According to a study conducted by “Staples”, the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer, small business owners comprehend the importance of social media in engaging with customers and improving conversion but often lack the expertise of incorporating digital marketing resources into their businesses.

In this article, you will learn 5 quick tips on how you can refine social media for your business:

TIP #1- Identify your target audience

Every market has an audience and no matter what your business caters to, there is most likely a community of people hungry for your content or the value your service offers. This is why part of your marketing plan should be to identify who is your main target audience, and integrate yourself into those communities so that you learn their patterns and their needs. Linkedin groups and meetups are a good way to start.

TIP #2: Have a marketing plan

Once you’ve identified your target audience, put together a solid marketing plan for ways to get their attention and drive them to interact with your product or service. As an example, setup 3 micro-goals, such as getting 100 followers on Twitter, 100 likes on Facebook and 100 email subscribers for your newsletter. There are tons of resources online that teach you how to get to those micro-goals. If you feel you are stuck getting there, stop, re-evaluate and change some of your tactics until they work.

TIP #3: Engage with your audience

Make sure you open up a two-way communication between you and your audience. Talking about how awesome you are all the time will not get you anywhere. Instead engage your fans with things like: motivational quotes, pop quizzes, jokes, trivia questions or funny cats videos. Once your audience interacts with you, organically their friends and followers start to notice you which ultimately should translate into more likes and followers.

TIP #4: Stay on top of your online reputation

If you are running a local business, your online reputation is very important in acquiring new customers. People are relying on recommendation search more than ever and a lot of purchasing behaviors are based on what others are saying about you. Make sure you monitor your online reviews consistently by using review tracking tools like Vbout.com. And when the dreadful feedback of doom shows up on your monitor, do not panic! Most review sites let you reply to the original post, so you can address the user and redeem yourself.

TIP #5: Use automation to simplify your social media processes

One commodity most business owners don’t have is time, and because marketing is time consuming, we recommend social automation tools to simplify the process and guarantee post consistency. You can schedule all your social media postings and email campaigns in advance so you do not have to visit them daily, which is the main reason many businesses fail doing their own marketing. However, setup a routine check on your performance so you can reply to comments and questions when posted. You can also use social media pro-actively to entice potential clients to Buy, Order, Sign-up, or Download. Whatever your goal, without conversion, nothing else matters. Compel people to take an action. Convert prospects to clients or customers.