Everywhere, you hear talk about how marketers need to “use” social media “strategically.” Don’t just blog to be blogging; blog strategically. Don’t just have a Twitter account because everyone else has one; line up your social media marketing with your business development goals. Obviously, those goals include deeper relationships with current clients and establishing and building relationships with new and prospective clients. How can social media help you accomplish this? Here are some tips to get you started:

    • Familiarize yourself with Feedly, a news aggregator application for Web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android. (Feedly is also available as a cloud-based service.) Feedly compiles news feeds from various online sources for you to customize and share with others.
    • Create a list of clients, prospective clients, and referral sources.
    • Set up Feedly to receive Google News feeds of articles and posts that mention the persons and companies on your list. You may want to set up feeds that mention a company’s executives by name. Move the feeds into Feedly folders marked “clients” and “prospective clients” respectively (or whatever works best for you).
    • Find out if any of the companies or individuals on your list have blogs. Use Feedly to subscribe to them.
    • Make a Twitter list of these people and companies. Most will have Twitter accounts, and many some will have more than one account to cover various products, divisions, or locations. Also include the executives in these organizations.
    • When you have a reason, blog about the companies you follow, and say good things. Your blog should report and comment on news that’s relevant to your audience. You’ll get noticed as the companies you follow monitor themselves. Share your blog post on Twitter and use the company’s Twitter handle in your Tweet. You may also choose to retweet posts the company shared on Twitter. Everyone loves a little Twitter attention.

Focus on those you’ve recently engaged and those with whom you already have a relationship. Like anything else, your social media marketing will become more effective as you gain experience. Don’t hesitate to hire a social media marketing to help you create content and to help you coordinate your overall internet marketing strategy.