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When Marketing Over Social Media, Test, Experiment and Test Some More

One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to spread the word about your brand and find new customers can be over social media. But from Facebook to Twitter to Google+ to Pinterest and beyond, how can an entrepreneur know which social networks to be on and spend the most time using? And how can one juggle all that it takes to engage with fans and followers while also trying to grow a startup? The short answer: Experiment with content and posting times until you get the level of engagement you're looking for.

These are just some questions we answered today in the third installment of our Google Hangout Series, "The Best Marketing Advice You're Not Following." We chatted with a trio of digital marketing experts from our Team Digital:

  • Joanna Lord, chief marketing officer at Seattle-based BigDoor, a customer loyalty technology startup. Before that she served as vice president of growth marketing at online marketing and analytics service SEOmoz.
  • Eric Siu, chief operations officer of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco.
  • Brian Honigman, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based freelance writer, content marketer and social-media consultant. Previously he served as the digital marketing executive at New York City-based Marc Ecko Enterprises.

While marketing over social media requires an investment in time and a commitment to experimentation, always be sure to add value to the conversation. "Whatever medium you're on, you should be delivering actual value," Honigman said.

Also, be as transparent as possibly with tough issues about your business. "As a marketer, I love transparency," Lord said. "It has now also become the norm in communication on social channels."

Jason Fell is the managing editor of Entrepreneur.com.

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