Everyone has become interested in social media because they have heard that it can ultimately bring them qualified leads and increased business. But there is a tremendous amount of information to absorb to begin to be effective in this communications.

Often times the key to understanding social media is best described by what it is not. Here is a short list of some examples:

  • E-Blasts
  • Websites that have product information that do not allow for feedback or actions by those who visit
  • Banner advertising on key strategic industry E-Zines
  • Blogs that are written on a wide variety of topics but are not linked to any other blogs or Websites
  • Online directory listings that publish corporate information

Are these marketing communications effective as stand-alone media promotions? Absolutely, particularly when they are planned with a strategy that fulfills a company’s sales marketing objectives. They are what I like to call Marketing 1.0. But they are not social media because they are only one-way communications. Which leads us to the primary point.Social media begins a conversation but it’s just that, a beginning. All of these 2.0 marketing communications are built to encourage two-way and three-way conversations such as:

  • Forums
  • Industry groups
  • Topical discussion groups
  • YouTube where you can be heard and seen as well as hear what others think
  • Linkedin, Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter and many other social media platforms
  • And many other ways to conduct a two-way or three-way conversation

The guiding principle for social media is, to make your conversation relevant making it interactive. The more relevant it is to those you are talking with the more interested they may become in your products and services. And that’s just being social isn’t it?