socialmediaSocial Media is still the red-headed stepchild of the marketing world because everybody likes to do what they know how to do.

In case you needed some reasons to get started,  here are a few ways these cool tools can help you and your small business.

1.  Social Media will teach you how to listen.

2.  It will expand your network of peer contacts.

3.  It will attract prospects and get you new clients.

4.  Reading blogs will give you relevant and timely access to information in your field.

5.  Writing your own blog will show you what you really care about and are interested in.

6.   Twitter will force you to write tight.

7.  Facebook will make your more friendly.

8.  Facebook will make you more mean.

9.  Flickr will give you access to some cool images that can really help your marketing efforts.

10.  Slideshare can promote your brilliant ideas online forever.

11.  YouTube can make your boring faceless business more human and fun.

12.  You’ll have instant access to best practices in your niche.

13.  You’ll know when customers are upset and respond to it immediately.

14.  You’ll know when customers are happy and respond to it immediately.

15.  Social bookmarking allows you to leverage the very best of crowdsourcing.

16.  Google Docs allows you to brainstorm online and get the best from everyone.

17.  Ning can help you build a social network of your own in 10 minutes.

18.  You can use customer feedback to improve products and services.

19.  You can bring the voice of your customer directly into your business.

20.  Discover those 20 or 30 influencers in your field that are really driving the conversation.

21.  Integrate all these new tools into your current marketing campaigns and leverage both.

22.  Take actions based on what you learn TODAY.

23.  Crowdsource your next big idea.

24.  Use Twitter for weekly promotions and contests.

25.  Improve your search rankings in Google.

What else?