“How do I use social media as an online marketing tool for my company?”

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who continuously talks about themselves? Of course you have. We all have. These one way conversations are quite the monologue and often leave the other party frustrated. I find myself tuning out to what that person is saying and just trying to find a “Pinter Pause”, or at least, a slight moment of silence to jump in with a few simple words. It’s quite annoying and leaves you feeling bored and frustrated.

As we get older we understand that it could be a personality flaw or just a lack of courtesy. And if we use the same comparison, with relation to traditional and online marketing, we are left with ineffective results. When we speak about Social Media we are not just tweeting our latest sale for products and service. Lord knows there are a ton of those out there within the now 10 billion tweets. These are the first ones we overlook as they offer no value.

So that leaves us with the open ended question, “How do I use social media as an online marketing tool for my company?”

And when I ask this question it has more to do with driving online traffic and capturing new leads. Social Media offers us the most advanced form of real time communication for us to speak with potential customers, clients, employees and the general public. But that is not the best part about it.

An effective Social Media campaign begins with listening to what is out there. What are people talking about? A quick search.twitter.com of your keywords and phrases produces results where you can listen to what type of chatter is occurring. Sales101 teaches us if you’re not listening then you’re not selling. Sales and Marketing are directly related to one another and this is no exception.

When we are delivered results the first instinct may be to hit up as many replies as possible for instant traffic. Oh wouldn’t that be nice? And in a sense, sure – it most certainly would. But, if it sounds to good to be true than it most likely is. Remember your reputation is always on the line. People are listening to your tweets and what you say is an impression that you may never have the chance to retract.

When we listen to what the community is speaking about we can become an active member with valuable replys or retweets. A good ratio for retweets vs. tweets about your self is 12:1. That means listen and reply naturally 12 times before you tweet yourself. This is an effective formula which leaves you looking like an expert by providing valuable content to the community and not just sending out tweet spam.