Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are drawing more users than ever before. A recent study by shows that 81% of Americans have at least one social media profile, and that number is growing steadily each year. For business owners, social media offers a great opportunity to boost exposure and improve the bottom line of that earnings report. In fact, Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, says “over half of American companies report sales increases after adopting a social media platform.” However, managing a social media platform isn’t all that easy. Keep these trade secrets handy when developing your social media presence.

You Need a Plan

Like any marketing strategy, a social media platform calls for direction. Above all else, know your business, your audience, and your goals. Understanding the consumers in your industry will help you tailor your content to exceed their expectations. Kimbodesign notes the importance of diversifying your social media, having a content strategy, and establishing a schedule for your social media to keep your strategy on track. Create a schedule early stay on top of it. Monitor your progress in terms of followers, views, sales, and other metrics that are valuable to you.

Content is Crucial

As a business owner, you work your tail off to provide the best goods and services on the market. Share your achievements with the world, and build your brand! Posting unique and creative content will increase your popularity among users. Part of your strategy should involve brainstorming for new ideas. Again, your content largely depends on the needs of your customers.

You Have to Acknowledge Your Followers

Social media has made interaction with your customers easier than ever before. You would never ignore a comment or suggestion in person, right? You might not meet your customers face-to-face with social media, but building a rapport with them will strengthen your reputation and make your company more personable. With that in mind, remember to be yourself. For example, have you seen Wendy’s roasting people on Twitter? You might not take the sarcastic yet hilarious route with your replies, but this shows how an established business can communicate and interact with its customers to get easy immediate feedback.

There’s Always a Cost

Social media might not affect your wallet unless you use ads or promotions, but it will require some time and attention on your part. As a business owner, you know better than anyone how valuable your time is. Investing in social media is a smart investment, but you will have to decide whether you can afford to manage it yourself. If not, utilizing a social media manager may be the more cost-effective route for you to take.

None of these facts should scare you. Instead, they should help you see the opportunities available with social media so you can take advantage. For more questions about social media management, talk to the specialists at MarketLeaf Solutions, LLC.

Ryan Pierson is a contributing writer and intern for MarketLeaf Solutions. His expertise lies in his ability to connect with clients, his research, and his ability to look outside the box in his approach to marketing.

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