You probably know by now that social media today is used by people of all ages and places. It’s defying the stereotype of angsty teenagers who don’t know how to socialize in person. Now even my grandmother uses it to connect with old classmates. Basically, social media has evolved drastically since its early beginnings and will continue to evolve rapidly.

Now people interact through social media on their mobile devices. Checking how many likes you get on a post no longer requires checking over your shoulder for your boss to see you peeking on your desktop. All 24-hours of the day are fair game for social media optimization, thanks to the convenience of mobile devices.

Social media is a great tool for marketing your business because your customers are already engrossed in their feeds and online communities.

You just have to create a page and posts that are likable and favorable for your brand image. However, utilizing social media is much more complicated than posting a selfie.

To gain followers – and more importantly leads who might become loyal customers – your company needs to keep in mind these best practices:

1. Do your research:

The best way to start your research is to ask questions. Do you even know the purposes of the platform you’re thinking of using? What kinds of people typically use this platform? How are competitors utilizing this platform? Now go answer these questions for yourself.

Your research should be focused on your buyer persona. Not only is your buyer persona your ideal customer, but your buyer persona is also your ideal follower.

Again, ask questions. What types of social media does your buyer persona already use? How often does your buyer persona check social media, and when? You can’t attract the followers you want if you don’t know anything about them. Likewise, you don’t need to place your business on every platform available. Focus on the social media platform where your buyer persona regularly interacts.

Researching competitors isn’t cheating – don’t let your guilty conscience fool you. Check out some industry leaders’ profiles and posts. See what has been working for them. Also, check out their followers. These are the people you would like to capture and get into their social media sharing circles as well.

Competitors’ social media strategies can provide lots of information that sets the standards high for your social media strategies.


2. Set goals:

Your thirteen-year-old kid might make gaining followers seem easy, but your company probably doesn’t have the same type of social power that he has. There’s more to creating a profile and a couple of posts when the time is convenient for you.

Your company needs to make clear and attainable goals for your company’s social media.

There should be a reason behind every decision you make.

A great overarching goal would be to drive traffic to your website. Essentially, your goals need to involve offering something of value to your followers in order for them to become potential customers.


3. Provide high quality content:

There’s so much content being shared all over the internet that you’re probably asking yourself how you will even get noticed. Like anything your company sends to people, whether it be in the form of a flyer or radio commercial or literally anything, your social media content should be high quality.

From your photos to your comments, your interactions and profile should be executed with professionalism.

Always remember that your brand image is affected by your social media. Also, you should be posting content that people would want to share with their followers and community too.

Consequently, your company is being exposed to their circle of friends. And, not all of your content has to be about just you. For example, feel free to share an article about interesting tips and tricks or an infographic that shows leading industry trends. As long as your posts are relevant to your brand and are high quality, your company gain expert status and leadership.


4. Post with consistency:

Once you have high quality content, you need to create some sort of schedule for posting. You want to build a presence on social media, right? Posting regularly is the best tactic for becoming a powerhouse in the social media scene.

You want your company to be seen as reliable and passionate. By producing consistent, high quality content, potential followers will find you and start to expect posts from you. Social media is about building an online community based on shared experiences and interests.

Therefore, you should be consistently interacting with the social media community and creating connections.

However, please keep in mind that posting consistently with low quality posts is detrimental to your brand image. Remember that old saying: quality over quantity? Replay that in your mind before you post the same link ten times in one week.

Surprise! Social media isn’t about you.

Social media is a marketing tool that doesn’t come with instructions on how to use it … unfortunately. Because trends are rapidly changing, keeping up with specific social media best practices are nearly impossible.

For example, there’s so much data on when the best time to post is, but every article will tell you something different. Social media is all trial-and-error. Just remember that you have to start somewhere and need to listen to your customers.

Surprise, social media isn’t about you – it’s about your customers. In true inbound marketing fashion, your company needs to offer something to potential customers, not the other way around. If your social media doesn’t add some kind of value to your followers, then you need to reevaluate your social media strategy.