this is a guest post by Sally from Chicago, if you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

It’s simple, it just takes one click. You’re a fan. You follow. But, do you convert? This is the critical point that organizations get to when considering social media and what it can mean for their brands, and they’re lost.

They don’t know where to go. Their answer is “no, they don’t convert because of social media and we can’t measure it even if they did, so screw it!” This is where they have failed. Times are changing, and social media is only getting stronger and more important. The people who do it right and do it well, will reap the benefits.

There are four words that can make your brand more successful than 90% of All companies that have and are attempting to participate in social media. They are as follows: “Thank you” and “I’m sorry.” Done. Participation is key. Thank your customers when they mention your brand.

Just a few weeks ago I, personally Tweeted “Having a snack food for lunch.” What happened? This snack food brand’s Twitter account, replied to my Tweet and said “Thanks for choosing their snack food! We’re going to send you a free product sample for being such a loyal consumer!” Two weeks later I had an mail from this Snack food. I always eat this snack food when I’m in the mood for a quick hunger fix now, because they said ‘Thank You.’

It’s not rocket science. It’s adding a human characteristic, a person to person quality, to a process that has always remained throughout history as one-way and top to bottom. It’s not long a “master to servant” type system, it’s a “peer to peer” model – and guess what, we’re participating! We are here, your consumers and we’re all over the social media game.

We have the power to tear you down, and that’s what a lot of these organizations are afraid of, but on the other side of that coin we have the power to build your brand and make it something it’s never had the opportunity to become before. It’s up to you to make that happen, by simply participating.

Social media is now a lot like typing was in the 1960’s. They had dedicated “typists” to do all the typing that needed to be done in the office. Now typing is considered a skill, not a job. The same holds true for social media. It’s considered a job now. People hold down their “social media strategist” job titles, but the truth is that everyone in every organization needs to know how to use and utilize social media to benefit themselves and their company. It’s as simple as that.

If you haven’t yet started, or even if you’ve started but don’t use, Use it! And if you’re in that top 10% that use and utilize, keep paving the road the rest of us will eventually be traveling on. You’re doing a great job! When it comes to social media, treat it the same way we treated websites in the early 2000’s – scrambling to get one because we finally realized how much they could help business. Just do it, trust us.

About the Author: Sally has studied antitrust litigation from law school, and is now pursuing a career as a writer! Sally runs EatBreathBlog which is all about health and wellness.