As social media users, we market products, messages, ideas, books, CD’s, trainings, e-books, live events, webinars, member sites, and anything else we can think of.

We are all marketing something, especially home-business owners and networkers, and every marketing strategy involves some form of process, meaning a step-by-step path you follow that leads to the results or destination you are looking for.

Most social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Flickr offer online tutorials that teach members a step-by-step process for how to use the site optimally, and the majority of users just follow this process, for the most part.

But what about the marketing aspect? People who are marketing in social media send out a message and want that message to get out to as many people as possible. However, social media sites are crowded places, so how do you get others to pay attention to you among the millions of messages that are being spewed? The one thing everyone is looking for is exposure.

How can you create exposure for your message or products that will move people to want to know more and to possibly purchase from you? A billionaire once told me this: “The average marketer moves products. The highly successful marketer moves people.” Amen!

To start the “people-moving process” that will help ensure your marketing efforts are not in vain, I developed the Four I’s of Social Media Marketing. By applying these four principles in social media and other online marketing efforts, my company has been blessed with ever-increasing online revenues for the past couple of years.

1) Inform. The marketing process starts with informing folks about your message or products. This can only happen as a result of creating exposure for yourself and your offerings.

You first must connect with people and build that bridge of trust; then you can start informing them about your message and its value. There are many vehicles to accomplish this, including free e-books, white papers, articles and podcasts. You can show people how your message will help transform their lives and future. Jackie Ulmer does this by regularly sending out powerful success tips through her newsletter. You can find great information on blogs and fan pages as well.

Giving out relevant, free information is one of the great uses of social media marketing. Lose control of your information and watch it go viral. Inform people about who you are, why they should listen to you, and how you or your products can take their lives to the next level. Use a mixture of videos, blog posts, audio files, Facebook notes, tweets, pictures, direct messages and any other social media tools you can find.

2) Impact. Your message must move people on the inside so they will take action on the outside. Stir them emotionally with new information they can apply, or move them with: a) the hope of solving a problem; b) a how-to they have been looking for; c) new possibilities for their life; d) little-known information that’s highly useful; e) the discovery of a new website, podcast or video that will touch them emotionally and give them something they can benefit from.

Become known as a deliverer of practical, powerful and unique information that points to your message or product. For instance, if you market a nutritional product, give out helpful nutritional tips via blog posts, articles, videos, or any other media that works for your message. I call this “sample results.” Give your contacts some samples of the results they can achieve by listening to you and purchasing your products. If you provide new, valuable and useful information, your power to move people will explode.

3) Invite. There is a powerful tactic that goes hand-in-hand with social media marketing. We call it the T.I.O.-factor—Take It Offline. To effectively market to others in social media, you must eventually meet them offline so you can establish a closer and more trusted relationship. It’s rare to achieve this purely by connecting online.

Once you identify contacts with whom you share common interests, invite them to special conference calls, training webinars and live events such as local meet-ups. This is where you can expand your message and grow your influence on a more personal basis. Facebook or LinkedIn both have excellent features that allow you to easily invite people to live events.

By providing even more powerful and useful information to the prospect on the call or webinar, you will position yourself as an expert in your industry who is worthy of being listened to. You can organize the offline event yourself or partner with multiple speakers. Art Jonak is a master at doing this. He offers online and offline events with speakers or trainers who bring amazing value to anyone who attends. Take it offline if you want to move people even closer to you and your message or product.

4) Improve. This is the ultimate people-mover. Show people how you, your message or your products can improve, increase, multiply or expand their lives. If you consistently do this, people will beat a path to your door and promote your message all over the Internet.

To improve someone’s business, life, health, knowledge, faith, success or income will draw that person towards you, and he or she will share the good news with others. In other words, that person will become an evangelist for you and your offerings.

If you try to move products in social media, you will most likely fail. Instead, focus on moving people—lots of them—on the inside and outside through the four I’s. This is a powerful social media marketing strategy that can help you create results most people only dream of.

DOUG FIREBAUGH is a veteran networker
and coach to networking professionals. Doug has
over twenty years of experience in direct sales and network
marketing, and has been blessed with winning numerous
awards and helping break records in performance by training
networkers on how to maximize their humansuccess
capital that lies within.