If you’re new to using social media to grow your small business, you may very well be frustrated with what’s happening — or rather, what isn’t happening. Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn and Facebook can seem like empty caverns until you start building traction and getting the groove of each social platform.

Don’t despair. Sticking with social is the best way to achieve amazing results. Just repeat these mantras until everything clicks for you.

1. “I Will Not Achieve Overnight Sales Through Twitter.”

If you align your expectations with reality, you’ll fare much better. It’s amazing how many people actually think that by signing up for Twitter or another social  platform, they’ll become overnight successes. That’s simply not based in reality.

In fact, making sales shouldn’t be your goal with social media. If it is, you’re sure to be disappointed. Social media’s purpose is to help you connect with others online. To establish yourself as an expert in your field. To build trust. Focus on that and the sales will come. Just not right away.

2. “I Will Dedicate Myself to Social Media.”

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. By just spending an hour or two a week working on 1-3 social platforms, you can increase your followers and schedule updates for the whole week. There are many social media management tools available to us now, so you don’t need to spend every waking moment checking your G+ stream.

It’s important to have a plan in how you’ll use social media. Decide how you’ll spend your time each week. Your tasks might look like this:

  • Follow anyone who has shared my content or sent me a comment.

  • Search for 20 people using and follow them as appropriate.

  • Schedule 1 update on each platform a day.

  • Respond to any comments sent to me.

You can also automate sharing your own blog content through tools like Twitterfeed, which can save you time and make it easier to get your content in front of your followers.

3. “I Will Track Results.”

Simply being on social media isn’t enough to help you grow your business. You’ve got to pay attention to what types of shares are getting the most attention so you can create more of them. And for anything that was ignored online, you can stay away from in the future.

Hootsuite has powerful reports built into its system. With these reports, you can track which tweets or updates were shared, as well as how many times your links were clicked. This is incredibly useful information that can help you determine what’s getting attention on social media and what isn’t.

If you understand how social media works, and how to get the best results, you’ll be able to build your marketing strategy more effectively.