It takes two baby...

How do I make money with Facebook? How will I sell more of my product with Twitter? How does Pinterest put more money in my pocket? These are the most common questions your average business owner or manager wants to know from a social media expert. Those owners and managers want to run specials, do giveaways, and promote products in order to see an immediate uptick in the bottom line. Who can blame them…that’s the way marketing has worked for the last 50+ years. It’s not that way anymore though, social media is different.

The first thought you must eliminate from your mind is that social media is a broadcast tool. Yes, Facebook has over a billion users, and there is another billion plus users when you combine the next two biggest platforms. Yes, you can spend thousands of dollars a month to place targeted ads in front of those users. That isn't the value of social media.

Someone standing on the roof of a building shouting at 10,000 people below isn’t social. Someone standing in a coffee shop having a conversation with the barista is social. Social media by definition takes at least two people interacting. You see, social is a give and take. Social media’s value is in engagement and interaction, the building of relationships through genuine exchanges of information.

Stop thinking of social media as a billboard that blasts your name and product to passersby. The value is in making a passerby feel special. Make them identify with you and your product and your company. Make those people feel as though you listen and value their opinion and patronage. Remember that social media is an open forum. Now, not only have you made that person feel important, other people have seen you make them feel important, and social media makes it possible for them to share what they just saw with a simple mouse click.

You just became more than a product or company to thousands of people. You are now a person to them, and people buy from people. That's how you make money with social media. Let’s see a billboard do that.