Social media marketing continues to evolve almost daily. While evolution sometimes leads to extinction, it’s too early to know whether new social-media platforms will replace our current ones or if current ones will evolve to meet the demands of business users.

For today’s small businesses, social media is a way to add value and brand recognition. Create something fun for people to do that has your name on it — a man-on-the-street photo contest, product-naming competition, etc. Better yet, create something people would naturally share online. The goal is to get as many eyes as possible to see your name and remember it.

The trick is finding the right “eyes.” Which social media platform should you use if you’re targeting professionals? Better check out LinkedIn. Looking for Gen X or Y to eyeball your name? Try Facebook. Want to keep everyone updated? Twitter is calling you.

There is a ton of “potential” information available on current social platforms. LinkedIn knows where people work; Facebook knows what they like. Privacy issues are still being addressed to try to figure out how to share that information with marketers.

When it’s available, though, the niche-marketing possibilities are mind boggling. Combined with improved metrics and any business can analyze return on investment and conversion percentages to determine success.

But you don’t need to wait. Start now and explore, invent and be creative; look for ways to target your customers on social networks and get your brand in front of them. The future’s already here.

Frances Starr, Director of Sales & Marketing for Alert Communications. Alert Communications is a 24/7 bilingual inbound call center, specializing in professional attorney answering, virtual receptionist, Spanish answering and business answering solutions.