If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.
"Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time." Margaret Bonnano
We all assume that McDonalds is in the fast food industry but actually their wealth is in real estate.  There is a similar assumption with social media, we assume they are just a fun muse or the perfect way to keep in touch and reconnect. They soon became part of our world culture and lifestyle. Little did we realize that behind the scenes the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world were making millions and billions  on our free engagement. But how? Advertising. 
In 2020, Facebook generated close to 84.2 billion U.S. dollars in ad revenues. 
Social media (or SoMe) companies sell our attention to advertisers. This is nothing new, TV, radio, newspapers have been doing it for decades. But SoMe has perfected it AND made it affordable AND accessible to anyone on the planet (providing that you don’t piss them off). Because of social media's unique ability to collect and segment digital information about its users behaviors, interests and characteristics, our SoMe engagements create segmentations that never could have been imagined otherwise. And that’s a good thing, for business, for your business. Social media is the most effective way for businesses to target their avatars.
Don't get in your own way
Whether you are a SoMe addict or abstain in protest to the invasion of privacy, money is to be made through advertising on social media for those who have something to offer. So don’t allow your personal opinions about social media or even your SoMe habits interfere with this incredible opportunity to reach the masses who really do need your product or service. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.
However, advertising on social media can seem overwhelming to beginners so start slowly if you’re a newbie. Each media service offers tons of information for how to manage a business account on their service but these can become deep rabbit holes consuming time and brain power. Research online about how to do things. Search on Google for easier and faster ways to get started and how to do what in which order. When searching online for help or getting help from a third party, make sure you check the date of the information because how things are done and what processes and functions are called change regularly.
First: What are your goals? Do you want brand awareness, increased traffic, lead generation or conversions, different goals have different strategies and different prices.
Then: Who are you targeting? What business are they in, where are they located, their age, gender or marital status. One of my first experiences with social media marketing was targeting new homeowners of newly built homes in specific areas of the country for a greenhouse promoting the perfect hedge for creating privacy around their new home.
Finally: Where are your avatars engaging? Is it Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube… Each media has its own demographics and you need to know how to find and follow your avatar.
Social media advertising costs are the lowest and most effective in history. But there are also low and no cost strategies that integrate your personal engagement with your business strategy. If you are creating posts and your posts are getting lots of likes, shares and comments, it helps to spread awareness of that post and you or your brand. Also, if you’re actively engaging with other posts, this will also create awareness. So you want to follow the clubs or groups that your avatar is following and become an active member. It’s called Networking.
When you are networking you are not just passively scrolling for entertainment or social engagement, but you are reading and responding to posts in groups that you are following. The more you interact with other posts, groups and people, the more awareness you create of your content, you, your brand and your products or services. You need to be a little clever about this, know what you are doing, be patient and wait for the right moment to naturally present your product or service into a conversation. Not too shy and not too aggressive. This takes planning, patience, and actually scheduling a part of your day to be an Active Consumer of social media.
Don’t be a troll
I get messages out of the blue all the time, from people, I assume, wanting to connect with me outside of the group environment, luring me away without first paying the price of engagement. Don’t be like this and don’t fall for this either. You need to build real connections with real people through engagement before taking it to the next level. Otherwise you are damaging your own brand and destroying the trust and integrity of the community.
And if all this is just not your thing but still want the exposure and benefits of social media advertising, there are consultants that can help you navigate through this social jungle and even do this for you. They are Social Media Management Agencies and they can do this faster and help you avoid mistakes. So, do you want to get there eventually or hit the road running? Do you want to get rich or do you want to be wealthy, or maybe both?