Online marketing can be a very confusing and challenging topic for small business owners. Many don't understand why it's important or why they need any thing other than a website.
A small business should always take the time to learn about their target market. By understanding your target market you can better predict where you will be spending the majority of your time online. Then, once youe have that figured out you always like to start with a blog and a single social media network. You get your small business on a schedule, usually producing one article a week and on the same day each week. The content you produce is always educational, never a selling piece. Then you focus on one network to get more comfortable with social media and in a habit of using the network on a daily basis. Once you start to see the results of your efforts you expand onto another social media site and increase the number of articles produced a week.
This approach works very well as it helps ease your small business into the world of social media. Others have tried the approach of getting onto all of the networks as well and just find that it's too time consuming and overwhelming so they get off line as quickly as they got in.
In short .... networking is the answer. View your network like a wheel. The hub is your core content (web site, blog, books, articles, useful materials). The spokes leading from the hub are the tools you use to network your content that are linked to your hub.
Your contacts are the engines that power the wheel on the spokes of your hub.
Under this operating philosophy there are no limits to connections, members, friends, tweets and news feeds.
The real limiting factor is the quality of the core content. It is the fuel that feeds your engines and powers your wheel.
There is a very detailed guide to Internet marketing that literally spells out everything you should be doing with step by step instructions for the non-marketer. It's called "The NOOB Guide to Online Marketing". It is, by far, the best resource to get you up and running that I have come across. Just go step by step and you should be all set!
The NOOB Guide to Online Marketing