Social media is everywhere. There are no shortage of people on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn who are there to tell you how to use it. Social media is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is a get rich quick scheme. There are challenges. It’s something that you have to work hard to have success with.

Content is King. It takes quality content to engage with customers and potential customers. If you talk about what you do from an insider’s perspective you run the risk of boring the very people you’re looking for and sending them away.

Talk with them. Ask them questions. Figure out how they benefit from your product or service, and post things that way. But don’t just post about what you do. Post articles you find interesting. The news, sports and music tend to be things that everybody is interested in. Show that you are human, and more people will interact.

Are you on the right platforms? If you’re preaching to your Facebook fan base about your B2B endeavors you may not be talking with the right people. LinkedIn is great for B2B, because it’s made up of professionals. Finding a targeted audience on Twitter will also help your business. You can go into a website such as Twellow, and follow people in specific industries. This helps you know who you are talking to.

I’d also recommend trying sites such as Biznik and Guru. They are opportunities to find more work.

Tick Tock. Time is also of the essence. People who need to spend all day worrying about the ins and outs of their business often do not have time to spend developing a strong social media presence.

When you get on to a network, have a purpose. Know that you need to update your status, or find followers, or answer LinkedIn questions. Make sure you do what you set out to do. There’s no question all of these social media platforms can be black holes of time if you begin surfing.

You might want to make a list of some goals that you hope to accomplish. For example, getting your friend base up to a certain number, or engaging with five potential customers. That way you can stay on task, get things done and move on to your business. If you do not have time to devote to developing a quality social media presence, you may want to consider hiring it out.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.