In my latest foray onto Twitter, I saw a piece of information that grabbed my attention…so, I clicked on the link….and I found this great blog by Michael Fleischner, “Learning How To Make Money Online With Internet Marketing” Michael just put up a post about using Social Media to “Sell”… he gives some great advice….so here is the post….

One of the most common questions I get is about social media. In fact, it’s pretty hard to avoid. Everyone is talking about Facebook and Twitter not to mention logging on to these applications multiple times throughout the day. The real question is whether or not social media can be used to help your business. Can it really help build your brand or sell your products? My answer is ‘yes’ as long as you consider these guidelines.

Social media is all about building a dialog with like minded people or people who are in your target audience. Social media has impact when it is focused on the market you serve. If you are in shoes and you’re trying to build a following in the area of automotive, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Begin with a Social Media plan. Many people start using social media without a clear objective. You should always begin with a clear objective and by developing a plan to support social media activities on a regular basis. Decide if you can handle the burden of social media on your own or if you will require help from others.

Share what you know. Each of us has an area or discipline that we know something about. If you have a hobby, career, or area of interest, then focus on sharing what you know with others. By focusing your efforts on what you know best, your passion comes through and keeps others engaged. This creates more value for your followers and keeps them coming back.

Communicate on a consistent basis. One of the most important aspects of social media is having a dialog on a regular basis. You must commit some time to posting on social media related sites a few times per week. By staying in front of others on a regular basis, you make sure that the conversation continues to grow. The more you put in the more you’ll get back. Communicate often and consistently to be successful.

Invite others to join the conversation. Start a dialog around a topic or discussion. One way you can start meaningful discussion is by choosing a topic and taking a stand. By creating dialog that is on topic, you invite others to be part of the conversation. The more others participate the more engaging your content. This attracts new followers and others who want o participate on a regular basis.

Succeed by not selling. One of the biggest turn offs of social media is that a lot of people, businesses included, jump in and start selling. Just like the used car salesman, some individuals focus on selling without first creating value. This is one of the most important things you can do within the realm of social media. Start by creating a dialog and providing value to your followers. Once you do, they will want to use the products you’re using and try the services you recommend.

The area of social media is in full force. By developing a list of followers or fans, you can quickly improve the opportunity to build your brand. To sell your products however, you’ll have to create value for your followers. Don’t try to sell directly. You’re best bet is to mention products in a subtle way. This has more power than the direct approach when it comes to social media marketing. Followers can leave you quickly so don’t push your luck. Create value and they will return the favor.

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