Social media marketing is no longer a fad. Although it can seem overwhelming at first due to the hype and the always-changing rules, it’s actually quite simple. Yes, it takes awhile to learn the lingo and how to navigate the different sites, but once you do, you’re set.

Here are some simple ways to start marketing your business on social media.

  1. Determine your goals and objectives. What do you want to gain from social media? Brand recognition? More website traffic? More clients? You need to set your expectations prior to opening your first social media account.
  2. Research, Research, and Research Some More. Do your research. Check out your competitor’s social media accounts. Check out which posts get the most engagement and create a similar strategy. There are tons of online tools to monitor your competition including Facebook insights.
  3. Create a digital rolodex of contacts and content. Are you on LinkedIn? If not, you need create a profile as soon as you finish reading this blog post. Two people join LinkedIn every second. It’s the business social network and your business needs to be there. You should create a personal profile as well as a LinkedIn Business Page. Post status updates often.
  4. Join the conversation to develop online relationships. When you first start using social media, spend some time monitoring how people interact with each other. You should always use an authentic tone and don’t spam people. The social community is extremely sensitive to self promotion and it’s a sure fire way to get shunned.
  5. Strengthen current client relationships. Upload your contacts to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and engage with your current clients. They’ll think you’re ahead of the game and they’ll appreciate your insights.
  6. Measure results via Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free to use and it shows you who’s visiting your site, how they’re getting there and which social networks are the most popular. Google Analytics can be overwhelming at first but stick with it. You’ll be happy you did.
  7. Analyze, adapt, and improve your social media strategy. You should do a social media audit every three months to see if your strategy is working. You should also keep up with current trends and incorporate them as you see fit.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn are great tools for marketing your business. To succeed on the Internet today, you need to create a sound strategy to ignite your audience. You should focus on building communities around your brand and/or service and educate your potential clients as much as possible. Don’t “sell” to your customers, focus on providing informative information and you’ll see results.