When I was in high school, many millennia ago, our principal would share his wisdom with us over the school's public address system. Some of the advice, even though pre-web and pre-social media, still applies. One quote was "brevity is the soul of wit", borrowed from Shakespeare I believe, and it seems to be appropriate when talking about social media in today's culture. Another from the bard of Avon is "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." To read more quotes from ole Bill, go to: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/william_shakespeare.html#j9BopXxS9Sxsjr6L.99
Todays entrepreneurs are more likely to use social media to contribute to their business, build awareness, and to seek comments about their products or services. Depending upon the type of business you are building (walk-in storefronts, web-based, catalogs for example) entrepreneurs use social media to attract attention, offer coupons in return for Facebook likes, or using mobile phone apps to spread the buzz about their business, each with varying degrees of success.
Storefronts, both traditional and Web 2.0 enabled, rely on increases in traffic to try and connect with prospective customers. High growth businesses or those who have a strong involvement in social activism will rely upon the shortened impact message capabilities of a Twitter for example to keep people posted on their activities, special events, offers, or just daily commentaries. The social media is the communication media of choice for a great many individual contributors in the entertainment industry who seek followers to their cause or talents.
Really entrepreneurial types who are trying to bootstrap their business seek out mentors and resources on LinkedIn to garner advice, connections, or maybe investors. The value of a LinkedIn social networking system is the ability to get background information about the potential interested parties and refine a search for those who might be interested in learning more about a business, mostly for business reasons.
One thing that is extremely hard to measure is the return on the effort required to gain new business, not just eyeballs to the web sites, or tweets to social followers. How does that translate in to concrete business is the subject of many marketing blogs, newsletters, and the social media sites themselves.
As an entrepreneur, you want to assess and evaluate the potential impact of harnessing any form of communications, be it emails, web site visits, tweets, blogging, Facebook likes, or the introductions and connections made on LinkedIn. Carefully crafted plans should be the order of the day when considering which one to invest time, effort, and funds.
Surf the web and you find lots of guidance so I will not repeat it here, but Google search for "social media return on investment", or "how to obtain social media results" to see what is out there. Some of the advice may be directly applicable to your business or interests. Do your homework is something I always advise clients to do. Learn before you leap is another oft provided tidbit.
After all, try to avoid the Prior Proper Planning Produces Pretty Poor (sanitized to be politically correct) Performance situations.