You’ve heard everyone talking about how powerful social media is for marketing your business. How if you’re not using it to market your business you’re stuck in the 80’s. So you go out and create a Face Book page, open a LinkedIn account, start tweeting on twitter, build a Blog and start looking at YouTube. Now what do you do?You’re told by a friend to post snippets about your businesses and create a blog post about things you know, (although you’re not sure what a blog is). You start to share information on various sites in the evening and before you know it. Bam, you’re spending dozens of hours a week and getting nothing to show for your efforts. You say to yourself, what a pain in the neck social media marketing is!If you want to avoid the pain of spending too much time posting to social media sites and not getting anything in return, then read on. I will show you a half-dozen cardinal rules you need to abide by to keep your credibility. I will show you how to avoid the most common pit falls beginners make, and I’ll help you get the most from the time you spend marketing to your social media sites.Social Media is not AdvertisingFirst, remember that social media posts are not advertisements in the typical sense. You need to post what I call the cardinal 4 wanted items! People are looking for useful information. They want interesting facts. Participants want to be entertained and they want to connect with others! Posting information about your product/service should be a rarity. To be successful on social media, you have to give participants what they are looking for. If you want to do conventional advertising on social media sites, use their pay-per-click/view services. Their ads run about $1 to $3 per click through, other wise posts only the cardinal 4 items.Create and stick to a scheduleSecond, set aside a scheduled time to post your information and stick to it. It’s all too easy to sit down, start posting your information and before you know it, it’s three AM! I schedule my post twice a week and spend an hour each time. During the week, I gather useful information and links from my daily life. These include; email communications, my current events, new and old photos I find, online article I read, RSS feeds I use, internet headlines I like and just surfing the net. I suggest you do the same. Use these as part of posting the cardinal 4 items I spoke of earlier.Be patient and stick to your growth planThird, don’t create false expectations for your results. Before your network can produce meaningful traffic, you need it to grow to a reasonable size. Having a total following of a couple of hundred Face Book Fans, contacts on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter is cool but it not a big enough network to produce powerful results. Your social media influences (i.e. power to make things happen), is directly related to the number of members in your network. Social media has a viral quality to it. In this sense, it is a type of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth depends on your credibility and the size of your network.Save time by using aggregator softwareForth, you must leverage technology to save time. If you are not using aggregator software for your post, start using one today. Aggregator programs allow you to post to several social media site simultaneously. They also let you schedule post at future dates. These programs can save you lots of time and energy. I personally like Tweet Deck and Hoot suite. Search for them on the web and you will find they are free to use.How big is big enoughFifth, if you are going to build a social network, you must have a goal. It’s my experience that real power becomes readily apparent at about 1000 unique followers. I’m not saying that anything smaller is useless. However, real movement, powerful results start with your ability to influence 1000 plus people.If you concentrate your efforts on building your social network by providing your followers with what they are looking for (i.e. the cardinal 4 items), your network will grow at a slow but steady pace. If you want it to grow faster, provide them with what feeds their needs more often. Post to your network every day if you have time. The more often and regular you post, the better. The only other way to make it grow faster is to either spend more time on growing it or pay someone else to spend more time growing it.What does this costSixth, you have to set financial limits. I know what you’re saying. You’re already spending too much time (and money), posting to social media sites. If you still find this to be too time consuming, hire a service to do your posts. They can be had for as little as $100 a week. It can also run you $2000 a month if you’re wanting to grow big and fast all at the same time.If you have, an organized method that you developed, you can hire a college student to enter your post for a lot less. As a marketing expert I can generate anywhere from about eight to twenty new followers per day. You can do the same by following my advice.By following these six rules you will get a lot more out of your social media marketing efforts. Remember to post the cardinal 4 items regularly. Create and stick to a schedule, even if you don’t finish, stop posting when your hour is up. Set goals and limits for time and money your spending. Use aggregator tools to be more efficient and above all be patient. You know the saying. Rome was not built in a day, well that also goes for building your word of mouth social network. That will take some time also. Stick to your plan and before you know it, you will be ready to start harvesting rewards from your social media marketing campaign. That’s my opinion, I welcome yours!