If you have a new business, you probably already know you need an online presence. Savvy business owners are almost guaranteed to maintain at least a formal business website, a facebook page, and a twitter. You don’t need anyone to tell you that social media is important to your business. But you may not know how to best use social media to push your platform. Here are some tips:

  1. Customize to the platform: Posting the same thing to every platform you have is only going to be so effective. Most of the most popular platforms allow you to post a huge variety of content–videos, pictures, text, links, and so forth. But some platforms are better suited to certain types of content than others. For instance, an individual photo is great for a Facebook post, but if you’re posting a lot of pictures, an Instagram account might be better. For succinct, in-the-moment reactions, post to Twitter, but if you have a lot of thoughts that you would like to share in a less ephemeral way, establish a blog. This way, the information that you want to get out will get out effectively, and people following you on multiple platforms won’t get spammed by the same status over and over again.
  2. Be active: There’s no point creating a platform if you’re not going to post on it. First of all, inactive platforms will not get very good search results, so casual browsers will be less likely to pick you up. Second, even people who do find you are less likely to follow you if they see you haven’t posted anything recently. After all, what’s the point of following an inactive account?
  3. Engage: Social media sites such as twitter and quora work best for those who are going to engage with other users. Reach out to people in your area, or in areas you would like to market your product to, to build a network of customers and resources with which you can advance your business. Likewise, respond to those who reach out to you. It builds rapport and improves your relationship with potential customers.
  4. Try new platforms: Some platforms have been around a while, and have proved their appeal to consumers. Others are just getting started. While you should invest most of your time in well-known, time-tested platforms, it’s also worthwhile to try out a newer, less popular platform, if you find one that really works for you and your business. Choose well, and you may even find yourself ahead of the curve if the site hits bit.