According to Relevanza, 78 percent of small businesses are already getting new customers through social media, but are you? In any case, social media is like the premier watering hole where all of your top prospects are hanging out. If your business doesn't have a presence on social media, it's well past time to get your feet wet. However, the process can be very tedious, time consuming, and especially overwhelming.

To help along the way, you can use the following information as a general guideline for establishing your business on social media.

1. Choose Your Social Networks Wisely

According to the Pew Internet Research, 74 percent of adults are on social media, but not every social network is created equally. Among the seemingly countless social networks, it's important for you to choose the best network for your business. According to the Pew Internet Research study on social networks:

  • 71 percent of adults are active on Facebook
  • 28 percent of adults use LinkedIn
  • 28 percent of adults are active on Pinterest
  • 26 percent of adults use Instagram​
  • 23 percent of adults are active on Twitter

While this data is highly important, it raises the question of, "Which social network do I use to address my audience?" The simple answer is: use the network most frequented by your customers and prospective customers.

2. Create a Solid Profile

Social media marketing for small businesses all starts with a professional business profile. It's important to make sure you include a short bio or summary of your business and a profile image that is interesting, but professional. While there are several different methodologies for creating your business profile, the best way is to follow the lead of businesses that have already paved the pathway like LifeLock. LifeLock's Facebook page includes a well-written, but brief description and several links to their website, which invites the audience to learn more about the business.

3. Tailor Your Post Frequency

One of the keys to establishing your business on social media are your posting habits. It's important to provide your audience with relevant information on a regular basis to keep them engaged. On the other hand, if you post too often, you run the risk of frustrating your audience, which will result in them either unfriending you or hiding future posts. It's also important to research the best times to post. For example, 86 percent of posts published on Facebook between Thursday and Friday result in peak engagement. However, it's important to understand that each social network has different peak times for posting.

4. Choose the Best Types of Posts

Simply put, not all posts are created equally, and certain types of posts result in higher engagement rates than others. Check out a few of the most effective types of social media posts to bolster engagement:

  • Videos provide the audience with a stunning visual related to a topic or blog post.
  • How-to posts effectively introduce a problem, provide a solution, and then walk the reader through the steps.
  • Caption-the-picture posts simply provide a picture and ask the reader to leave a funny or appropriate caption.
  • Contest posts offer readers the chance to win some sort of prize of value by following through with the request of the post.
  • List posts focus on a particular subject and offer the reader a specified number of points about the topic.

As you are building your brand image on social media, the types of posts you make can have an infinite value. Make sure you use a healthy mix of various types of posts in your social media campaign.

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