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Social media is a business tool. Sounds simple, right?

Some businesses love social media, others have ignored it. But know this: You can’t avoid it forever! And why should you? Consumers are using social media in volume to promote the brands and products they are using. The businesses that work on social media see their numbers increase. That’s the goal, right?

Take advantage of society’s obsession with digital interactions. A survey commissioned by Spredfast showed 59 percent of respondents were more likely to trust brands that integrate social media, 62 percent are more likely to engage with social brands and 60 percent are more likely to share messages of brands that integrate social brands into their own digital properties .

Get social and have some fun doing it. When your business has fun, your followers realize that there are people behind your logo. A connection is built and you have made a lasting impression. That’s a good marketing strategy.

Here are a few ways to market your business through social media.

Guerilla Marketing is Not Monkey Business

Guerilla marketing is a low-cost, innovative tactic used by marketers to provide a “wow” factor to potential customers. When done correctly, it can provide drastic improvements in publicity for your business. Look no farther than this summer’s the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” that raised over $100 million in donations this summer for ALS research. Everyone from your neighbor to celebrities like Jimmy Fallon dumped a bucket of ice water on their head for ALS awareness. The success is credited to the rules of the challenge – You video tape yourself pouring ice on your head and then you challenge someone else do the same. If they refuse, they are challenged to donate.

Why Guerilla Marketing Works: When launching a guerilla marketing campaign, you are offering something unique at very little cost to you.  Oftentimes, your potential customers are surprised and want to learn more about what you’re doing/offering. People can “tune out” traditional advertisements; this catches their attention in a different way.

Viral Posts Can Spread Like Wildfire

Viral Posts include text, photos, videos or a combination of the three that are made with the intention of being shared among your followers. For example, you could ask your followers to share a photo in return for an entry to win a prize. You can even throw in a #hashtag so people can find you more easily. Even if only a few followers share your post, they have opened the door to their followers to see the post as well. A domino effect is created and, if the post is well-made, it will continue to be shared.

Why Viral Posts Work: These posts are great for marketers because they are cheap and increase the likelihood that people will unintentionally find you. This is different than paid advertisements because people will see their friends engaging in your posts.

Trends Are Trending

If you’ve been on social media long enough, you’ve seen trends come and go. Who tried the #100happydays Challenge? How about #throwbackthursday? Many companies are growing their involvement in these types of trends because people are attracted to personable social media posts.

Why Trends Work: Social media trends can help your company build their brand personality while increasing post engagement.  It allows your company to have fun while also allowing your employees to be creative with what you post.

dunkin donuts tbt

Dunkin Donuts takes part in #TBT by posting their old logo.

Get Fan Friendly!

When people post messages to your page or tweet about your brand, they aren’t always expecting a reply. They will post anything ranging from complaints to praise of your product or service. Good social media pages will interact with their consumers with prompt responses.

Why Interactions Work: You should always respond to a customer’s post. Customer service shouldn’t be limited to phone calls and e-mails. Social media has become a new way for users to publicly express their positive or negative feelings towards your products/services. A response shows that you care and will help your brand’s image. And, as a survey by Lithium Technologies showed, a non-response can be damaging.

So, Don’t Be Socially Awkward

A good social media game plan does not have to be too costly or require much time. It’s an effective way to engage your followers and show that your company is interested in them… and is interesting. Social media is a way to get your message out without forcing a sale. You are allowing your customers to form their own opinions.