I’m really pleased to introduce you to a good friend of mine. Nicholas Fearn is 16 and an accomplished blogger in his own right. He owns the GagdetXpert blog that’s well worth a look, and was kind enough to write this post for me.

I think this post is important for to reasons. One, Nicholas is a digital native. He doesn’t have much experience of a non connected world. He speaks ‘Tech’ as a first language and is about as switched on you’ll find any teenager to be.

Two, Nicholas has Aspergers syndrome, and while you wont get that from his excellent writing, I am more than happy to support kids (and anyone else) with autism and autism spectrum disorders as much as I can.

Here we go…

The art of promotion via social media – the socially abrupt version.

A brief introduction…

If someone was to mention the words “social media” to you, you probably would automatically think of networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Although I see social media as a form of science in its own right; there’s so much you can achieve by using social media for marketing and PR. But it can often confuse ordinary people who have no clue of its significance or value in modern world.

Social media in everyday life.. what it is to everyday society.


Nearly everybody I know is signed up to some form of social networking site. Be it Twitter or Facebook, they’re used by millions in the United Kingdom alone. And their meaning to modern society is mega. First of all, you can do so much on these types of sites. From connecting with your family and friends to playing games such as Farmville on Facebook, the art of social networking is a fundamental part of 21st century living. And that’s why it’s so important for companies to connect with customers via these types of sites.

Connecting with the user – but DON’T harass them!

I know as a user of sites such as Facebook and Twitter that it can be very annoying when a company/person constantly bombards you with needless invitations to games you’ve never heard of and products you’re never likely to use. So that’s why it’s important to be able to connect with the customer/reader in a manner that won’t offend them.

Upon trying to get a user or community interested in your product, you need to do a little bit of research into why they would use it. In terms of getting someone reading your articles for you journalists out there, I would suggest you do the same thing. Just do a little bit of research into the people you’re trying to sell your product/article to, and think about how you could engage with them!

Now personally, I like to start a debate or an argument. I mean, if I was covering an article about the British monarchy and its values to the country, then I would most probably look into getting the opinions of my readers. I’d do this my simply posting a question on my Facebook page like: “Do we need the monarchy?” And I can 100% promise that you’ll get a ton of people commenting!

You could be trying to connect with your customers/readers…

Why not think about starting a campaign? Look at what other companies and publications are doing, and try creating something that would create more interest in your product/service/article. But don’t be too precious about it! I hate people who appear to be trying too hard. Be yourself, because your personal values and opinions are important! If you’re la-di-da about it, then you can forget about getting people interested!

If you are willing to do a bit more work and digging, you could even find some problems with competing companies that are offering up similar products/services/articles to you. And when you find something wrong, you totally need to fix it by offering up your audience/customers/readers something better.

Getting your customers/readers to side with you…

Something I’ve learnt from the past is that it’s always good to have people who can vouch for you in the times of conflict with other companies/publications. A great example is: if ‘Barry’ has just commented on your status with something kind and influential, you should try and make conversation with him. Try getting him interested with some of your other stuff, and soon he’ll have made friends with you and will be advocating your product with the best of them.

Be comical… serious people always lose..

Personally, I always find myself responding to products/services/articles that come across as pretty funny and not-so-serious. It just comes across to me as if the company/publication responsible is not taking things so seriously, which really appeals to me.

People who try too hard are usually the people that lose. And while this may not be backed up, as David Cameron is currently prime minister of this fine country, it’s more than certainly true. Serious people are SO boring and normally put off their customers.

 Set a good example – but not always…

Normally, it’s a good piece of advice for a company to set a good example to its peers. Although from past experience, I think it’s sometimes best to go pretty much against this. Be controversial at times, and it might get you a bit of good PR and exposure.

Take the bad reviews with a hint of positivity, because I can guarantee that they’ll help you improve a lot

We all like positive feedback now and again. But really, you don’t get anything from this type of feedback, because you’re already a “perfect” company/publication, and there’s obviously nothing you can do to expand on your products/articles.

But you can actually improve on things from bad reviews. So you’ll end up getting better results in the end! OK, maybe you don’t need to actually annoy your audience, but you can easily improve everything on a whole by listening to the customer/reader – as they say, the customer is always right!

And remember, please have fun while promoting via social networking sites…

I’ve already preached to you that I prefer people that personal and not too serious, but I’d also recommend that you try to have fun while in the process of promoting your product/service/article. If you’re not enjoying promoting a product, then the customer/reader won’t enjoy using/reading it…

Follow Nicholas @NicholasFearnuk

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