Social media applications are offering an interesting shift to marketing and promoting causes. The more you shout about yourself, accomplishment and ask for immediate attention the less likely followers are going to stay in-touch (the exception seems to be celebrities or organizations that are hard to duplicate). Have you seen organizations start their Twitter experience by promoting everything they do. Tweets always focus inwardly on their programs, people, accomplishments, deals. Interestingly, according to a number of social media leaders this does not appear to be the most effective way to build a base of followers. Customers and fans who you already have a relationship with outside of social media may follow you but new users may not be as quick to be part of the ‘all you, all the time’ network.
The strategy that appears to have the greatest success comes from those individuals who can serve as connectors. These networkers are spending far more time promoting the work of others, sharing memorable resources and links. They are acting like a whitewater river rafting guide. As a passenger in the raft your eyes are focused down river but these social media guides are helping steer you towards the most memorable rapids. You develop a trust and are more likely to click on a link or read their posts.
Are you using a megaphone to shout about your services? Is it all you, all the time? Are you a champion of your partners? Do you help rise all boats by raising the tide?
I believe social media is teaching us how to be a Pied Pipers, playing a memorable tune and leading others along the way. Looking for more specifics, here is a great article by Tamara J. Erickson.