How to use social media for business
Everyone uses social media! Most of them use it to stay up-to-date with what is happening with family and friends. But you, sir, are very special. You are one-of-a-kind! You plan to use social media to grow your business. You have read all sorts of articles, but nothing seems to work as expected. But the good news is that you have discovered this article, which is full of actionable advice. It's time to cheer up!

Ideally, the results of your social media efforts should be measurable. This means that the first step is to establish a few goals. So, take a piece of paper and write down your key business goals. No matter what your plan is, try to make it a realistic one. Maybe you want to increase sales by 20% using social media, for example.

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The next step is to learn as much as you can about your targeted audience. Who are these people? What are they like? Where do they meet? Where are they from? These aren't easy questions, but social media was actually built with the purpose of gathering as much information as possible about its users.

Take Twitter ads, for example. Or, if your budget is limited, use Reddit ads! You will have the option of narrowing down the audience to people with higher or lower education levels, people who work in a specific industry, and so on. It is crucial to market your social media message to the people who are interested in it; otherwise, you will waste your ad money and time without seeing any results.

Now that you know your target audience and you've learned what they like, it's time to gather some information from your competitors. What type of content are your competitors creating, and where are they publishing it? Do they create videos, and then upload them on YouTube? Do they create infographics, and then share them on Pinterest?
While you may be able to come up with unique, brilliant promo ideas, it is much safer to create content that is guaranteed to please your audience. Also, don't forget that there are lots of social media channels, so you should pick the ones where you want to invest your time and money wisely. My recommendation is to pick one or more of these giant sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

If your business relies on visual content, and you've invested a lot of money into taking great pictures of your products, you should definitely focus on Instagram and Pinterest. And if you want to get in touch with qualified leads or benefit from potential business partnerships, LinkedIn is definitely the best solution.

Set up Google Alerts for industry keywords, and your inbox will be filled with the best targeted news each morning. This way, you'll have useful info that can be shared with your fans and followers on a daily basis. You should also promote your own content, of course, but please post 4-5 articles from other sources before posting one of yours. If you discover a valuable third-party web resource, which can help lots of people, don't just keep it for yourself; be sure to share it with your audience as well.

Social media marketing for business is much more than posting content, of course. Engage with people who like, comment and even dislike your posts. That's the "social" part in "social media", get it? Also, ask them industry-related questions, offer exclusive discounts, run contests, and learn from them how you can improve your products and services.

Always let the real you shine through your posts. Let your existing and potential customers discover that you are a real person, just like them, and not a polite chatbot.

Create a content calendar for your social media activities. Don't just post when you "feel" that you should do that; make it a habit to spend 20-30 minutes on those sites each day.

There are several tools that can make your job easier. Hootsuite can post news to all your channels automatically, for example. But don't just rely on tools! Interact with your fans regularly, and you'll soon become a likeable person. As a direct consequence, people will start engaging with your business as well, and profits will increase.