When Erik and I were deciding what to call our company, we were trying to work off of the idea that people now use (more than ever-and increasingly every day) their fingers to "talk" to each other. Text messaging, blogging, posting, tweeting...it all comes down to typing and clicking.
In this new world of communication, it is important to adapt your marketing to reach the people where they are. Facebook has 500 million users, Yelp now boasts 40 million, Twitter handles 90 million tweets per day...the numbers are staggering.
These platforms all have ways to market your business, but you have to get involved in the conversations to be successful. Simply having a Facebook business page is not going to suddenly create a financial windfall. Just like any marketing, it takes consistency and patience. In addition, utilizing social media marketing requires transparency, communication and a willingness to be fun. You must engage your clients and prospects. As well, it is not a vehicle to continually promote yourself. They can go to your website for that.
Think of SMM as a conversation you might have with a prospect over lunch. You'll speak a bit about business and what you can do for them, but you would probably also learn a little about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and who they are as a person. This is critical to success in SMM.
People are "talking" with their fingers every second of the day. When will you join the conversation?