If you have a business, you should probably be on social media, especially if your business is B2C (business to consumer). After all, that’s likely where your customers are. But unfortunately, simply setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram often isn’t enough. Read on to find out the three keys to achieving social media success for your business.

1. Post engaging content

Posting content people like is important for several reasons. First, your audience will shrink instead of grow if you are posting content they don’t care to see. Always remember, it’s easy to hit the unfollow button. Second, if you’re posting content that’s boring, no one will engage with it, and this hurts organic reach. You need to post engaging content that your audiences will enjoy seeing on their feed, content that they will like, comment, share, and retweet. The key here is to NOT be too salesy or promotional with your posts.

Here are a few tips for what and how to post that are sure to engage your audience:

Have Your Own Voice

Your business should have its own voice, which should be consistent across all social platforms. Most brands can be less formal and funnier on social media. Posts that are clever, humorous, or relatable cause people to click (or tap) the like button. Use of emojis is often encouraged! 😃🍕👍 You’re a consumer – think about what you like to see on your newsfeed or timeline and keep that in mind.

Include a Visual

You should always, always, always include an image when you post. Whether it’s a photo (professionally taken, or from your iPhone), a stock image, or a custom graphic, Facebook posts with images have an 87% interaction rate according to an eMarketer study, and tweets with photos get a 35% boost in retweets, according to Twitter. And of course, you must have an image to post on Instagram.

Incorporate Video

According to Coschedule, Facebook users consume 100 million hours of video every day, and Twitter and Instagram are also seeing an increase in video consumption. Utilize video to show your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business, give them a how-to lesson, or feature a fun event. You can also take advantage of going Live on Facebook, which will put you at the top of the newsfeed and send your followers a notification (if they don’t have their notifications disabled). Instagram and Twitter have also recently rolled out live video as a feature.

Reward Your Followers

Reward your followers with exclusive deals and giveaways. Post promo codes that can only be found on social media – this gives users an incentive to follow you so they will be in-the-know and not miss out on any specials. And who doesn’t like receiving a good deal or winning free stuff? Whether you’re giving away free product or a gift card, people will participate in your social media contest to win it. The more people that engage, the more people that will see the post and like your page to be informed of future social media contests. Don’t know where to begin? Check out our blog post for tips on running a social media contest.

2. Put money behind your posts

It’s no secret that organic reach is on the decline. Due to the increasing amount of content being shared, and the fact that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram want their users to see the content that is most relevant to them, all these platforms now have algorithms in place that have significantly decreased organic reach. In fact, according to a social@Ogilvy study, organic reach for pages with 500,000 likes is down to just 2%. If you don’t “pay to play,” you are spending valuable time and energy creating and posting content that very few people will ever see.

In order to get your content in front of more eyeballs, you’ll need to boost your posts. With a little bit of money (really, even just $5 can help tremendously), you’ll reach a bigger, broader audience with your message. With a paid effort, you can target users based on their age, sex, location, interests, and more. You can cast a wide net, or get more granular – whatever makes more sense for your business’s goals.

Want to learn how to get the most from your Facebook advertising? We’ve got a blog on just that.

3. Monitor your pages and interact with your fans

Once you post to your page and put some ad dollars behind it, your work is far from done. If you “set it and forget it,” you’re missing out on valuable engagement with your audience – and that’s where the magic happens.

There are many ways you can engage on various platforms. If a customer follows you or even mentions you on Twitter, follow them. If someone comments on your Facebook post, like their comment and reply to them. If you are tagged in a photo on Instagram, ask if you can repost it. If you receive a five-star review, say thank you. It shows your audience that there is a human behind the brand that truly cares about the customers and what they have to say. Engage in conversations with your fans and followers – this will grow their brand loyalty.

This also means that you shouldn’t ignore negative reviews, or comments/tweets with complaints – and you definitely shouldn’t delete them (unless they are using vulgar/offensive language). The best way to address this type of message is to apologize for the person’s experience and take it offline to make it right. If you ignore an angry customer, the situation can snowball out of control due to the nature of social media. Often, customers just want their voice to be heard and their feedback acknowledged. Plus, if someone that is not a fan of your brand stumbles upon an unanswered complaint, their first impression of your business is a negative one. Show the world you care about each and every one of your customers.

Summary

By posting engaging content, putting money behind your efforts, and interacting with your followers, you should be on the path to success on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your business.