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So you’ve finally decided to put the time and effort into your social media marketing efforts. Congratulations! Here are twelve smart social media marketing ideas to help you along the way:

Fill Out Your Profile: This sounds like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at what you could be missing if you weren’t taking full advantage of your online profiles. You need to ensure that you are taking full advantage of all the space that your online profiles allow for. So, make sure that you are being a bit creative with this and adding as much information as possible.

Write Your Content: Social media promotion doesn’t end when the social networks are closed. The next step is to use your profile to promote your business. By posting links, videos, images, articles and more, you can make your profile more prominent in search engines and generate more visitors for your business.

Join Social Networking Sites: If you aren’t already on these social networking sites, join them. It’s free and will do you some good for the promotion of your business, so get started today!

Create a Blog: Do you already have a blog? Why not use it for your social media marketing needs? Start writing for your own blogs to get a feel for how you can benefit from using these types of sites. Once you’ve learned some tricks, you may want to consider using your blog as part of your social media campaign.

Create Twitter: If you haven’t already gotten on Twitter, now is the time to do so. Don’t use your personal account (for example, if you don’t own one). Create a brand new Twitter account with a different name, or one that reflects your business. Then start tweeting!

Link with People: Use your Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to link with other people and create relationships. This is a great way to build a network of loyal customers. So, if you have friends that have a Twitter account, get them to add your Twitter URL to their own Facebook and MySpace accounts and vice versa.

By using social networking sites in conjunction with traditional marketing techniques you can generate traffic that will help you grow your business. and get a head start on social media marketing.

And, don’t forget to keep track of your results. Use an autoresponder to send out surveys to your customers to get a better idea of where they are coming from and what they are interested in, as well as tracking what pages they are most interested in clicking on.

Do a Business Survey: It’s important to know where your business is at. Do you have new business ideas or can someone else assist you in promoting your business? Make a survey to find out. You can also find out which of the available social networks are drawing in customers, and which ones aren’t working and make adjustments as needed.

Use a Social Networking Site Like Twitter: If you don’t have one yet, don’t hesitate to create one! and sign up. There are literally thousands of people using Twitter for business. You can target your message to those using this site, as well as use the social networking sites for promoting your products or services.

Use Video Marketing: It’s great to post a video about your business on YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn. People like to watch, comment on and interact with videos.

By using social networking sites to reach out to your market, you can get a higher level of exposure, traffic and customer loyalty. In addition, you can start to develop a solid, trusted relationship with your customer base. A well-planned social media marketing campaign can generate leads and sales for your business faster than you think.