Social media—intended to connect with others, but too often used to post selfies. However, if you’re going to make it as a star merchant in this day and age, you’ll need your own social media cheat sheet to help you excel.

Tip 1: Find Your Voice

Before you can begin to connect with others on social media, you have to figure out what you want to say. Are you appealing to a casual, young-ish audience, or more of an older, sophisticated demographic? Formulating your message into a neat, elevator-pitch style will help with consistency and identifying you to the product.

Tip 2: Which Soapbox is Right for You?

Social media is more than just Facebook and Twitter and picking out which platform(s) works best for you is the second step. You’ll want to work with more than one, but not so many you’re spreading yourself too thin. Forging online relationships takes time and signing up for too many accounts means you just won’t have the time to make an impact on all of them. Plus, you might miss the chance to connect with potential consumers by not working with the platforms they’ve signed up for.

Tip 3: Associate Yourself with a Logo or Graphic

Words aren’t the only tools you’ll be using with social media; you’ll also need non-verbal language to link you with your brand. Think of commerce giants like Apple, Facebook and IBM — all you need to do is look at their logo to instantly know who they are. And that should be your goal, too.

Tip 4: Use a Consistent Tone

You know how you can tell if Stephen King, Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence or John Irving wrote a book based on their writing style? That’s because their turns of phrases are consistent in each work, and that’s something you want to work towards, too. This one has a bit of a learning curve to it because it takes time to cement your style, but it’s definitely something worth investing in. The key is to just…write. Write a journal, write little stories, write anything. The more you write, the more you’ll be able to create a tone that’s distinctly yours (and something your buyers will associate with just you).

Tip 5: Post Relevant Content (i.e. No Selfies)

Your business social media accounts should be used for just that, your business. Skip the selfies and cat memes, and only share content that complements, boosts or highlights your business’s essence. One hint? Don’t overload on self-promotional posts, but balance it out with things like blog posts, industry articles and campaign specials.

Tip 6: Share News and Updates

Closely tied to the above tip is sharing content that involves you/your business directly. If you’ve opened or moved a brick-and-mortar location, post that. If you’re going to be featuring a keynote speaker at an upcoming event, post that. And if you’ve moved into a new sphere of accomplishment, also post that (and don’t forget to credit your buyers as the biggest reason for it happening — and maybe consider offering a thank-you gift in return, like a coupon or discount).

Tip 7: Don’t Try and Take on All the Work Yourself

You can spend oodles of time on social media, even at the expense of focusing your energy on other worthwhile, necessary areas of work. There are plenty of apps out there, like Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Buffer and Gleam, that can help streamline operations so you’re not doing twice the work with half the results.

*A version of this blog first appeared on the RepricerExpress website