I came home tonight with the intention of clearing out my Google Reader and hopefully writing a blog post that was worthy of a RT. That was, until I got to Peter Shankman’s blog.

In a world where every marketer is trying to call themselves a social media expert, Peter Shankman is one of the few people who is worthy of the title. For those who don’t know, Peter Shankman is the founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and the CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc.

Earlier today Peter made a keynote address at the Affiliate Summit East. Since I work and play in Milwaukee I was not able to make the summit, but luckily Peter was able to bring the summit to me. So, instead of giving you my take on the latest industry trend or campaign, I give you Peter's keynote address.

I’ll warn you now. It’s long. Like, 60 minutes long, but well worth the time. I recommend starting the video at the 07:15:00 mark (after Peter’s introduction is finished). After the 1:06:00 mark Peter answers questions (one from Chris Brogan).

For those of you who do not have time to watch the video here are a few gems from the speech.

Peter’s 4 Social Media Rules

  • “Social media is all about trust. A social media trust lends itself to viral behavior."
  • “Social media is not broadcast. Social media is two-way communication."
  • “Make people feel like they matter.” – Listen to what people are saying to you and respond!
  • “The second you are transparent a consumer’s level of trust will go up, and they will be ready to recommend you.”


  • “Relevance is about giving people what they want when they want it.”


  • “The average attention span in the 1980’s was three minutes. The average attention span today is 2.7 seconds.”
  • “You need to get to your audience in one paragraph.”
  • “How do you get brevity? Learn to write.”
  • “Learn how to write and you’ll increase your sales.”

Top of mind presence

  • “We only talk to three percent of our network on a regular basis.” - Learn to communicate with more of your network, and you’ll be top of mind the next time someone has a question, business lead, etc.
  • “Information used to flow from outside the network in. Now information is flowing from inside the network out.” – People use to get recommendations from traditional media, now they are getting recommendations from inside their networks.
  • “We are a society that loves to share.” – People want to share their experiences. If you don’t share it, it didn’t happen.
  • “Your job is no longer to do your own PR. Your job is to use social media to get other people to do your PR for you.”


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