Social Media Marketing and Social Networks are huge. That is, if you know how to get the most out of your efforts.

Here are a few tips on optimizing your time and energy.

1.   Know why you’re involved.

2.   Limit your activity to a handful of targeted networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and one or two more at most. Where you invest time is based on your market and your overall goals.

3.   Avoid simply using the platform as a way to market yourself. Granted, you can do some outstanding marketing but if you are not doing the “social” thing you are missing the mark.

4.   Learn how to get the highest value for your time invested with each social network.

Here are a handful of things you need to focus on:

Profile
Take time to complete as much as possible on your profile. A scantly filled in profile will give you nowhere near the credibility as one that apparently took some thought and effort to complete.

Content
What content are you posting? Each social network will be focused on something unique. Facebook may include more personal information than say, LinkedIn. Post your content according to the environment.

Event promotion
Many social networks allow you to post upcoming events. As with your profile be sure to add enough content to create a robust description.

Article marketing
Not all social networks allow for this feature, but those that do can be very valuable. You can easily establish credibility by posting well written, relevant articles. Depending on the network you may be able to put a resource box at the end of the article to drive readers back to a landing page to opt in for something. This allows you to increase your opt in subscriber list.

Group postings
Many social networks have a group feature. You can join groups according to your market and interest.

However, in order to gain benefit from the groups you belong to you have to be actively involved.

There may be features with groups that allow you to get more “bang for your buck”.

Below is a video on how to get the most out of LinkedIn Groups. This is a very little known feature and one that can serve you well.

In conclusion
Remember to keep the “social” in social media marketing. If all you’re doing is promoting and selling you will lose credibility fast. Create value for the people you connect to and they will respond positively when you do have an offer to make.