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Social media can be an excellent marketing tool and can really give your business the boost it needs not only to your ROI but also to your branding. The true power of social media is only unlocked when it is used efficiently, however. Whether you’re getting on Facebook, Twitter, and the rest, and doing the grunt work yourself, or if you’re outsourcing it, you are going to want to pay attention to the following tips to ensure maximum productivity.

1. Don’t Feed the Trolls

This is a big one. No matter who you are you will inevitably attract haters who just want to mess with you once you start to build up an online presence. Don’t engage them in meaningless arguments or lose your cool. In most cases just ignoring them (and blocking them when you can) is the best thing you can do though setting the record straight if they slander you isn’t a bad idea either. Just don’t allow yourself to be baited into arguments.

 2. Don’t Play Games While on the Clock

Social networks have a lot of games these days and they can all be major time wasters. When you’re on social networks for business purposes, don’t be led astray by the lure of tempting games.

3. Don’t Use Every Social Network

Spreading yourself too thin on social networks is a huge problem for many online business owners. Keep things simple and focus your efforts on sites that cater to your target audience. While Facebook and Twitter are always a sure bet, some in depth market research should be done before launching a major marketing effort on other sites.

4. Keep Your Message Focused

What kind of image are you trying to present on the social networks? Are you a medium to large sized business that needs to establish a professional presence online? Are you an author who publishes ebooks on the Kindle or other reading devices? Before you launch a marketing campaign decide what your end goals are and work on reaching them. Every single post you make on these sites should be geared towards these goals. If you need to make a personal post to better connect with your fans, that’s fine. If you need to advertise your latest product, that’s fine too. Just don’t waste time making posts that accomplish nothing.

5. Using Apps and other Technology

One of the best things about social media is the fact that most networks can be accessed and posted too from mobile devices. This makes it easy for you to keep your posting schedule flexible and eliminates the need to be in front of your desktop to post. Overall this is a great way to save time if you’re good at schedule organization.

6. Ignore Advertisements

This should go without saying but when you’re posting for business purposes don’t be led astray by all of the different “carrots on sticks” you’ll come across. Sure that ad that promises you can lose 10 pounds by next Monday may pique your curiosity but don’t click on it, stay focused.

7. Have a Separate Business Account

This is a big one. It always pays to have a separate social media account for your business. Not only can this help prevent faux pas such as your customer base seeing you post a link to a video of a farting dog, it can also keep you from wasting time. When you post on your business account you are much more likely to stay focused. When you post on your personal account, you’ll be checking out links, pictures, and videos your friends send you as well as posting content like this of your own. This is perhaps the biggest productivity killer of them all.

Text taken from: http://social-media.blognotions.com