It seems like everyone is using social media today. B2B companies are a bit apprehensive about the results it brings but growing small businesses and B2C companies are utilizing it to their advantage. Increasing brand awareness, encouraging customer loyalty, boosting customer acquisition, promoting content, and search engine optimization are some of the benefits offered by social media. Today, you just cannot ignore it.

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind, which would help you in gaining an audience in online social media:

Birds of a feather…

There are many social media websites today, and you would need to choose the right fit for your niche. According to Chitika, an online advertising network – Twitterers mostly consume news, MySpace users want games and entertainment, Facebookers are into both news and community, and Digg’s audience has a mixed bag of interests. LinkedIn and many other niche industry-specific forums are being used for business networking and job search.  Once you have found the niche that you like working on, you should use social media as a tool to network with people, and use it for enhancing your business.

So, the first step is to find the right social media outlet for your services.

Talk the talk

An important aspect to keep in mind while writing for social media is to understand the characteristics of the target group. Your language and message should change, depending on whether you are having a B2B or B2C audience. As Muhammad Saleem from sums it up: “Start with the familiar; introduce the unfamiliar; and then connect the two.” Your content needs to be easy to understand and digest.

Talk with them, not to them

Seth Godin, the online marketing guru, says: “Social media isn’t about you, it’s about them.” So, make sure that you use the social media only as a discussion platform, and not your soapbox.  Having a conversational style of writing has worked wonders. “My advice is “learn to be human again.” Many marketers tend to forget that each customer they’d like to attract and retain is a person. From using jargon in marketing literature, to creating blogs that are mere places to republish press releases — then tweeted as links — a B2B marketer can learn to be more spontaneous and make deeper/better connections with customers,” says Valeria Maltoni,

Become the solution superhero

As in life, so in social media, you cannot achieve much respect if you are not proactive on the message boards, discussion groups, etc. Of course, one needs to find out the fine difference between being proactive and overactive, but the fact stands that everyone loves when a problem is solved. Do not use the social media and their discussion tools just to start your discussions. Take some time out and read other discussions, see what the others want – you would be surprised how many people do not know what the best free invoicing tool is. If you know it, show it. Offering interesting content like how to articles, e-books, pod casts, videos, online offers, etc., go a long way in encouraging visitors to convert. “The internet (and social media engagement in particular) is really all about people power. It’s about making information, tools and techniques available to all who have access. If you’re not inclusive, if you’re not helping, sharing and imparting value and wisdom and deciphering jargon for folks – you’ll be left behind,” says Vanessa Nix Anthony.

One-line advantage

One of the best features of social media is that you can say as little as you want to as much as you wish. With most social media tools offering one-line status updates, you can talk without thinking about having a complete article dedicated to that single thought. Or you can have a long whitepaper uploaded somewhere on the cloud that can be shared across social media with just a single line of text and link. Compelling headlines were never as important as they are now as headlines really do have to work hard to break the clutter and stand out.

Writing for social media is easy and difficult at the same time. It’s something that you will learn only when you dive in and participate. So, go on and enjoy.