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1. Start with a social media strategy.

If you’re just starting to build out your social presence, be sure to plan it out first and know what direction you’re heading. How do you want to utilize social media to interact with your customers and grow your business? What platforms will you use to do this? When/what will you be posting? Having a plan before you start will help you to stay focused as you dive into each platform – and prevent you from getting lost and overwhelmed in the content-rich world of social media.

2. Know which platforms your customers are using, and why they’re using them.

When choosing the right platforms for your business, it is important to keep in mind how you will interact with consumers with each one. While any platform will most likely have some value, do some research on where your target customers are spending their time so you know which platforms to focus the most energy on. Maybe they are looking for how-to articles on Pinterest or staying updated on industry news on Twitter. Understanding what they are looking for on each platform can guide your social media strategy and ensure that your posts don’t go unseen.

3. Encourage engagement.

Once your target customers see your posts, you need to grab their attention to engage further! Ask a question to start a conversation in the comments or link to a related helpful post or article. The beauty of social media is that it doesn’t restrict you to a one-sided conversation – this is your opportunity to interact with both current and potential customers!

You can also utilize your accounts to engage with other companies or influencers. Connect with a business that complements yours and promotes each other’s content, or sponsor giveaways for your followers. Working with influencers can also help you target the right customers for your product, and gain their trust as they learn about your company from someone whose opinion they will listen to.

4. Be consistent

Consistency is key in more ways than one when it comes to your social media presence. First, make sure you’re presenting a consistent brand across all platforms and your website. You want customers to recognize your business when they visit your website and then stumble onto your Facebook page a few weeks later. Make sure you use the same color schemes, photo editing, and personalities across the board. That being said, don’t be afraid to customize your content for the platform that you’ll be posting on – different sites have different purposes and therefore certain things perform better.

It’s also important to be consistent with the timing of your posts. Be sure to post regularly – at least 2-3 times a week – on all of your company’s profiles. If someone is interested in your posts and follows you to see more, you’ll want to engage them again as soon as possible. Similarly, if a potential customer looks at your profile and sees you haven’t posted in a while, they’ll be less likely to follow you and will likely have a poor impression of your company.

5. Be a part of the conversation.

Don’t focus solely on your business when you approach posts on social media. Pay attention to the trends and conversations going on, and add your own voice to them. Of course, you’ll want to maintain professionalism and stay away from controversial topics, but utilizing popular hashtags and relevant topics can potentially capture a new audience. Aim to relate trends back to your product and company. This is a great way to showcase some personality online, rather than becoming a repetitive advertisement for your brand.