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Successful social media experts know what it takes to make social media work for you. Aside from including regular updates, relevant posts, and stand-out content, make sure that your business stays involved in each relevant social media network in a personal way.

1. Make Your Social Media Profiles Stand Out

Fill out your social media profiles in full, and learn what constitutes best practices for social media profiles on that particular network. Each network has its own personality that you should mind, but let your personality shine through too.  Keep your branding consistent across all platforms and make sure images are optimized for the headers, profile pictures, and posts.  Need a guide on which image sizes to use?  Grab the infographic from Hubspot’s The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks.

2. Reach out for the Right Connections

If you can connect with other experts, movers, and shakers in your industry, you’ll be able to get more traction because if you can have a conversation with them, all their followers will see it.  Don’t overlook connecting with your ideal client.  When you’re regularly showing up in their feed and if you’ve targeted your marketing correctly, they’ll come to see you as a provider of value.

3. Make Your Business Pages Interactive and Informative

Don’t skimp on making your pages represent your business appropriately. On each social media network, you can create pages that look consistent, informative, and get results. Also, be sure to maximize unique abilities on each social media page.  For example, learn which call to action button is most appropriate for your Facebook page, use hashtags and links in your Twitter profile, and show LinkedIn readers how to contact you for business opportunities.

4. Share Relevant Industry Topics

If you want to quickly become a go-to expert, find relevant industry news and share it with your followers. Don’t worry; giving it away works.  After you’ve shared another business’s post or article, send them a quick email to let them know how much you appreciated their message and that you’ve shared it with your audience as well.  They may return the favor! Intersperse these posts with your own content, quotes, relatable images, and videos.

5. Join the Conversation

Don’t just be a robot by posting things without ever commenting and entering into discussions with others. You want to jump right in and talk to others just like you would if you were at a live social gathering.  Don’t get sucked into controversial discussions unless your business is directly involved or affected by them.  Always remain professional, but don’t be afraid to have fun. Finally, it’s extremely important to always respond to comments, especially the negative ones.  Do your best to make things right if someone has a complaint.

6. Learn to Use Hashtags Correctly

Hashtags help you organize and search for relevant content on social media. Always use the # before the word, use no punctuation, keep it as short as possible and use letters and numbers.  You can also use Hashtagify,me to research trending hashtags, usage patterns, and top influencers in your industry.

7. Advertise Strategically

Running advertisements on social media is a great way to get the word out about a new product or service. However, be strategic when running an advertisement so that you know exactly what you expect to achieve with it.  Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, and if you’re running Facebook ads, make sure your Instagram account is connected for cross promotion.  As with everything related to advertising, test, test, and test again to figure out what wording and/or images produce the highest ROI. When running sponsored ads and posts, it’s important to research where you can reach the largest targeted audience in order to maximize your budget.

8. Hire an Experienced Copywriter

For some of the posts, it’s imperative that you work with a copywriter who understands your business and your voice, to help you with many of the posts and get them right within the space needed.  If you don’t have your message and call to action clear and on point, you’re wasting valuable time and money.

9. Be Yourself When You Post

When you are in a discussion on social media, outside of representing your business you are also representing yourself. Be who you are so that your social media presence has a personality.  It’s ok to post funny memes, videos, and pictures so long as they’re not offensive.  This can be a gray area if you’re audience consists of millennials versus retired folks.  Tread lightly with language and slang and always err on the cautious side to avoid alienating loyal fans.  Consistently represent the best of yourself and your brand when posting.

10. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

You don’t have to start from scratch to you get involved with social media marketing.  Find our when to post on each network and how often.  Buffer offers a helpful guide on the best practices for posting frequency here. Follow the experts and do what they are doing. Focus on differentiating yourself and being a real person with a unique voice that represents your brand. Mastering your social media is critical to running a successful business.

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