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If nothing else, social media have made us all hyper-connected. An idea expressed in a blog post written in the morning can spread around the world in minutes—and result in the author's appearing on CNBC by the afternoon.

The cost of self-publishing continues to plummet, just as ease of use continues to increase, as a result creating enormous potential for marketers to leverage these new social media as buzz-building tools. But only if they understand how to utilize social media—that is, to listen to and participate in the conversations that are happening.

One complication is that as a result of the proliferation of new social sites and toys the learning curve for marketers gets steeper the longer they wait to enter the fray. Which is where buzz-building masters like Paul Dunay come in.

Paul has earned his keep over the past 20 years by building buzz for heavyweights like Google, IBM, and Microsoft. These days he's immersed himself in social media, which serves him well as the director of "Global Field & Interactive Marketing" for BearingPoint.

In this one-on-one, he gives us the lowdown on how to use social media to kick-start your buzz marketing efforts.

Q: Blogs, podcasts, and other forms of social media seem to be the "shiny new toys" that marketers are wanting to play with. What do you think is the biggest mistake most companies make when they first try to add social media to their marketing efforts?

A: For me the biggest mistake is two-fold: First, trying just one podcast or blog entry to see how it "performs." Like Lays potato chips, you can't eat just one—and you cant expect to record one podcast and be able to judge the success of the program. You must think longer-term.

The other mistake is what I call "Shovelware." Just because a marketer has a 90-minute webcast doesn't mean s/he also has content for a podcast. It would be too long and boring, and the time it would take to edit it down to just the salient points would be too costly and would produce something of little value.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier