Social media is one of the most powerful tools in the business world. With a whopping 77% of Americans active on at least one social network, social media is a prime opportunity to connect with your audience, build brand awareness, and create authentic connections with your audience. With the right skills, a social media strategy is one of the fastest and most effective ways to take your business to the next level – but only if you know what you’re doing.

Here are four tips to help you get the most from your social media strategy (and drive some serious results in the process):

Connect in Real Time with Facebook Live

Facebook is the world’s most popular social network, with over 2.2 billion monthly users – which means if you want to connect with your customers, Facebook is the place to do it.

And if you want to connect with your customers in a way that’s really going to have an impact? Live stream. 100 million hours of video are viewed on Facebook every day – and more than 2 billion people have tuned in for a Facebook Live broadcast.

Facebook Live is an especially effective way to connect with your target audience because it doesn’t feel staged; because the video happens in real-time, it allows for authentic interactions, and off-the-cuff conversations, and puts a real face to your business.

To get the most out of your Facebook Live broadcasts, use them as an opportunity to really connect with your audience and show them who you are as a brand. Hosts Q & A’s where your customers can ask you questions in real-time. Take them on a virtual tour of your office. As people tune in, say hello and give them a shoutout.

The point is, your audience is already watching live videos on Facebook – so why not incorporate Facebook Live into your social media strategy so that when they watch, they’re watching you?

Stay engaged with your audience

Social media is, by definition, social. Social media platforms are a place for interaction – and if you don’t interact with your audience, it won’t be long until they find another business that will.

People go on social media to have conversations – and if you’re not participating in that conversation, you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities to foster real connections with your audience. If you want to get the most out of social media, you need to be engaged.

What does that look like? It is responding to your customers when they post questions on your Facebook wall. It’s providing top-notch customer service through Facebook chat. It is dealing with customer complaints in a transparent and open way (instead of deleting a customer tweet that paints your business in a less-than-flattering light).

The point is, it’s not enough to just have a presence on social media – if you want to see real results, you need to stay engaged with your audience.

Use Quora to establish yourself as an SME

When most people think of social media, they think of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. But there’s another social platform out there that can drive serious results for your business – and that’s Quora.

Quora is a platform where people (actually, a lot of people – the platform currently has around 200 million monthly users) go to exchange knowledge; members ask questions and other community members answer them.

Because Quora is a place people go when they’re looking for answers, it presents the perfect opportunity for you to establish yourself – and your business – as a subject matter expert (SME).

Search Quora for questions related to your area of expertise – and then provide thorough helpful answers. The more value you add, the more the Quora community will start to look at you as an expert within your industry – and the more business you’ll drive as a result.

Keep in mind that Quora is not a place to be spammy or over-promotional; it’s fine to add a link to your business page, but don’t be too pushy or sales. Quora is an opportunity to build trust – and while there will be opportunities to leverage that trust into business later, if you’re too pushy from the get-go, that trust will go out the window.

Use graphics to grab people’s attention

Social media is a crowded place. If you want to break through the clutter and make a real impact on your ideal customers, you need something that’s going to jump off their screen and grab their attention.

And the best way to do that? Graphics.

Using a graphic – like a photo, quote, or other social media image – is a quick and easy way to grab people’s attention. Not only does it stand out against more text-heavy posts, but it drives more results – tweets with images get retweeted 150% more than tweets without, and Facebook posts with images get 2.3x more engagement than posts without. So, in a nutshell, if you want to boost your social media performance, you need to add graphics.

What does that look like in action? Let’s say you own a shoe company and are launching a new product. Instead of writing a post announcing your new show, share a photo of your new product with a text overlay that announces the launch date. The two are essentially doing the same thing – announcing your new product launch – but the image is far more likely to grab your ideal shopper’s attention and spread on social media than the text post.

Wrapping things up

Social media presents one of the best opportunities on the planet for you to connect with your customers, build brand awareness, and drive real results for your business. And with these tips, you’re well on your way to seeing real results with your social media strategy.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get social!

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