Over 90% of marketing experts believe in the power of social media. Hence, it is imperative for business owners to consider leveraging the potential of Facebook, Twitter and the likes to generate more customers for their business. Most of the entrepreneurs are already using social media marketing as an integral part of their business’ marketing campaign. However, you need to make sure the platforms are used effectively. To help business owners, here are 10 golden social media marketing tips. 

1.    Patience        

Patience is a virtue in social media marketing. Overnight success is just not possible, though there may be exceptions to the rule. If you want to use social media marketing, you have to be in for the long haul. 

2.    Specialization
A common mistake made by business owners is that they try to incorporate everything they can into their social media campaign. More efficient and effective results can be achieved by specializing. Be purposeful
in your usage and the results will come.

3.    Quality
Though even substandard content can get people attracted to your business, you should emphasize quality of content. The level of quality you display in the content posted on your Facebook page reflects on your business.

4.    Listening
It is tempting to use the platforms available to you through social media to just talk and talk. There are businesses which keep on updating the content they have posted. However, you need to develop the habit of listening. If you don’t do so, the people will stop listening eventually. Read what your fans post and share and make it a point to talk to them from time to them.

5.    Relationships
Getting people to love your business depends on building relationships. If the people feel your social media pages focus more on the business than them, they would not be inclined to stay connected. Instead, you should make them feel involved and don’t ignore even a single comment or query

6.    Compounding
The reason why quality content is so important is because your fans and customers are going to share it on their personal social media pages. This is the ideal way to compound the number of online followers you have. Yet, if the content is not up to the mark, more people won’t be attracted to your business. 

7.    Influencing
Look for the influencers in your niche. It is probable that they have a larger number of followers than you. Make an effort to get on their radar, which is only possible through innovative and fresh content. If the influencers start loving your business, they can get more people to love it.

8.    Value
Offer value to you customers. If a person is taking his time out to visit your Facebook or Twitter page, make sure he/she derives something of value. This isn’t the case when the content is focused on how good your business is and how bad your rivals are. On the other hand, publish content on how your products benefit the people. Focus on providing value than just gaining more customers. Offering value is the best way to engage people and convert them.

9.    Availability
What is the point of posting content when you won’t be around to reply to your customers? You have to be available to the people on your social media pages. If they post a query, question or complaint, you should be on hand to talk to them. Conversing with your fans is a great way to engage them. Your social media campaign would derail if you disappear for a few days. 

10.   Reciprocation
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours is the way things work in the world of social media. If someone has shared the content you posted or taken the initiative to post something about your business, you would be expected to do the same. Reciprocating is the best way to create awareness for your business. So, dedicate some of your time to sharing content about others.  

These are 10 golden social media marketing tips for business owners. Following the tips enables you to make the most of the Facebook or Twitter pages you set up. At the end of the day, the aim is to market your business in a favorable light.

Any entrepreneur who hasn't yet recognized the impact of technology on the business world needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last five years or so, you would have observed the progress made by technology on a daily basis, particularly the internet. Businesses are making the effort to keep pace with the growth, some of them striving to be one step ahead. 

Yet, the internet-based tools for businesses have not gotten universal acceptance till now, particularly at the top level. Even with the technology delivering results for businesses, the leaders have been reluctant to accept the fact. Social media, in particular, has become an important tool in a business’ repertoire. Though the image of social media websites would be that of casual interaction and fun, it can give your business the boost it needs. 

At present, the percentage of CEOs engaged in social media stands at 16%. It shows a deplorable lack of seriousness and trust on part of the CEOs with regards to social media. On top of that, just one of the CEO’s included in IBM’s 2012 Global CEO Study run a blog. Somehow, the people who run businesses prefer LinkedIn, but even there the level of participation leaves much to be desired. You should even ask how the situation is on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks.

Research has clearly shown that social media is on its way to becoming an important tool for businesses to interact and engage their customers. In fact, it is expected that it would be the second biggest medium of interaction between businesses and customers after, of course, face-to-face interaction in five years’ time. However, there aren't any guarantees the internet would remain in its current state for five years. 

Even a small change could leave businesses in the dark about how they can use social media. This is why you shouldn't wait for social media to boom. Not only do the business leaders need to embrace this tool for promotion and marketing but every person working for the company. It helps if the employees are involved in what’s going on in the company. Social media is a platform through which a large corporation can foster a sense of being a community within its employees.

But, the business leaders need to take the first step towards doing this. They no longer have the luxury of ignoring social media. If you fail to recognize its importance now, it is quite possible each one of your competitors would be using it to their advantage in the near future. You will get left behind.

Still, there are many business leaders who have embraced social media with open arms, from small-scale entrepreneurs to CEOs of multinationals. Social media gives you a chance to step out of the formality of conventional interaction strategies with your customers. There is plenty of space for you should you choose to enter the arena. It will make you a smarter business leader. 

The norms of marketing have undergone a radical shift. No longer do you have to take out ads in newspapers or paste flyers all over town to attract consumers. Times have changed and social media has become the main marketing platform for small businesses. Given the fact that even large-scale corporations rely on Facebook and Twitter to attract customers, using social media is a must for entrepreneurs of small businesses. Let’s see how you can go about doing it. 

1.Be Real, Be Genuine, Be Authentic, Be Yourself 
Social media networking has become a surrogate for meeting new people. That is what people sign up for on Facebook and MySpace. They want to get to know the person behind the business rather than the business itself. Use your Facebook page or Twitter feed to show yourself to your potential customers. Though you may throw in a tidbit about your business and what you offer, the communication should be about what you like as a person, not as an entrepreneur.

2. Devote Time, Energy and Resources to ‘A’ Social Network 
Jack of all trades, master of none, today’s cutthroat business environment doesn’t give you the luxury to be one. In this day and age, any effort you put in has to show results, and quickly. Often you will notice a small business dabbling in various social networks. Rather than trying to gain a foothold in half a dozen websites, devote your time, energy and resources to one. Concentrated and dedicated efforts produce quick results.

3. Beat the Panda with Viral Videos 
Google’s Panda updates keep making life difficult for SEO experts. There is a way around it for small businesses. Instead of relying on written content, give videos a chance. Many businesses are producing videos related to what they offer and posting them on YouTube and social networks to target new clients.

4. Loosen the Purse Strings for Social Media Design 
You shouldn't compromise on the design of your social media pages. Every page you have, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social network, should be designed by a professional. Hire an expert social media designer to do the job for you.

5. Generate Leads through Give-and-Take 
Offer fans on your social media pages something valuable in return for them promoting your business. For instance, you can offer a special discount to any person who generates 10 leads for your business and so on.

6. Monitor the Progress 
Simply creating a social media page and optimizing it for your customers isn't enough. You have to monitor the progress you are making as well. Make sure you keep an eye on the traffic your social media pages are generating and how many of them are actually converting into customers. Judging the efficacy of your social media campaign is important to justify the effort you put in.

7. Content is the King 
Last, but not the least, content is the king. Regardless of what marketers tell you, people are impressed by genuine, good quality content. This is one area you should never compromise on. You can drive potential customers away by being verbose and boring. Oh, and don’t forget to put a call to action on your social media pages!