When it comes to using social media marketing to build your business, the worst action is no action, and your biggest problem is being invisible, not being negatively talked about.

As long as you’re part of the conversation on the web, you can hear what’s being said about you and you can change bad or negative perceptions about your company. But, if no one is talking about you, you have no chance for growth.
That means you need to get involved in Social Media as soon as possible, not only to capitalize on the opportunities that it presents to your business, but also to develop and protect your reputation.

It’s always a good idea to start with a plan and a system to keep you on track.
With that in mind, here are some steps to get you started.

    1. 1. Determine your goals.
      What do you want to get out of your Social Media? Why are you doing it? Are you trying to generate sales? Are you trying to offer a service? Do you want to build relationships with your community? Your answers to these questions greatly affect the type of content you publish and the activities you participate in on the social Web.


    1. 2. Evaluate your resources.
      Who will maintain the Social Media account? Who will make the content? Who is going to respond to the questions of your business online? An important part of Social Media Marketing is to know what you have. You need to be sure you have the necessary people in place to execute a social media marketing plan before you start.


    1. 3. Know your audience.
      Figuring out your audience is a key part in Social Media Marketing. Where does your target audience spend time online? What kind of content and conversations do the audience like? What do they dislike? Remember, you’re not just publishing marketing messages on the social Web. You need to find out what your audience wants and needs, so you can provide the kind of content they find useful and interesting. However, don’t forget to be personable and relatable, so they actually want to interact with you.


    1. 4. Create amazing content.
      Once you know where your audience spends time and what kind of content they want, take the time to give them more of that kind of content. You need to continually offer your audience amazing content in order to build a loyal following of people who trust you as a source that can meet their needs and expectations.


    1. 5. Combine your marketing efforts.
      All of your efforts at social media marketing should feed off each other. Cross-promote your efforts both online and offline, and make sure your social media and traditional marketing efforts work together seamlessly.


    1. 6. Manage your time.
      Allocate specific times during your day to devote to social media marketing. For example, spend five minutes on Twitter before you check your e-mail each day and another five minutes before you leave work each day. When you create a schedule, it’s easier to stick to it and make sure you don’t skip your social media marketing activities each day.


  1. 7. Focus on quality.
    It can be easy to get caught up in the numbers, but don’t be fooled by the high amount of followers and subscribers. It’s better to have 100 highly engaged, loyal followers than 1,000 followers who simply sign up then never acknowledge you again.
  2. 8. Let the audience do the talking.
    Let your audience take control of the online conversation and make it their own so they develop an emotional attachment to you, your brand, and your business. Always remember that your biggest enemy is invisibility not being talked about negatively.

These are just some of the steps on how to get started in Social Media Marketing. But always remember that with technology, there are lots of new changes every day. What works for you one day might not work on the next so just be vigilant and always be open to learning. You can never stop listening and learning. For success in social media marketing, you need to be flexible and accept that change is good.