When people think of marketing, the first examples that come to mind are typically television commercials, print advertisements and billboards. People don't often realize marketing is much more than getting the word out. For example, the Starbucks store layout is a major part of their branding. Apple's customer experience is also a marketing strategy. They discount the social and experiential aspects to marketing.
People fail at social media because they approach it in the way they might develop a traditional ad campaign. They use their twitter account like a psychic hypodermic needle, injecting their narrative into public consciousness. Young people and professional marketers make this same mistake: Mass tweets to people they don't know, blind Facebook invites, generic blog posts. It comes off as inauthentic. Worse, creepy. Its as though they missed the social aspect of social media. The connection part of the internet.
A friend once described it as soft marketing. The goal is to ease yourself into the conversation by listening to your audience and responding accordingly by providing a value add. Such as personal responses, compliments and thoughtful questions. Let them know a real person is on the other end of the tweet. The trick is to allow their curiosity to lead them to your product. And be available for them when they have questions.
When I released my Battle of the Buskers video series to accompany the contest hosted by Seattle Metropolitan monthly magazine, the first thing I did was send a link to each performer who participated in the event to let them know the video was up. I then re-tweeted their tweets. I kept an eye out for people commenting on YouTube or mentioning my video on Twitter. I engaged with those people. I sent an e-mail to the Pike Place Market staff, thanking them for their participation and included a video link. I posted links to blogs that embedded my video and I engaged with people who were talking about my buskers on Twitter.
Not that I can claim any credit to the following success but: Fox Q13 posted my video of Carly. Winner of the contest, she went on to New Day on K5 and Rolling Stone.
Further reading: I Will Never Hire A Social Media Expert And Neither Should You