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      VALLEY TECH TALK - Where Social Media Meets the Pavement

      One of the more frustrating mistakes I see people make with respect to social media is their inability or unwillingness to solicit a result.

      You see a lot of talk about buzzwords like "content" and "branding."

      Awareness is fine; but ultimately, anybody who aims to apply social media wants some type of result from their work.

      This is where social media meets the pavement.

      Just to be clear, typical desired results are for visitors to subscribe, buy, donate, volunteer, request information, or contribute to a discussion.

      If you are jumping in for your business or non-profit organization, you really want people to take some action.

      The tricky part is that you don't want to make every blog post a pitch to buy, buy, buy.

      If that's all you are about on-line, people will just opt out.

      So how do you balance your organization's needs against your audience's aversion to constant pitching?

      Generally, I would recommend entertaining or educating your audience. We use the Internet in two ways, essentially. We search; and we browse.

      Your audience arrived at your website by searching. The content you provide filled that need.

      The trick is to turn that into browsing. You want them to visit other stories, blog posts, or information on your site. You really only do that if each item you post has intrinsic value on its own.

      If every post is basically the same pitch, you can understand anybody's reluctance to visit other pages. You've seen one, you've seen them all.

      If each post is unique and provides value independent of your pitch, you easily add throwaway lines at the end like:

      - If you support our cause and would like to help us continue the fight; please donate by clicking...- If you would like to read more articles like this, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest updates.- We cannot win this campaign without your help. Please download our Campaign Action Kit for a step-by-step guide on what you can do to help.- If you enjoyed this article, you will love our 10 Steps to Improve Your Golf Swing guide for only $...- Stories like the one above don't have to happen. Call 555-1212 to find out what you can do to stop .... from happening to your family.- Join our mailing list for exclusive offers that can save you money on your next purchase.

      You get the picture? Your content is not the pitch. You give away the content at no charge.

      It does have to have value, mind you. Then you make buying, donating, subscribing the next natural step to receive even greater value.

      You can receive more useful social media tips like this by... I'm just kidding.