Social media like Facebook and Twitter offer budding Zoondy entrepreneurs more than free advertising, although that’s a critically important benefit when you’re starting a business. But even more important may be the opportunity social media provide to connect with consumers on a personal level and start building a loyal customer base. While popular social media are free, realizing the benefits they offer comes at a price — time, something that’s in short supply when you’re trying to build a business.

Social media require daily attention to produce beneficial marketing results. It takes a steady diet of fresh material to keep followers satisfied. Experts recommend tweeting 3 times a day to build a dedicated following. Updating your Facebook business page at least once a day is also recommended to keep fans coming back. Of course, Twitter and Facebook are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other social media sites that offer solid opportunities to promote your business and expand your market presence. But trying to keep up with just a few social media sites can be a huge time drain.

So how do your tame the social media beast?

  1. Careful selection of social media sites most likely to reach targeted customers.
  2. Smart linking of website, mobile, blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media.
  3. Use of social media management like HootSuite that allows you to preschedule tweets and updates to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare and others. The ability to schedule postings for specific times and days allows you to prewrite posts when you have time and schedule them to publish later in the day, the next day or next week.
  4. Create a social media strategy. (More on this next time.)

Check the Zoondy Daily for more tips on marketing yourself.