By: Sylvie Erik Qualman's “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business” offers many lessons on embracing social media. Below are a few key brand-building tips to keep in mind, whether you're new to the game or a social media native: 1. Listen before you sell. To truly succeed in social media, the first thing you need to do is listen. Only then will you be equipped and ready to join the conversation. 2. Maintain one identity. In the digital life, everything is searchable and findable. You cannot hide behind privacy settings anymore. Anything you do in the real or virtual world can end up coming back to haunt you, so it's better to be transparent in who you are and what you stand for. Whether you are a company or an individual, facades come down in social media, so who you are and who you say you are better be the same. 3. Focus less on your messaging and more on your offering. Brands that succeed are the ones that have great products or services, not the ones that have the best marketing strategies. While having good messaging helps to build a brand, if your product or service doesn't live up to its promise, no amount of marketing will save you. On the other hand if you have a great product or service, social media can only help by equipping your employees, customers or followers with a virtual megaphone to spread your message for you. 4. It's all about the people. Socialnomics keeps coming back to one key point: It's a people-driven economy. Social media is about making it easier to find information, make decisions and takeaction. Individuals and companies need to keep in mind that social media is a relationship-building tool, not a one-directional marketing channel.
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