Posted on Sept. 25, 2009

Many companies are realizing the potential of social media and are using it to market themselves. Why shouldn't they? With social media now the number one use of the Internet, there is a lot of potential to promote your company to millions of people. The best part of setting up a social media account is that they are free.

What a lot of companies don't realize is that social media is not a place for relentless self promotion, it is all about community and relationships. Too many companies have jumped into the “conversation” with one-way promotion about their products. Fusionbox uses social media to interact with clients while providing insight into the company culture.

Social media pages have space for ads. If you want to advertise, social media sites can be quite effective, but your social media pages shouldn't be just another ad.

Unlike TV ads, social media pages are not automatically put in front of people. People have come to expect the last 4 minutes of a close football game to last 30 minutes due to the 25 minutes of commercials that make anxious fans ready to throw the remote through the TV. When they go to their favorite team's Facebook page to discuss the big win they don't want to be bombarded with more ads.

Social media is an opportunity to promote yourself in a personal way that speaks to your customers and provides them incentive to listen to you. Everything on social media is interactive; people will talk about your company online whether you participate or not. Social media marketing lets you provide insight into your company while addressing comments and concerns of customers.

It takes a different type of strategy than conventional marketing, and just because something works for one company doesn't mean it will work for you. Being creative and speaking to your customer base is essential for SMM success. If you provide them with relevant content, answer their inquiries, and provide incentives for following your social media, you can see real results. This way people will see your latest promotions and be inclined to act, rather than screening it out.