Before I slacked and then got sick I posted asking Are You Getting Through?
I didn't go into details regarding why you aren't getting through. There has been a huge industry of hype almost fraud about Social Media for Marketing. Social Media is about connecting people in new and unique ways. It is a Revolution in Interpersonal Communication Technologies.
This does not mean people want to talk to Brands via Social Media. In fact contrary to many of my peers I would bet it ranks last on reasons for using Social Media. So that is barrier number one. People have limited time and they don't care about your Brand or Product enough to engage with you beyond possibly 'Liking' or 'Following' you.
The second barrier is as our networks mature and we add more and more connections our time is the same. If I have time to read 100 Tweets per day and I follow 100 accounts who tweet 4x er day I will read 25% of my feed. If I add 100 accounts to follow I will read 12.5% of my feed. You see how this is going right?
The third barrier is also time related. I checked out a Twitter application called Social Bro. And it says of my 1600+ followers 45 tweeted in the last 5 minutes. Which tells me maybe 100 people are active on Twitter right now. Less than 10%. While you can see when the most people in your network on twitter, it still will be a minority of your network.
So the numbers run against Social Media Marketing. For whatever the guru's tell you about how things are shared and go viral etc the number of shares per person per day is very small. And the chances of those shares being seen is very small. So the craps table is better odds for you.
What can you do aside from paying to advertise?
1] Tweet or Facebook Post enough to be seen but not enough to spam.
2] Give Fans and Followers a reason to come to you. This could be bribes such as deals or just great content.
3] Forget about forcing Marketing on people. Focus on your Product or Service or Experience. make it best in class. People will talk without you initiating and you can then listen and data mine.