You might think that social media is a cinch. And it is in a lot of ways: creating a page and uploading attractive pictures is pretty easy. But like most things in life, social media and your Internet presence are much more complicated than they originally seem to be, and there are tons of layers that you have to explore to use it properly.

The fundamentals to succeeding with social media begin with contributing to the community you wish to reach. So if you’re selling dog shampoo, chances are you don’t want to reach out to a cat community to talk about grooming – you want to find a meaningful and interesting way to teach and reach your target audience so they’ll remember you when they need the product you offer.

Are You Reaching Your Target Audience?

Is your content appropriately themed? Posting too much content that doesn’t contribute to the relationship you need to build with your clients can be exceedingly detrimental. Make sure when you do post content that it’s productive and useful to the people you want to be reading it. It should also be error-proof and professional – yet friendly, of course – to guarantee it’s easy to process for your audience.

You Only Get 15 Minutes; Use It Wisely

Making yourself known is useless if you aren’t doing anything with your new-found fame. It’s good if you have 15,000 followers or if your Facebook post has lots of ‘likes,’ but if you’re not doing anything with that publicity, then there isn’t much of a point to it. Unless you’re making money strictly through social media, spending time building accomplishments in other areas is essential in reaching different audiences who use different platforms to communicate over the Internet.

Don't Count Your Chickens

Just because you've done a favor for someone else doesn’t mean they have to do the same for you. Feeling like someone owes you something because you advertised for them isn’t the right path to head down. Reciprocation is completely optional, so if you do advertise for someone, make sure it’s something that suits your site and would better it because you may not get the same treatment. However, you can always seek to form 2-way relationships with people before you advertise for them, thus ensuring that a mutually beneficial relationship is achieved.