In today’s society, it is extremely hard to imagine business without the Internet. However, a couple of years ago many people saw the world wide web as a fad, being nothing more than “a trendy and oversold” community. Let’s rewind to 1995, the year in which scientist/author, Clifford Stoll, published his book tittle: Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway, where he wrote about the idea of business and communications through the Internet being some sort of Sci-Fi tale, saying things like:

“I don’t believe that phone books, newspapers, magazines, or corner video stores will disappear as computer networks spread. Nor do I think that my telephone will merge with my computer, to become some sort of information appliance.”
– And –

“Why not send a fax? It’s far more universal than e-mail—we not only find fax machines everywhere, but they can all speak to one another … I find it easier [than e-mail] to just scribble a note on a plain piece of paper and send it over a fax. Or address an envelope, lick a stamp, and mail the letter.”
Well, it’s almost as if the early Web read Mr. Stoll book and decided to become everything he said it would never become. It’s safe to say, Stroll truly could not have been further from the truth.

Today, we are once again experiencing business renovation just as grandiose as the advent of the world wide web – social media. There are many reasons social media is imperative for business today, but the most important is the fact that these platforms help create and grow brand trust and awareness.

These following nine tips will surely give your business the social media exposure it needs to reach that next level!

Interact with people.

Everything doesn’t have to be politically correct or dreadfully dull when it comes to social media. It’s a place where you can portray your business however you want to, that’s what makes it so wonderful!  If your followers comment on your posts, pictures, videos or tweets, don’t be afraid to respond to them.  Starting a conversation is a big first step to creating social media buzz.

Be genuine.

Big brands, for the most part, are really good at responding to their followers on social media. However, what they’re not good at is being genuine.  Their responses usually appear to be pre-written and generic.  And to be quite honest, it’s slightly depressing when you receive a notification from Amazon, only to find that a hundred other people received the same comment…word for word.  The more personalized and genuine your comments are, the more people will like you and want to engage with your brand.

Share something interesting.

Just because you think something is interesting, doesn’t mean your followers do.  Think about your audience, at the end of the day, their opinion is all that matters.  If they don’t like what you’re putting out, they’re just unfollow you. Pay attention to the likes and dislikes of your followers and always make sure you know who your targeted audience is.

Post regularly.

Be sure you stay consistent with your posting.  By this I do not mean, posting the same content, at the same time, every single day. That will certainly lead to unfollows. Instead, keep your audience satisfied with a diverse arsenal of content. Post a video one day, a graphic, a blog the day after that and so on.

Use a tool.

Don’t do more work than you have to.  Use a tool like Buffer to schedule posts for an entire month and distribute content to multiple social media accounts simultaneously.

Use hashtags, BUT #takeiteasy.

Hashtags can help you increase the visibility of your posts.  But don’t get too carried away. Don’t #abusehashtags because #itisannoying and #noonelikestoseeit. Instead, try something like, “What does everyone think about the new #iPhoneX?”  Or, “Looking for some Google search hacks?  Then check this page out. #TechTips.”

Tag people.

The more people you tag in your posts, the more your posts will be seen.  But, just like hashtags, don’t get too carried away with this— #beentheredonethat.  An educational event like a Lunch and Learn, a business conference, and a charity event are all great excuses to tag a handful of attendees.

Respond to complaints.

Don’t ever delete a negative comment (unless it’s just completely absurd and littered with foul language).  At this point, you have the opportunity to create something positive for your company, which sounds backwards, but it doesn’t make it any less true.  If you respond genuinely and appropriately, you can turn an angry customer into a happy one, as well as show off your customer service and company values to tons of other current and potential clients.

Create engagement.

Social medias primary function is to create engagement and to help people socialize (hence the term social media).  The best way to bring brand awareness is to distribute content that creates engagement—questions, contests, games, and quizzes.  Get to know your followers through your posts, tweets, and online content, and your social media will take on a life of its own.
Don’t be a #Stroll.