5 top tips for getting started with social media for your business

If you are new to social media or have started but could do with a little direction, visit my Rufus Leonard blog post for five top tips for getting started.


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Rufus Leonard rebrands

Rufus Leonard has spent the past 20 years helping shape many of the UK’s leading brands off and online. Now we are marking our 20th anniversary year by developing our own brand.

Read all about the launch and visit our new website…


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‘SMAA’ now available for social network addicts!

Has social media taken over your life? 
Feeling like life is a little too hard without being constantly plugged in? 
Help is at hand in this very funny VAIO spoof.

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Don’t tell me what to do

What guidelines are needed for businesses wanting to introduce social media into their marketing and comms mix?

It’s a good question.  On the one hand you could argue you don’t really need any.  If you and your employees are representing the brand, then the already accepted and implemented communications guidelines in existence should be enough.  As an example at a recent event a representative from Dell computers said ‘ we expect our social media reps to operate online in exactly the same manner they would when answering an email or phonecall’  Makes sense.

But social media online is such a new area and there are no precedents set yet on the accepted ways of working and communicating.  Everyday I am receiving invites to events on ‘the legalities of twitter’ and ‘the pitfalls for social networkers to avoid’, demonstrating there is still some confusion in this area and definitely a demand for more knowledge.

We know from experience that telling people what to do, doesn’t always get the best results but…

My advice?  Be clear at the outset about how social media fits in with your overall communications policies.  Create a best practice guide for all who are taking part and regularly update it.  And most of all be willing to be flexible but never compromise something online that you wouldn’t offline.

And just to be helpful here’s a link to Coca Cola’s social media principles… A good example of a company hitting the mark just right.


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Listen, monitor and then act!

At some point between my first blog post and today, social media has matured.

In the early days (Ok, early 2009) the key message was ‘don’t plan just play’ – Essentially, don’t strategise too much, just get used to the tools and play with them to work out what works for you.  But now the message is more ‘listen, monitor and then act’. Why? Well the answer is that social media and online pr tools have grown up. It’s not a test bed anymore. It’s a valuable business channel that can add really good value to your business if done right. Done wrong… It can be devastating.

So ‘don’t plan just play’s’ day is over.  And I for one am glad.  A lot of social media strategy is common sense but it’s well thought through and appropriate common sense that will deliver the best results.  Now the challenge is  how to utilise social media to deliver real, measurable results for your business.  And the results being? Many; enhanced reputation, increased customer satisfaction, improved complaint resolution, more sales and more loyalty.  Sounds like a good use of planning time to me.

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When shouldn’t you open your mouth?

It’s a little behind time wise, but never too late to publicise a good cause.  (And if we all do our bit virally, we’ll get this message out to the people who need it).

When shouldn’t you open your mouth?

Ricky Gervais, Ray Winstone, Marco Pierre White, Tim Lovejoy, and Trevor Nelson are just some of the celebrities sharing their biggest “clangers” in a humorous new viral to support Macmillan Cancer Support’s campaign to break the silence on cancer.

The famous men all talk about the most embarrassing time they said something they shouldn’t have in a bid to show that there are some times you really shouldn’t open your mouth – and there are times when you really should.

The viral was created by Rufus Leonard for Macmillan Cancer Supportcheck it out.

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Social networking – is it valuable for business?

So continuing my theme of this blog so far.  Social networking – is it valuable for business?

As mentioned in previous posts I have just started implementing our strategy in this area.  The mantra of ‘Don’t plan just play’ has been enforced (even against my natural inclination to plan everything properly) and so far it’s all working well.

But what is all the fuss about?  Well simply put social networking online helps you develop relationships with people that you want to get to know, but may not ordinarily meet.  The more relationships you create, where both sides have similar objectives, then the more likely you’ll be able to help each other out.  Helping people out = happy people and ultimately more business. It’s the classic ‘networking’ strategy but online.  Finding the right places to be and the right amount of time to commit is vital to success.  It’s also incredibly transparent, and therefore those out for only their own gain generally won’t prosper in the long run.

So is it really valuable for business?  My answer is yes, definitely as long as you are clear about who you are trying to talk to and how you can help each other. It’s not about volume and reach.  It’s about one to one communications with likeminded people.

Or to make it clearer let the Gurus Seth Godin and Tom Peters explain


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