Social Media has changed the face of marketing on the Internet and it has changed the way that entrepreneurs and small business people communicate with their prospects and customers as well. Savvy marketers have figured out that it can be used to market their products and services as long as they follow the main rule for social networks which is to build relationships first and ask for sales second.The old tactics of hype, overinflated promises, imagined scarcity and even a certain amount of badgering to get a person to buy no longer work online so you must understand the difference between traditional marketing tactics and the new social marketing approach.Because Social Media Marketing is based on the concept of word of mouth marketing it can be 3-4 times more effective than other forms of marketing. Research shows that people will always feel more comfortable doing business with their peers rather than strangers but the challenge become how to establish those relationships online.One of the best ways to create those online relationships is to continually provide your prospects and customers useful and relevant content about your business or niche. The content goes out in the form of status updates, blog posts, articles, or videos etc. You also want to engage with people on the social networks so don’t miss any opportunity for conversation.All of this takes time so here are some tips for how you can be more efficient with your Social Media Marketing PlanTip Number 1 — Pick just 3 – 4 social networks to start with. Get well know on those and then later look at adding new networks. Right now my top 4 picks are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTubeTip Number 2 — Make sure you have all your account information in one place. I keep a spread sheet with all my different social network URLs and usernames and passwords on my desktop so I can refer to it quickly whenever necessary. Then when you empty your cache or delete your cookies you will not need to scramble around looking for the necessary information to login.Tip Number 3 — Create a schedule and stick to it. Decide in advance how much time you are going to spend with your social marketing plan and then stick to it. Social media can be quite addicting so you need to plan ahead so you don’t waste time.Tip Number 4 — Set a timer so you don’t get lost. It’s called “going down the rabbit hole” online and it happens when you click on a link to investigate something and then end up getting off on a tangent which has nothing to do with your original subject. Then 2 hours later you look up and wonder what where your day has gone. A timer will prevent that and keep you on task.Tip Number 5 — Automate as much as possible. Many sites online allow you to automatically post to other social networks and I recommend you use those features whenever possible. For example if you post to your blog using WordPress you can set up an automatic Tweet about that blog post.Tip Number 6 — Use a Desktop application to manage your social networks. I use Hootsuite which allows me to post to each of my main social networks from one interface. It also allows me to create columns based on any criteria of my choice so I can keep track of what the thought leaders in my niche are saying.Tip Number 7 — Outsource whenever possible. There are many parts of your Social Media Marketing plan that can be outsourced to someone else on your team. But don’t lose sight of the fact that Social Marketing is all about relationships. You will still need to log on and connect with people in your target market.