Marketing with Social Media 101

Social marketing is on my mind and by the look of things I’m not alone. You can’t get a feed or pick up a trade publication that doesn’t make reference to social media and its applications for marketers.

From traditional media outlets desperately trying to catch up to the most prolific smores (social media whores). They all have a stance, tip, or prediction.

It’s no wonder, as new users flock to social media and its usage rates soar (especially in the business sector), audiences are getting big, fast.

So you’re interested in social media as a marketing tool? Remember this “you get what you give” has never been more true than in this arena.

In direct marketing, advertising, and online marketing it’s all about the push. Direct mail, email, print, SEM. Push push push. That’s not going to change any time soon. Why should it? It works. It’s necessary. But if you’re going to find marketing success in social media you’ve got to pull them in.

Social media users simply will not tolerate pushiness or thinly veiled solicitations. They don’t have to. There are thousands of credible voices out there willing to offer up their feedback, opinions, and recommendations in near real-time.

So what are hungry marketers to do? Try this. Instead of buying that same old media use tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn Groups to surround yourself with your prospects and give. Your time, your feedback, your expertise, your samples.

Are you a consultant? Offer up free advice to those in your target market. Selling a email solution to non-profits? Pro bono a charity that’s close to your heart.

In this world of hyper sharing and distribution you’ll discover that those you help will sing your praises over and again. Choose wisely and they might even be your next, best customer.

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