Social media is a pretty attractive venue. You don’t have to pay a fee to get into the door, nor do you have to be invited to take the stage. The microphone is always on and always accessible. With a few billion people in the audience, all you have to do is walk up to the microphone and start talking. If you choose to grab the microphone, make sure that you aren't that guy.

You know the guy that we’re talking about. He’s the one always going on and on about himself. Always shaking your hand as if he's doing you a favor, interrupting your conversation, and laughing at your jokes like he’s playing some kind of angle. That guy is tiring. He gets old and annoying pretty fast. Unfortunately, most businesses engaging in social media quickly become that guy. They overwhelm our news feeds with product promotions and unenthusiastic content.

It's easier than ever to walk away from that guy. We can simply change the channel, block him from our feed, and move on with our lives. Therein lies the risk involved with getting involved in social marketing: people can choose not to listen.

Getting people to listen comes down to one thing: valuable content.

There aren't any fancy tricks or buy-your-way-in gimmicks when it comes to getting people to listen. It's not wise to randomly shout into peoples ears, either. If you want to effectively leverage the social platform, you'd better have a strategy for contributing something valuable to the conversation. And you'd better be consistent.

Don't be the guy shouting into the microphone. Be the guy who's intentionally investing in the conversation, providing valuable content, and having some fun along the way. It's hard and demanding work, but I bet you'll find more people listening to you.

And, I guarantee your bottom line will agree.