend a third of their time while online on social networks; they spend the most amount of time on social media per month than any other country including Europe and the U.S. with 7.7 hours," she said.

It is crucial to partner with people who are culturally sensitive and can tell you how to act socially with different audiences within different markets. This is why social data is so important -- you have to look at the behavior of your markets and analyze it.

Engage In The Social Process Everywhere

Where can you engage and find opportunities in the social process? The answer is everywhere. "As a social market, I look at what the brand is, what their goal is, what their resources are and then I look at what their social data is telling me in terms of their audiences and their competitors in the landscape," said Griffin. "I then put those together and find the opportunities."

Everyone today is checking in, tweeting and updating their status. The key is to use what we do every day to make good business sense, she said.