Denver, CO & Austin, TX – Social media has changed the way people interact with one another. However, I’ve began to notice there’s a big problem that I’d like to address. Many businesses employ social media marketing platforms forgot that unlike traditional media, social media is about creating a conversation, getting people engaged, and inspiring action.  By simply using Facebook or Twitter in the same way they use television or radio, businesses come off as outdated and ignorant, and as a result are not getting the best use of social media. But follow these simple and easy steps, and you can improve your social media marketing.

1) Socialize, not Advertise.

Social networking sites are places dedicated to making friends and socializing. People who blatantly sell can expect to be unfriended and banished to oblivion.  No one ever logs on to Facebook and thinks, “I hope there are some great ads on my page today.” Hold yourself to the neighborhood tavern rule: don’t do anything on social networks that you wouldn’t do with friends at a local watering hole.  That means you would not: -Try to sell them things.-Talk about yourself incessantly.

2) Be a Human Being, Not a Company.

People do not make friends with corporations, they make friends with people who work at corporations. Do all you can to show yourself as a real person, not a corporate shill.  This means pictures that aren’t slick head shots, no stuffy titles, conversational writing, friendly smiles, and showing a more personal side. Get rid of the corporate logos and replace them with bright, smiling faces of helpful friendly people.

3) Be Passionate About Your Vocation but Don’t Be a Salesman.

Great social conversations are about sharing passions. Instead of trying to sell a product, sell your passion. Instead of listing product attributes, talk about the passions that product serves. Don’t talk about the quality of the flour,  talk about your passion for baking, and how great ingredients are a must.  Don’t talk about the durability of the bike frame, talk about your passion for riding, and how a strong frame makes great adventures possible.

4) Be a Good Listener.

Before you speak, spend a lot of time listening. Each social network site has a vibe, and understanding the intricacies of each the complex social order is important. Remember, the members of this community know each other.  You are the new guy and if you hope to be included, don’t act like a rock star.  In the online world there are no visual cues and attentive listening is the only way to avoid a faux pas. If you simply show up and start talking you brand yourself as an interloper. You are entering a place with a complicated culture.  Before you try to make yourself a part of this group, you must clearly understand the unspoken rules and social morays.

5) Contribute.

The goal of all of your online contribution should be to add value. Before posting as a new member ask yourself, “How am I adding to the conversation?”  On some sites, discussing your product is allowed, but in most places it is unwanted and obtrusive.

Follow these simple steps and you’re well on your way to a productive and prosperous social media campaign that will help your company gain more customers and ultimately more sales. Or if you have any questions, comments or additional items to include in this article, reach out to us. Contact us by sending me an email. We love to hear from our blog readers.