Hundreds of millions of potential customers use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Groupon, as well as "googling" their interests to shop online.  The new social environment has transformed the way we connect and do business. New risks, new rules and vast new opportunities exist for economic growth.

Social Media is best used to bring people to you instead of pushing your message to them.  Using "pull" rather than "push" is the difference between announcing a product while hammering for a sale, and nurturing a relationship based on permission.  In other words, engage your market so they want to hear more.  

These 5 strategies will build relationships and brand cache.

  1. Know Your Voice:  Everything you say on the social web should "sound" like your brand."  Check out Skittles on Facebook.
  2. Time Your Content: Plan your calendar, be seasonal, pay attention to holidays. 
  3. Know Your Audience:  Why would someone follow or like you?
  4. Solve Problems:  Everyone's got a problem or question of some sort.  Can you solve it for them?
  5.  Tell The Truth:  Good content can't be faked.  It engages us and makes us tell our friends, which is what social media's all about!