Social media marketing is all the rage, and it’s tempting to just jump right in and start socializing to build your business. Unfortunately, just like any social situation, there are certain rules and guidelines you should follow for success. Before you begin a social media marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the protocol of the social media sites you will use. Read on to find out more.

The first rule of online success of any kind is to provide something new and different. Always post content that is original and pertinent. It must be pertinent both to your product and service and to the venue in which you post. In other words, don’t just spam message threads with posts about your product. You may have a great product, but if you put your info in the wrong place at the wrong time, you will ruin its reputation.

Instead, create a social media page that will attract people who are interested in what you have to offer. Set up a regular schedule for posting, and be sure to offer something new and interesting about your product at least once a week. Twice a week or daily is an even better posting schedule, but not if this means you will just be offering up a lot of rehashed information. Fresh, unique content offered appropriately and regularly is the key combination.

Don’t post ridiculous, non-essential, obvious information. You might want to have an area of your social media page that presents the basics about your product or service in a clear manner. This should be positioned in such a way that your readers can refer to it as needed. Having basic info in place frees you up to explore more interesting, in-depth information on a regular, ongoing basis. Don’t just repeat the same basic facts over and over. Put on your thinking cap to come up with novel and different approaches to your service or product.

Be sure to scope out the competition. Look around at the social media pages of your competitors and pick up ideas. If your competitor is running a contest that visitors seem to enjoy, run your own contest. If your competitor is making a fool of himself by sharing lots of personal information with his customers and potential customers, take note and remind yourself never to do that.

Remember that promoting your business through social media must be done by attaining a graceful balance between social interactions and business interactions. Social media helps your customers get to know and trust you, but don’t get carried away. Your customers may like to know that you have a family and a dog. This may help them identify with you and trust you. They do not need to know about family squabbles and neighbors’ complaints about your dog. Keep it professionally friendly.

Visit your social media page at least three times a week. Every day is better. Take the time to respond to questions and facilitate conversations. Check through your page to be sure no one is leaving inappropriate comments, links or content and quietly remove any problematic posts. By maintaining your social media site well and demonstrating your interest in your followers, you will build trust and gain positive publicity for your business.