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Social media can be a great way for small business owners to connect with prospects and customers.

Done properly, it can make sales skyrocket but, if you’re not careful, it can be a distracting time drainer, or even backfire by alienating customers and prospects.

Follow these 9 tips to guarantee success with your social media.

  • Learn everything you can about your audience
    If you don’t know who your audience is how can you connect with them? Get as specific as possible.
  • Choose which networks to use (and which to ignore)
    Research the demographics about who uses which platform. Apply the results to what you know about your audience to determine which platforms you should and shouldn’t use.
  • Conduct an audit
    Follow the data and examine what posts work well and which don’t. This will help you plan what to do more of, what to improve and what to stop.
  • Keep an eye on the competition
    Competitors can give great inspiration for your own social media activities. Learn from them so you can decide what you should (and shouldn’t do)
  • Listen for mentions of your brand
    Know what people are saying on your social media channels. Use the information to get valuable insights about your business.
  • Establish your social media voice and tone
    Write from the reader’s perspective to make them, not you, the hero in the story. Be clear about what they can expect from you.
  • Follow the social media ‘Rule of Thirds’
    ⅓ share posts to promote your business, convert leaders and generate profit
    ⅓ share posts of ideas from influencers in your industry (or like-minded businesses)
    ⅓ share posts of personal stories to build your brand
  • Respond to all comments promptly
    Because when you don’t it make you look rude, lazy and uninterested in your audience
  • Use data to determine when and how often to post
    When is the right time to post? It depends on the social network. People might be on LinkedIn during regular work hours but use Instagram in their own time.
  • Create social media reports to track results for whos engaging with your brand and posts. So you can make your choices based on data – not hunches.

Follow these 9 tips to guarantee success with your social media.

Use this handy checklist to make sure you’re doing everything you can to increase sales.