A remarkable number of companies really bugger up the fantastic opportunity that social media provides. It boils down to the same issue that most companies have with their website: It’s not about what you want to say, it’s about what people want to hear.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Billboard ads aren’t voluntary. If it’s on the side of the highway and you read it, that’s it. What has been seen cannot be unseen. The marketer wins.

If, however, your tweets are boring to me, I’ll simply choose not to follow you, and no matter what you may say after that, it’ll never fall upon my ears. This difference inherently places social media in a completely different category than traditional marketing — which means it must be approached completely differently.

Power to the Tweets

Social media isn’t a platform to dump information to the masses, as your exposure can drop to virtually nothing if your content isn’t interesting. Instead, it’s an interface to connect with people in ways that traditional marketing can’t touch.

Just a few days ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article about Bombardier’s groundbreaking, all-composite Learjet 85. A quick search for “Learjet” on Twitter shows at least a dozen references to that article specifically, some made by magazines, others by individuals. This is an opportunity for the company to step in and be part of the conversation. What had been just an article, now becomes an opportunity for dialogue.

Building Community on Facebook

Facebook, on the other hand, offers a completely different outlet. Company profiles on Facebook can create a complement to a website with a social spin. Photos are a huge part of this, provided the content is interesting and unique. Why not show pictures of a few newly painted aircraft? What about crowds visiting your booth at Oshkosh? Think of what would be interesting to people who are likely to land on your page.

Signature Flight Support uses Facebook (and Twitter) to provide news its customers can use – weather concerns, traffic issues, new locations, service specials, new team members, you name it. An FBO of the day feature helps people become more acquainted with the full network, including locations they haven’t visited before. Social media helps the world’s leading network of FBOs feel a bit more intimate. Approachable. An operation you’d want to do business with.

Quality Not Quantity

And that brings us to the final point. Who are you reaching? Ten years ago, you would target a demographic and hope the response was good. Now, you can use Twitter to find a demographic that is already interested, direct them to your Facebook page, and hook them with content. After all, you never know who might be tweeting today and shopping for a FBO or an aircraft tomorrow.