Times are changing.  Just as the TV did when it was first introduced, the internet is changing the way that we market, connect, and interact with our target audience in today’s ever changing society. Social Media is a driving force for customer engagement, but be careful not to let it drive you! Now, please keep in mind that each company has a different Social Media strategy. Your focus is more than likely not the same as someone else’s focus. Here are some tips to help you put a focus on what Social Media can do for your company.

1.  Provide “Value-add” Information to Your Current and Prospective Clients

Let your salesmen sell and let marketing do its thing! You don’t want to push all of your products all day long. You then get marked as a spammer and they disregard everything you have to say. You need to give them a reason to listen to you. Post articles that have value for their lives or business, give them fun technology tips for Windows 7 or for Office, show them the latest iPad apps. Your goal is to keep them engaged and let them know that they can trust you in the social world, that way when you do decide to hit them with a sales pitch they will respond instead of moving away from you.

2.  Take Advantage of FREE

Use free tools that are available to you.  There are free tools out there from bit.ly (which shortens URLs and tracks the number of people that click it) to apps like Hootsuite (combines all of your social media into one place).  Don’t get too hooked on automation and repeating the same posts on your different sites though.  You need to change it up to keep your audience engaged.

3.  Be Responsive

People will say things on their Social Media sites that they may never have said to you face to face, and you don’t want to be the last one to find out what they were saying.  Actively monitor what is being said about or to you and address it quickly.  Make sure when someone mentions you in a tweet or on your Facebook business page that you respond in real time.  It lets them know that you care enough to respond to something that impacted them, good or bad.

Remember, the most important investment you have is time.  Spending a little extra time developing and maintaining your Social Media sites will pay off in customer relations and word of mouth advertising.  Love it or hate it, Social Media is here to stay.