It’s a common mistake to assume that the social web is another channel on which to advertise. It isn’t. The social web is a channel for sharing. Add stuff to it and you won’t have to take out an ad on it.
Advertising is Pay and Display marketing. Many of the services that make up the social web make their income from advertising. If you’d like to throw them some revenue, then by all means use their advertising services. They’re really good. They’re really flexible. They can help you to target your messages with amazing precision. They’re also pretty easy to ignore.
People are less likely to ignore great stuff. If you want to use the social web to promote your business for free, share great stuff. It can be anything. Videos work well. So do pictures. And don’t forget ideas. Ideas share really well. But the best thing to share is love. Love for your product. Love for your industry. Love for your customers. Love for your colleagues. People like love most of all.