For the longest time, marketing consisted of pushing a message about a product or company that was strictly controlled by the company itself. Because of social media, all that changed. With multiple online mediums, controlled by the individuals participating within them, people are having conversations, sharing resources and forming communities. Your product or company is being discussed. Do you want to be part of the conversation?

Know the main differences between “traditional” versus “social” marketing:

1) Dominate the market versus create a community within the market.

2) Shout out loud versus listen and contribute.

3) Push product or service versus pull in people with your message or story.

4) Advertising versus word of mouth.

5) Pursue “leads” versus nurture relationships and create referrals.

I too often see posts in LinkedIn groups that are merely advertisements. This use of traditional marketing in a social media platform simply does not work. It is critical to participate with, rather than attempt to impress upon, your customers. The social web is a place where people gather to share and improve their positions. Join the conversation, demonstrate value and then, if appropriate, offer solutions to any problems being discussed.

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For more marketing tips and advice from Amy, go to www.financialsocialmediamarketing.com