I try to explain to my clients how social networking is like a cocktail party. It's going on 24x7 and you can enter it at any time. People are always there. You can't simply walk in to the party and broadcast something about yourself (the brand), turn around and leave the party... and then do it again the next time and the next time and the next time. Everyone will groan and roll their eyes at you, when you do that. You'll be THAT person everyone dreads at a party. They'll ignore you. This is when brands decide social isn't working them.
You don't go to a party and just talk about yourself. You have to ask people about themselves first. Get to know them. Then you earn the right to say what you do when a party goer asks, "so tell me about yourself".
Here's a great example of a very large brand engaging with a fan. The beautiful part is, the fan made this unsolicited tweet on their own, better yet, included the brand's Twitter address so they would be easily "heard". They were.
See how easy this is. Twitter is my favorite listening tool ... listen and respond. It makes being a community manager so much more fun. Everyone wins. Everyone.
Get into the mix daily and dagnabit, be a great guest at the party!
Social Media Mamapreneur