The buzzword today is Social Media Marketing and the reason is that many people have heard stories about significant abounts of money being generated using that media, such as Eric Standlee's testimonial of generating $10 million more in sales using LinkedIn. Most people are attemting unsuccessfully to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo, Ecademy, or InHouston to accomplish the transition from social sites to income.

Social Media Networking, in the business sense, has one purpose: to arrange a meeting to discuss a potential business relationship further, preferrably face-to-face, but at least electronically. The only problem is learning how to do a variety of social media asks more effectively.

Some of the things I've learned about Social Media Marketing are: Ignoring it or misusing it will cost you money: Being connected to your customers is more effective than search engine internet marketing; 5 of the top 10 web sites, according to Alexa rankings, are social media sites and Google has already purchased 3 of them; People are no longer contect being a passive audience, they want to participate; If you know the right way to engage others through social media, you can form new partnerships, new JVs, referrals and even solidify your existing business; We are programmed to connect to others and share; People focusing on "bargains" and not value and relationships are losing out; and, Social Media Marketing is simple but requires training and work.

What most people would like to learn about Social Media Marketing is: How to get started; What social sites & tools to use; How to use Viral Marketing (Blogs, Articles, etc); How to tie social media efforts together (one portal); How to move to offline meetings; and How to monetize Social Media Marketing.

Donna Fisher and I have previously taught training classes in networking called "Connections" with great results. So, now Donna and I have put together a 4-week training course on Social Media Marketing. You will get a preview of it at no cost at the First Wednesday Corporate Luncheon on May 9th 11:30 am - 1:00 pm at Garson's restaurant, 2926 Hillcroft (between Westheimer and Richmond).

Reservations are required so go to www.inhouston.ning.com and selelt events to reserve a seat. Your only cost is for lunch - $20.00. Seating really is limited. The last meeting featuring Eric Standlee was "Standing Room Only", so make your reservations early.

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