What do you want in a friend? You expect them to share your interests, your values, and to have fun together. If your company has been using social media simply as a way to spread advertising, you may not have a lot of fans. Successful marketing campaigns on social media sites have learned to relate to their customer’s aspirations and values. They do what real friends do. They even have a little fun with clever or humorous ads.

Be sure you employ SEO on your social media pages just as you would on your company site. Buy a domain name–and other names close to it–and place this and keywords in your URL and headings. The same SEO techniques apply here as elsewhere. You want to integrate your SEO on all the sites where your business appears.

Give useful information on your Facebook page and similar sites. But present this information in an appealing way. Relate it to peoples’ lives. Include some photos or other images. You are not teaching a college course here, you are relating to friends.

Twitter can help you get brief messages out quickly. They are an alert system, a way of notifying customers and vendors, and much more. A great “tweet” is becoming an art form. The Library of Congress actually saves all these tweets. They are the haiku of commerce.

Join any sites you enjoy yourself and think can help your business. But probably Facebook is the most essential one. If your company is not on Facebook, people will wonder why. Because it is so widely used–by more than a billion people now–Facebook has become the great social forum of our time. Here you can present your company with a human face. You need content that is unusual, insightful, counter-intuitive or challenging. This motivates active engagement by readers. Some individuals use bizarre content to get attention, but as a business you do not want to do that.

YouTube is another essential site. People relate to videos more strongly than to the printed word. Videos are a great way to provide helpful instruction on how to use your products or services. Have someone with an engaging or colorful personality do these videos, and they might just go viral. Your video should be down-to-earth but also a bit playful if possible.

Social media allow your company, including its personnel, to become known and liked for their human qualities by thousands of people they have never met. Have an employee appear with a story or video on your Facebook page, and invite responses and similar stories from viewers.

Have an employee offer to answer questions on your Facebook page. This has worked well for others. You want to constantly be looking for new ways to make your site interactive. This is where it becomes truly social.

Don’t forget to track the success–or not–of your marketing campaigns on these sites. The sites themselves will provide useful statistics to your business.

Use these tips to plan your next marketing campaign on social media sites. A little creativity and appeal to human interest can greatly expand your customer base.

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