Social media used to be a place where people simply socialized. Although this still applies, these social sites have evolved into very influential, must-have marketing tools. Keep reading to find out how to promote your business.Use a separate profile for personal activity on Facebook. Never mix it with your business presence. On your professional Facebook page, you should not share personal pictures, or information on which Facebook games you have been playing. Dedicate one Facebook page to your professional account, and register your personal page under a nickname.You will find that you can learn a lot by interacting with your sites you are on and their communities. People on these sites aren’t just cash registers. They are also important sources of information. Learn all you can about their preferences, opinions and lifestyles in order to know them better.Remember that having a presence on social media is not just about advertising your products. Information flows both ways on social networks; you can find out a great deal about the people you’re trying to do business with. You might also be able to have them interact with yourself and your brand. Obviously this is a form of advertising for your products, but can also double as an informational resource for prospective clients.Your social media marketing efforts will be more successful with judicious use of advertisements. Position the ads and images in a place that is readily visible to site visitors. Choosing the wrong spot for your ads will limit sales, and discourage potential customers from clicking on your ads.Consider a giveaway for your profile on the social media sites. There’s nothing like free products to get people coming to your business’s social media pages in droves. You just need to decide on something that you can offer in large quantities, and be sure to end the offer when you run out of product.When finding out about your customers, make sure to ask about their use of social networking. If the results indicate that your customers enjoy getting on social media sites for more than 60 minutes a day, think about making a page or two for your product. However, if your customer base doesn’t spend very much time on social media, don’t use this type of advertising; focus on advertisements that will reach them.Toy around with a variety of techniques to learn the ones most successful for you before you do an official launch. Then, run some further tests in other venues until you have tweaked the technique. This prevents you from ruining your business and image via poor choices in social media content.A good way to get people interested in your niche is to use social media marketing to sponsor an online questions and answers forum. This helps potential customers learn more about your company brand. Since the sessions are interactive, they can make your business feel more personal and relevant to the visitor.Social media marketing won’t do much for your business if no one wants to read your profile or follow your page. You need to take time writing your content, and make sure you proofread it to make certain it is informative and engaging. Try including headlines and sub-headlines that dazzle the reader and capture their eye.A really good way to have your followers included in your social media efforts is by having a photo contest affiliated with your brand. Especially if you’re planning on offering a prize, people will really become involved and flock to your site to enter any contest. With a photo contest, for example, you can expect word to spread throughout many different areas of social media. The end result should be a huge bump in your traffic.Social networks can help you create excitement around something that is going on. Allow a couple of months notice, so your followers can pencil you into their calendars. Once you are ready to launch a new product or a new offer, your audience will already know all the details and will be looking forward to it.It’s important to think about social networks as more than just a meme. Sites like Facebook and Twitter aren’t just about games and superficial updates anymore. Social media allows you to branch out and reach an entirely new broader audience. Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand the impact that social media can have. So get logged into the most popular sites and get underway.