As an online marketer, its sometimes easy to lose sight of what social media is really all about: forming relationships and sharing insights. If you play your cards right, you can easily attract thousands of Twitter followers in just a few months. What really matters, however, is whether or not those Twitter followers will pay attention to your tweets or what youre linking to. If your Twitter followers or Facebook fans perceive you to be a shameless online marketer who only cares about selfishly promoting things, theyll tune you out pretty quickly. If, on the other hand, they perceive you to be a genuine person with interesting things to say and share, theyll stay interested in you and ultimately help you achieve your social media goals. Here are 3 tips to help you keep it real and keep people interested in you on social media sites:

1. Share Information Related To Your Industry.

For instance, you could link to articles from sources like The New York Times, Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Anytime you find an online article that interests you, share it. It will likely interest other people too.

2. Pay attention to what your followers and fans are doing.

Reply To Their Tweets And Facebook Comments. If You Take An

interest in them, theyll take an interest in you. All you have to do is spend ten or so minutes every day engaging with your social media audience, and theyll be more likely to perceive you as a genuine, likeable person, rather than a faceless promoter.

3. Aim To Entertain And Amuse When You Are Promoting Something.

Think about the commercials that you dont mind watching on TV. Theyre probably the advertisements that do something different, engage you, and make you laugh. If youre going to promote something on your Facebook or Twitter, try to promote it in an innovative and amusing way. Remember: you want to captivate people, not turn them away.

So, spend some time turning your Twitter followers into friends. Once people are on your side, youll find that achieving your social media goals is considerably easier.

Image by Franck Vervial