We hear a lot about MySpace and Facebook and “tweeting” these days. But is Social Media just for “fun” or just for “kids” or can you use it for your business?

The answer is a resounding “yes” — but the stipulation is that you must do it the right way.

When you plan to use Social Media for your business you need to use the “Social Media Mindset.” The social media mindset is not to sell or advertise constantly. The social media mindset is to provide value, gain trust, nurture a relationship … this will provide you with a lifetime customer/client and many referrals.

What do you mean “Social Media Mindset”

The key concepts behind the Social Media Mindset:

1- Relationships First, Business Second – build a relationship with your “prospect” or potential customer, don’t just try to sell them something. The relationship is what builds customer loyalty and makes people want to not only come back to you, but also tell all their friends about your business.

2- Quality not Quantity – when using social media, the temptation can be to just go out and massively “get friends” or connections. However, that isn’t going to do you any good if none of those “friends” or “connections” or in your target market. Having a million friends who have no need of your service or product is not going to do you any good. But 10 friends in your target market can explode your business. Starting out right will explode your connections in the right way.

3- Keep your reputation clean – Your reputation and your brand is critical to your success – not only in social media marketing but in general.

4- Be Authentic – People will see right through you if you are fake. You want to genuinely care about your customers and their needs. Genuinely want to provide them with good information rather than just “wanting their money”

5- Follow Through – you can’t just create a FaceBook account or Twitter account and then do nothing with it. This is NOT “Field of Dreams” – you can’t “build it and they will come” … you need to follow through and take action. A little bit of cultivating and time up front will reap a huge harvest later. Follow through and cultivate the relationships and build your network and you will be amazed at the results.

That’s it, that is the “Social Media Mindset” in a nutshell. Honestly, it isn’t really anything new or earth shattering. In fact, I’ll bet you’ll find that the businesses that are the most successful and have the most loyal customers follow those concepts in ALL areas of their business.

Don’t throw money and customers out the window – adopt these principals today!

Liz Martinez