Social media is all the buzz today. As businesses look to find methods to increase marketing ROI, they have to pay attention to the power of Social Media sites like Facebook and YouTube.

Although my business serves clients all over the nation my office is in Chico California, a small college town nestled in a big agriculture region of Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties. Chico has recently received some media attention as hometown boy Aaron Rodgers was crowned Super Bowl MVP and Shawntel Newton, a finalist on the reality show “The Bachelor” brought the show to Chico when the Bachelor got to meet her parents. But it is likely the 91,785 Facebook likes for Sierra Nevada Brewery that give people an intimate connection with my home town.

The Sierra Nevada Brewery does a good job using social media to promote itself. It follows the rules of not pushing their product but instead making a connection by sharing more about what they do for the environment than they do promoting their beer. I wish I could say they are doing a great job with social media marketing, but they are missing the boat in other areas. They could be using Twitter to keep followers abreast to the brewing process and sustainability measures. And YouTube can be used to educate the public on the many interesting processes the brewery is leading the industry in.

The goal with social media marketing is to engage your followers as friends who you are excited to share information with. Like the daily experiences that you share with your spouse over dinner, your social media followers should be included. This is how we stay connected to our friends and you should build the same relationship with your followers.

Like some spouses, more interest may be shown on one topic than the other. Unlike a spouse, with social media they can tune in or out without offending anyone. Give your follower the option of subscribing to newsletters or blogs. Give them contests and challenge them to come up with ideas that will help your business. Let them feel connected. It is connection that makes social media sites so popular.

Your fans are hanging out all over the web. Go to where they are. Don’t expect them to always find you. A simple rule… Be a good friend.