What Do Fire Flies and Social Media have in Common?

By Rand Manasse

When you were young did you ever catch a fire fly and wonder …


What if I could catch hundreds, or thousands or even millions of fire flies and put them in a jar.  Would they light up my room or even the whole city at night? 

Developing the right combination of social media sites and the tactics is analogous to catching that one firefly and then watching as millions follow to light up your bottom line.  It is happening everyday, just ask companies like Netflix, Amazon, Groupon or Zappos.

The process of marketing your business and its products has changed radically over the last 5 years. 

The advent of the Internet and social market sites combined with the generations that use it daily are driving forces prompting the change.  Your business presence on social market sites is as important as any other form of marketing you will engage in.  Social Market Awareness should be an integral part of your marketing experience.

In my previous article I discussed the benefits of your business becoming socially aware. To briefly recap Social Market Awareness:

1.     Increases your business's exposure to the estimated 1 billion people using social market site on the internet today.

2.     Humanizes corporate values and positions your product as part of the social trends of the day.

3.     “Build in Value” to grow your business. 

4.     Opens up new and far-reaching world-wide markets.

5.     Increases bottom line profits.

What questions should I be asking?

Marketing your business is a tried and true process. Adding technology does not change the questions you are looking to have answered when developing a strategic marketing plan.  The process required to bring your business to new markets is not much different than any other you would follow to market your business.

It starts by answering these five basic questions:

1.     Who is my audience?

2.     How do I create a social awareness strategy?

3.     Which social media sites and tactics will make my strategy most effective?

4.     How do I measure its effectiveness?

5.     How will I know if I was successful? 

This article will address the third question “Which social media sites and tactics will make my strategy most effective?”  Knowing the audience you want to attract should come first. For now, I am going to assume that you have already identified the target audience.  Creating a social awareness strategy will be addressed after we understand the tools we have to work with.

Social Media Sites

The most common sites like Facebook and LinkedIN would seem like the natural place to jump into the social markets.  But before you jump in a review of the top sites would be beneficial.

A recent industry report from the Social Media Examiner revealed that 3,000 marketers surveyed indicated their #1 site for future social media marketing was YouTube followed by simply writing a Blog (just like you are reading).  Of course Facebook is still the number one site of marketers, but most businesses are still searching for the benefit received for their involvement with this site. 

The second most used site depends on who your customers are.  If you sell to consumers you should be spending time with Twitter as this site is where people communicate self interest stories and if you sell to other business then LinkedIN is a natural fit.  Typically LinkedIN users are communicating their business persona to others. By the way this has made LinkedIN the fastest growing site to reach business clients. And let us not forget sites like Pinterest, Groupon, Instagram and Google+ that offer special markets.  

Tactics of the “Mad Men” of Social Media

Developing the tactics to use on the social media sites is analogous to catching that one firefly and then planning on attracting the millions that will follow to light up your bottom line.  It is possible but you have to catch the right tactic at the right time.

The tactics change between sites and the sites are constantly changing how you use them.  When you create the right combination it will pay back largely.  It can be as simple as purchasing advertising credits on LinkedIN or being creative with a viral video on YouTube. 

Each site has to have its own method and each method needs to be measured for its effectiveness on a regular basis.  Once you have optimized the site usage and method employed you will light up your Jar with millions of fireflies.

Next Steps

In the next article we will discuss how to measure the effectiveness of your Social Market Awareness program.

As always, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. If you need help in building value into your business, contact me on my direct line at 914.666.0830 or rmanasse@referencesystems.com.

To your success! 


Photo by Melissa MW

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