Social networking has converted into a form of digital marketing for businesses. While it isn’t the same type of marketing as putting out a radio or television ad, it can net great results. It is usually done in a more subtle manner than traditional manner, but it is still effective nevertheless. How exactly do you get your digital footprint into the social media marketing scene? Here are 10 easy ways:

1. Sign up for the top social media networks. There are a lot of options out there, but for now, the fundamental ones include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These sites cover the vast majority of action that goes on with social networking. Staying involved in these sites can easily occupy most of your free time as well.

2. Nudge your way into the conversation. Don’t just explode onto the scene with a lot of annoying posts that make others think you’re trying to sell them something. This is the fastest way to turn people off. Just join the conversation slowly but surely. Try to contribute in a way that will help everyone. As you get more conversation going, you can add more and more.

3. Start your own blog. This is a great way to get involved in social media. Others will begin to read your blog and comment on your blog posts. As a result, they will link to your blog if they like what you have to say. This tends to make you look like an expert in your field.

4. Use Facebook to your advantage. Getting involved in Facebook is a fantastic way to relate to others. You can show people what type of person you are and what things you enjoy. Become a fan of a product or service and let others know what you recommend. You can join groups and conversations with others and get to know them.

5. Network with others through LinkedIn. LinkedIn has placed more emphasis on company pages.  If you have a personal LinkedIn profile it’s a great way to meet other professionals in your field or a related field. Setting up your profile is basically like a resume that lets others know your accomplishments, which in turn helps find other people you have things in common with.

6. Return the favor on Twitter. When you use Twitter effectively acknowledge others by following new followers. They will appreciate the gesture and begin to feel that you care. When someone says something good, give them credit by re-Tweeting their post. This will go a long way towards building report with your followers.

7. Try your hand with multimedia. While it might not be for everyone, you could try making video or audio for others to enjoy. If you know how to make a video, post it up on YouTube. This is a great way to help others with an instructional video or with new information.  Nowadays you can create your own YouTube channel.

8. Share useful documents. This is a great way to get more followers and friends in the blogosphere, including eBooks and whitepapers, but please make sure it’s meaningful and useful, not just fluff.

9. Meet contacts in real life.  There are many real life events for fellow Tweeters to meet in person. When you can, go for a visit. Any chamber of commerce is also a great place to market in your community.

10. Adhere to the normal rules of life. Don’t ever treat anyone differently just because they’re online or have a difference in opinion. You don’t want to prompt anyone to post negative reviews.

Overwhelmed? Sprout Media Lab is now offering Social Media Marketing services. We can help you expand your company online through social media and get people buzzing about your business!