According to comScore, an internet business analyst firm, Americans spend approximately 14% of their time on social networking sites.

The majority of business owners now use social media to grow and promote their enterprises. It is essential that you know how to effectively use social media to prevent you from wasting your time updating your Facebook page, and sending out tweets when no one really has any interest in reading them.

Here are the Top 5 social media tips to get you started.

NUMBERS ARE NOT EVERYTHING

Having thousands of fans or followers does not necessarily translate into sales. Even if you are not promoting a business and you have thousands of friends, it does not mean that you are going to have more social interactions, especially if you do not have anything in common.

Spending copious amounts of time looking for followers, when they have no interest in you or your products is a waste of time.

STICK WITH THE FREE AND SIMPLE SERVICES

You can achieve just as much in terms of promotion with a service that is free than with one you have to pay for.

If you are new to the world of social media you should start with a simple site such as twitter and Facebook which both have millions of users worldwide.

LIMIT YOUR EFFORTS

You don’t need to have a profile on every single social networking site. Stick to a handful of the best sites and link them all together. For example, you can have your twitter page link to your blog and Facebook page.

BE MORE SOCIABLE

Instead of directly selling your products or services, engage your followers in conversation.

Social media takes a different approach than other web based techniques such as email marketing. You have to sell yourself as well as your business.

BE HONEST

Refrain from writing fake positive reviews to gain popularity, savvy social media users will see through this and it could harm your reputation.

Follow these Top 5 social media tips if you want your business to be a success online.