Everyone is convinced that social media is the key to growing your business. There is a plethora of experts who will sign you up to do your social media for you. There is a feeling that if you are not on all of the major networks that perhaps you will be left behind and your business will never succeed. While the need to be on these sites has a definite benefit, the number of actual sales for most businesses is not based on how many times a day you tweet or how many Facebook friends you have.

Every business must first have a great idea, service or product. If that is the case then the internet is definitely the ideal place to market your product and services. But answer some basic questions before you hire a consultant or SEO company to help you. Have you ever spent a single dollar on any product or service because of a tweet?

Your Linkedin account is a powerful tool for networking but again how many sales have you made or things have you purchased through Linkedin. Now Facebook in my opinion is a great tool also for networking but true sales from Facebook are not easy either because of several reasons.

First, these are your friends and acquaintances not strangers who you are selling to. Your friends and family see your products but no friends and family are going to purchase what you are selling from Facebook.  This is our newest gossip venue and we all want to see what everyone is doing and where they have been. The first site you go to to buy something is NOT Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.

Spend time on your critical core business. Develop a product or service that everyone wants. Not because you think they should but because it is really a high demand item. Then find a real way to move your products in the real world while using the internet for advertising.

If you spend the amount of time working to place your products/services in stores, websites like Amazon, or television and radio, you will be able to announce these successes on the social media sites. If you cannot get your products into retail outlets or sites where customers go to actually buy you products, then the social media sites will reflect your success and drive new business.

If you want to live on the social sites alone and wait for the big score, you will be very disappointed. Set and achieve goals for every aspect of your business and make sure that the social media efforts are proportionate to the sales they will really generate. Think about it, where do you shop, on Twitter?