Social media differs from other media. That’s obvious.

Previously, social and media were more or less separate. We got together with friends and family to discuss and socialize. And we consumed content through television, radio, books, music, film, and so forth.

While the social was two (or more) way communication, media consumption was one way: receiving what was presented to us. Social media combines this; it allows us to not only consume content, but to share it with others, as well as offer our viewpoints on that content.

However, a disconnect between content providers and content consumers still exists. While consumers are happy to socially interact with content, producers aren’t. Sure, there are content producers who get it and interact with the content they produce, as well as with the consumers who engage with it. Yet I still see companies daily who do nothing but treat social media like traditional media, as a one-way medium where they just yell, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” all day long.

Social media is called social for a reason, and if you aren’t willing to engage with those who engage with you (or for that matter engage with those who aren’t engaging with you), then you should question why you’re on social media in the first place.

If you want to see success on social media, you can’t ignore what’s going on. You must be willing to give, not just take. You must respond to what people are saying about you. You must follow people. You must join conversations.

Show people you’re not just here to make a sale. Show them you also want to create a relationship—a real, lasting relationship. Show them that you won’t just forget them when they walk out your door with their purchase.

Remember, social media is called social for a reason.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter, copyeditor, and social media manager. I blog on writing and social media tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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