There are many things that a company should do to be effective and there are also many things that a company should not do.

Here are some of the things that I feel a company should do to be effective:

1.)  A company should make sure that they communicate with their customers. The company should not just 'push' their products. If a customer asks a question or makes a comment, the company should respond (the response should also be a timely one). This individualizes the communcation between the company and the customer.

2.)  A company should pay attention to their audience and use the forms of deilvery that would fit their clientele. A good recommendation that I found while researching this topic is for the company to watch their customers and their competitors and see where they tend to gravitate to.

3.) Fill your sites with information, industry news, reviews, videos (possibly how to's) or photos ~ anything that could be useful to your customer. This will keep the customer interested and coming back for more!

4.)  Keep things up to date! Don't let days go by without updating, answering questions, posting new information. If the site stays current, chances are you will hold your customers interest. Your site could end up being a daily pit stop for your customer.

5.)  Measure the efforts. The company should know where to put more effort and where to focus less by what you are getting out of it. The key is to not spin your wheels on something that is not working. You'll end up losing money in the end.

Now...on to a few things that a company should not do:

1.) A company not having adequate help to maintain the sites. Somebody needs to be there to maintain the sites, answer questions etc.

2.)  Don't ignore your followers/customers. Listen to them :)

3.)  Don't abandon your accounts, leave blank pages. This makes it appear that the company does not care. If this is the case, delete your accounts and have nothing. Having nothing looks better than an 'un-maintained' site.

4.)  Don't make it all about the sales pitch. You must give you customer something valuable as well. They appreciate that sort of thing!

The following sites were helpful in my research of what makes social media marketing effective:

http://www.business2community.com/social-media/5-philosophical-rules-for-effective-social-media-0230365

http://www.webadvantage.net/webadblog/10-keys-to-more-effective-social-media-marketing-3200

http://www.webadvantage.net/webadblog/top-10-scariest-social-media-marketing-sins-2862

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    Holly M. is a part time student at LCCC taking a social media marketing class.

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