Social media marketing has become an integral part of any comprehensive marketing strategy but social networks continue to baffle many business owners and marketing teams. Here are 5 simple rules you can follow to become a rock star social media marketer:

1. Socialize, Don’t Advertise

While social networks are increasingly becoming places people go to research products and services, nobody turns to Facebook hoping to meet a slimy salesman. Don’t blatantly advertise yourself. Just join in on the fun of social media.

2. Be a Person, Not a Company

Social networks are the perfect platform for showing that you’re more than just a company – you’re a group of people who care about their clients and customers. And you’ve probably heard time and time again that people don’t do business with companies, they do business with people. What better way to gain trust than to show your human side?

3. Be Passionate

As in any social setting, the way we form valuable relationships is to connect over a shared passion. So instead of trying to sell a product or service, sell your passion. Don’t focus on features or even benefits – your website and other digital marketing collateral can handle that part of the sales cycle. Focus on the passions your product or service serves. Don’t talk about the boring specs of the camera you’re selling. Tell your story behind the brilliant moment the camera captured and immortalized. Sell the invaluable, not just the value.

4. Share Your Knowledge

If you want to create a community around your brand that brings your fans (and potential fans) together, share the knowledge and expertise you have that could truly enrich lives. Think about the types of people who would be interested in your products or services. What needs do they have? What information could you share that would help to solve their problems?

5. Praise Your Fans

The biggest gripe we all have about social media is the self-centeredness it breeds. Don’t forget to step back from time to time and acknowledge the amazing things your fans are doing. Be generous and give a shout out to praise their accomplishments and appreciate their contributions.