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Billions of people have social media accounts, often on various platforms. Social media has now gone beyond simply a way to share photos and news with your friends; it’s become a sophisticated marketing tool. Businesses can create social media accounts to connect with current and potential clients and strengthen their company’s brand. For smaller businesses, social media is a great tool that allows them to compete with much larger business, because they can reach people without having to spend a fortune on marketing. As an entrepreneur, there are lots of ways you can use social media to your benefit and connect with a wider audience.

Identify your audience

Before you begin marketing your business on social media, take time to identify your audience. The importance of identifying your audience is that it allows you to then target the type of social media they use. Demographics of different social media platforms vary, as does the best times to post on those platforms.

Connect with other businesses

While this may initially seem counter-productive, it can be a great business tactic. Connecting with other business owners provides you with a network of potential support and people you can ask questions as you’re developing your own company. Most people are happy to help and offer advice, especially if they’re already established in their careers. You can also follow other businesses in your industry and get an idea of the marketing methods they’re using and see what works and what doesn’t with consumers.

Craft a content plan

As you begin posting, you’ll realize how much work goes into managing your social media accounts and the importance of planning out your content. There are plenty of templates online that you can use or you can even make your own! Planning out your content makes utilizing social media so much easier and helps you stay organized.

Engage your followers

Posting consistent and original content on a schedule is important, but do not neglect organically interacting with followers either. You’ll have followers comment and interact with your posts, so make sure you take time to respond to their comments or any messages you may receive. It shows that you’re invested in your followers and can help cultivate devoted customers.

Convey your image

As you’re creating your social media accounts, decide what image you’d like to convey. Choose a color scheme and use it across all social media accounts. Do the same for a logo and handle for your accounts. Keep a succinct look so no one becomes confused as to what accounts are yours. Before selecting a username, check to see if it’s available across all social media platforms and try to keep it as uniform as possible.

Create some kind of budget

While you may not be working with much money when you start using social media to market your business, you’ll eventually want to invest in social media advertising and creating a professional look to your accounts. Consider hiring a website designer if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself or have a hired writer create content for you. Boosting your posts is also a great way to get noticed and find more potential clients.