Social media is one of the most effective avenues for expanding your brand’s presence online. It’s more complicated than making a profile and posting content, though—there is a significant amount of strategy involved. You can post, but what if no one sees it because no one was logged in at the time? You can write the perfect caption, but what if no one engages with it because the attached image was not eye-catching?

There’s also the matter of spreading yourself too thin. As tempting as it is to appeal to every internet user out there, doing so is impossible. Instead, growing your brand necessitates appealing to a niche audience that can become loyal advocates for your business. Rather than leave you to figure all of this out by trial and error, here are some tips to keep in mind when marketing on social media.

 

Thinking in general terms

Set realistic goals: Before you begin, decide what you want from your social media campaign. It’s more practical to establish concrete, achievable goals instead of saying, “Gain lots and lots of followers because that’s what it’s all about, right?”

Your goals will give you a direction to move in and guide your steps. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Maybe connecting with popular influencers is an advantageous move. Do you want to drive sales? Then perhaps promoted advertisements are the way to go. Your social media strategy should be flexible and adaptable, of course, but neglecting to set goals might result in you wasting valuable time and money.

Interact with your audience: If social media is not all about the followers, then what is it about? While having a large follower base is obviously desirable (they give your brand legitimacy, enhance your popularity, and are more likely to convert into customers), something you should focus on is engagement. Interact with your followers: respond to comments, answer questions, share user-generated content, and do what it takes to make your audience feel seen and heard. Social media users might enjoy pretty images and funny captions, but they also seek recognition.

Bring delight to people: Now the question is, how do you inspire people to interact with you in the first place? Deep Patel from Entrepreneur advises:

“Develop an editorial calendar and be sure to include delightful moments that make followers feel good about themselves and about your organization. The most obvious opportunity to do this is during major world events and holidays, but simply developing a fun midweek video that is entertaining and on-brand can be a great way to bring joy to social media users in an unexpected way.”

As they say, content is everything. It’s what social media users will follow you for, and it’s what ignites the spark of conversation (and people with positive customer service experiences are more likely to share it with their peers).

 

Strategies for specific platforms

Each social media platform will require a tailored approach. What works on LinkedIn will probably not work on Snapchat. Here are a few suggestions for three of the most commonly used social channels:

Instagram: In order to organically grow your brand on Instagram, you need to create stunning visuals. Captions are essential, but when people are scrolling through their feeds, what are they looking at? Pictures (and some perform better than others). When people click on your profile, what is the first thing they see? Pictures. Never purchase fake followers or likes, use relevant hashtags, re-share your followers’ posts, and publish at times users are most frequently active, attracting active Instagram followers. The more you engage with people, the better.

Facebook: You have probably set up a business page and are already using Facebook’s marketplace, but did you remember to customize your URL? Not only does it look more professional, but it’s also helpful for SEO. When people Google keywords related to your business topic, your page (and be sure to update it regularly, but don’t overdo it) is more likely to show up in the results.

YouTube: Images and text are necessary, but internet users consistently prove their love for videos. Video is an opportunity to tell a story (don’t worry, they don’t have to be long—not everyone has the patience for that) that informs people what your brand stands for and what sets it apart from others. As for your YouTube profile itself, set your logo as your profile picture, pick exciting channel art, and publish as much information about your business as possible (including links to your various other social media accounts).

Like anything that grows, your brand will take time to gain recognition on social media. If you tend to it regularly and exercise patience, though, you can achieve the goals you set. How do you plan to expand your brand on social media?