Social Media Marketing 101: Listen, add value and be responsive

Social media marketing is often a hot topic here on OnlineSocialMedia, but the question is how to do it effectively. If you run a small business, you want to interest customers in your products or services, but without a huge advertising budget social media seems the best way to advertise.

Kevin McKeough writes for ChicagoBusiness.com with some tips about how to use social media tools to reach new customers. He says that social media will work if you engage with the people you encounter. The key is “to listen, add value and be responsive”. Sima Dahl, president of Parlay Communications Ltd. In Chicago who has more than 10,000 Twitter followers, says to make “digital deposits” by replying to people’s tweets and facebook updates and by passing on useful information like job leads.

The advice given includes the recommendation that you choose the correct platform. Select the service which serves people of your target demographic and go with that, Twitter and Facebook aren’t for everyone. If you’re trying to sell music services, try MySpace.

Another piece of advice is to keep an eye on what people are saying about your business through social media monitoring tools such as Monitter. That way you can respond to people who are having complaints about your business.

When consumers are checking out their social network feed, they don’t want to be bombarded with advertisements. Use your platform to start conversations with your customers, share a link and only now and again drop in an advertisement. Make people want to follow you.

For the full article, check out ChicagoBusiness.com. What tips do you have regarding social media marketing? Let us know in the comments.