What began as platforms used to keep in touch with friends is now a multi-billion-dollar marketplace for businesses around the world.

Social media is key to building businesses, and every company has a unique approach.

Doing business on social media is still somewhat of a new phenomenon, so we’re eager to learn how marketers and managers are building audiences and making sales. Here is how business leaders are using social media to rise to the top of their industries today.

Audience Engagement

The key metric that everyone in the social media marketing space is talking about – engagement. It means something different to every brand, so establish your goals and use social media to achieve them.

“Media interviews and promotional videos with our brand partner help us generate more engagement through the greater audience reach that comes from brand hashtags and tagging the media outlet’s social profile,” said Harris Rabin, Co-Founder at Chief Commercial Officer at R3SET. “When we film content we make multiple edits for a variety of platforms the video will be published on. Audiences have different retention across different platforms, and organic audience reach increases with longer average retention on a social post.”

As engagement rises, so do sales, so this one is non-negotiable.

Real Reviews

Don’t underestimate the power of social proof in the world of online business. Social media is the ultimate place to build a reputation, and reviews from customers is a great way to do so.

“Our female owned and operated business caters to our consumers through social media,” said Tirzah Shirai, Founder and CEO of BlinkBar. “BlinkBar is a luxury lash service; our consumers tirelessly research our services and our competitors’ services to ensure they are making the best choice for their eyelashes. We use our social media to highlight our existing clients’ service reviews and results. By doing so, our consumers are able to see genuine customers review their finished product. Our marketing campaigns are incredibly important for generating new and recurring business.”

Not all reviews will be five stars, but the key is to minimize bad press and promote the rave reviews for all to see.

Stay Consistent

Rather than chasing trends and morphing your message to appeal to different audiences every week, focus on the fundamentals and do what works – being consistent.

“There’s a lot of pressure to stand out, be original, and steal the show on social media these days,” said Darren Litt, Co-Founder of MarketerHire. “I’m all for pushing boundaries, but there’s still something to be said for showing up and just creating good, consistent content that people understand and get excited about.”

It takes time to build a following on social media in a saturated market, but your efforts will pay off if you set a plan and stick to it.

As it is well stated on Cliqued Media, a web design and social Media marketing company in Ireland, “It takes time to build a following on social media in a saturated market, but your efforts will pay off if you set a plan and stick to it.” learn more about Cliqued Media at https://cliquedmedia.com/

Always on Brand

You’ve put in the legwork to develop a brand message and build a unique aesthetic that stands out from the crowd. Be true to your brand and don’t compromise your messaging, because that’s the key to success on social media.

“Fable Home’s social media platforms tend to have a minimalistic, environmental aesthetic to them,” said Jo Parenteau, Co-Founder and CEO of Fable. “This approach allows us to spend more time educating our followers and consumers. Fable is a sustainable brand that takes pride in making beautiful, handmade tableware accessible and affordable. We use certain holidays and statistics, such as Earth Day and our recent donations, to draft marketing campaigns. This criteria makes our pages visually appealing without distracting from our intended message.”

Your brand gains value every time you gain followers and customers, so don’t let up.

Educate and Entertain

Today’s social media followers want fun and novel experiences from their favorite brands, but they also want to learn something along the way. Give them the education they want about your products and your industry in general.

“At Squeeze, we take an informative and educational approach to our social media platforms,” said Tyler Boyd, Co-Founder and CEO of Squeeze. “Squeeze’s service was derived from financially responsible individuals who wanted to help their consumers also make financially responsible decisions. These same consumers appreciate getting tips and tricks that will help them save money even outside of our service.”

Remember that value is what drives all social media interactions forward, and there’s no substitute for quality content.

Start ASAP

Too many companies have been hesitant to go all-in on social media, but the time for skepticism is over. Now is the time to ramp up content production, communication, and all other key factors that build audiences.

“In this day and age, starting a business on a social media platform is the most accessible way to begin,” said Michael Waxman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sundays. “Social media acts as a marketing tool to get your message and product out to as many people as possible. Social media marketing allows you to communicate directly with clients therefore expanding your clientele organically.”

So many businesses have been launched using social media alone, so what’s your excuse?

Foundation for Marketing

If your company is struggling to find a groove in digital marketing, consider social media as a solid base for the rest of your campaigns and efforts.

“Social media isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunities to participate in relevant ways,” said Matt Dickman, Vice President and Head of Digital Communications at Comcast. “It also provides a launch pad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island. It’s a high-power engine on the larger marketing ship.”

Social media is like a microcosm of the entire marketing world, and there is so much to learn just by treating it as a sandbox of your own.

Influence and Impact

Whether your brand is only a few weeks old or well established, you can certainly benefit by teaming up with influencers in your space and doubling down on partnerships.

“Influencer culture has paved the way for social media marketing,” said Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands. “Instagram and YouTube content creators foster so much growth for companies alone, specifically in the beauty and wellness and fashion industries using paid sponsorships on daily lifestyle and vlog content. The classic consumer devotes their attention to their favorite influencer’s platform making influencer content a gold mine for brands.”

It has never been so easy to collaborate with key players via social media, so don’t pass up on the opportunity.

Client Spotlights

If you run a client-based business, social media is the perfect place to share stories and give your clients the chance to speak positively about their experiences with your brand.

“Social media can be a way to identify and highlight milestones for your clients’ during their journey with you,” said Roy Ferman, CEO of Seek Capital. “For example, you can build your LinkedIn profile as a portfolio of successes and testimonials to market your offerings to potential prospects. This will serve as a networking tool for securing more business opportunities and will continually positively reinforce itself as a social media marketing channel to garner organic, high converting leads.”

Remember the power of social proof, and be ready to put your best clients in the spotlight on social media if they want to speak up.

Keep Creating

At the core of all social media success is a dedication to content, and every great brand is always producing new material that excites and engages followers.

“Content creation on social media plays a key role in making or breaking your brand,” said Cody Iverson, CEO of VisCap Media. “In order to create more click-throughs on your website, you have to also have engaging content to promote your business. At VisCap Media, we pair your brand with talent to create content that will elevate your brand to the next level.”

Your content doesn’t have to be perfect by any means, but it should be fresh and original with your own personal branded twist.

Affirm Ambassadors

There are customers waiting to be ambassadors for your brand, that’s for sure. Have you reached out to them and made an offer? It could be a mutually beneficial relationship.

“Orgain has used an ambassador program to promote products through individuals who already love the brand,” said Jeff Goodwin, Sr. Director of Performance Marketing and Ecommerce at Orgain. “They also help to create our brand image and lifestyle of health and wellness through their social platforms as well. This creates further reach and more impressions to those who may not have come across our brand otherwise.”

Social media is a team effort, and your customers are definitely part of the team.

One-Stop Shop

Think of social media as a mirror that reflects every aspect of your business, from products and services to staff and the mission of your company overall. The only limits are your imagination.

“Porto’s Bakery and Cafe uses social media to grow our business by using it to share our dishes, services, and new employment opportunities within our company!” said Raul Porto, Owner and President of Porto’s Bakery. “This helps us reach a wide audience of both potential customers and employees and brings in tons of engagement.”

Creating a great social media presence isn’t rocket science – just be yourself and share your best moments with the world.

Build Community

Remember that your business is just one part of the equation on social media. Your followers and supporters are really the ones running the show, so give them the chance to connect and create a thriving community of their own.

“From day 1 we’ve always been interested in bringing the comradery of the dog park online,” said Minali Chatani, Head of Brand at Wild One. “Social Media has been a great way for us to build a digital community of pet parents and lovers. We strike a good balance of showing off Wild One pets, talking about meaningful topics and being a daily resource for pet parents.”

There’s no perfect blueprint to building community, so try different things and see how the world responds to your lead.

Maximize Presence

Today’s social media platforms are expansive, and you’ve got to juggle many different channels at once to be effective. It’s worth doubling down on your efforts to maximize reach and make the best possible impression.

“Our social media platforms allow us to bring the Wander Beauty story to life,” said Divya Gugnani, Co-Founder and CEO of Wander Beauty. “Each channel connects us directly to fans of the brand and introduces us to new Wander Beauties everywhere. To maximize our presence on social media, we post a mix of user generated & owned content daily via Instagram, IG Stories, and Facebook and we have a robust live selling strategy that enables us to collect questions and comments in real time.”

It can be tough to track ROI for your social media investments, but keep an eye on key metrics and change your approach accordingly.

Share Stories and More

As humans, our love of stories is baked into our DNA! Capitalize on this fact by creating fun and compelling stories that capture the attention of your followers and expand your audience.

“We use our social platform to educate our followers about skin health, routines and ingredients,” said Meghan Maupin, CEO of Atolla. “We also use social media to share customer stories and testimonials, including a very popular series called Skin Stories. This organic content helps to establish us as a leader in the skincare industry, leveraging our proprietary database for unique insights. From a customer acquisition standpoint, we also use paid social media, like Facebook and Instagram ads, and influencers to acquire new customers.”

You can learn a lot from successful social media accounts when it comes to storytelling and marketing in general, so take notes.

Make Quick Fixes

Even if you’re highly confident in the strength of your brand, there are likely some shortcomings that need to be addressed. Use social media as a mirror to look at areas in need of improvement.

“The beauty of social media is that it will point out your company’s flaws; the key question is how quickly you address these flaws,” said Erik Qualmann, Author and Motivational Speaker.

Don’t ignore the signs if they’re right in front of you – fixing problems quickly is the only answer in a fast-paced world.

Followers First

Many companies hop into the social media scene expecting to quickly boost sales and revolutionize their business from the ground up. In reality, you’ll need to build a following first, and gradually work your way to the top.

“Social media can be a massive force for good when marketing new products and services, especially if you’ve got an eager audience waiting for the next big thing,” said Aidan Cole, Co-Founder of TatBrow. “That’s why a huge portion of your efforts should be dedicated to growing and nurturing your following online, so when it comes time to talk business, it’s a no-brainer.”

Like all things in business, social media is about playing the long game, so don’t expect life-changing results overnight.

Product Performance

You’ve worked for months – even years – to develop a product that you and your audience loves. Use social media to put the benefits of that product on full display, because ultimately, that’s the main attraction.

“We use social media to grow our business by using it as a platform to both show customers and potential customers are products in their entirety, and as a way to engage with customers so that they feel a connection to our brand and feel compelled to keep coming back and engaging with us,” said Annabel Love, Co-Founder and COO of Nori. “This also helps spread the word about our company which facilitates growth on many levels.”

Your products are the star of the show and should be the central focus on social media – never forget that.

Funny and Friendly

Nothing is more off-putting than a social media account that seems contrived or inauthentic. Today’s customers can quickly tell whether a brand is being real, or putting on a fake façade.

“Love Wellness uses social media platforms to provide informational content to our consumers in a graceful and amusing way,” said Lo Bosworth, Founder and CEO of Love Wellness. “We have a balance of influencer and public relations content as well as comical and aesthetically pleasing content. This allows our marketing team to create a large amount of content and constantly post on our social media pages. By providing funny, casual content we are also insinuating that our followers may share our content with non-followers because it is relatable- hopefully then, those recipients will follow us!”

If you’re struggling with authenticity on social media, go back to the drawing board and get in touch with what truly makes your brand unique.

Create a Playbook

Take a moment to scan your entire marketing strategy and see what needs improvement. It’s likely that you can advance your efforts in every category using social media, so use all the resources available to you with these amazing platforms.

“At Thrilling, we use social media in a few different ways,” said Shilla Kim-Parker, CEO and Co-Founder of Thrilling. “Primarily, we use social media as a way to advertise our company and the host of small businesses that we feature on our vintage clothing market. But we also use social media as a platform through which our followers and customers can find their own community. This provides critical engagement, customers, and vital information about what our consumers want to see!”

The best part of social media marketing is that most features are free, or at least very budget-friendly.

Establish Trust

We’re living in a world where trust is at a premium, meaning that customers are skeptical of many online brands. This can be an obstacle at first, but quickly become an asset if you know what you’re doing on social media.

“Social media is a fantastic tool to show your presence among your customers,” said Eric Gist, CEO of Awesome OS. “It helps build trust and gives your audiences insight into what your company stands for and is about.”

Use social proof methods like reviews, customer spotlights, and product showcases to build trust and get new customers on board with your brand.

Critical Functions

You might think that social media is just for advertising and top-funnel marketing, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye. Make connections and create legendary campaigns that impact audiences far beyond your reach.

“Social media is critical to our business,” said Cisco Adler, CEO and Founder of NoCap. “Our product is a shared communal moment around a piece of content with a creator that our customers follow passionately across a variety of channels. And these artists have huge social followings. So when we announce an upcoming performance, we lean on the artist to communicate to their fans through their social channels – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok – to get their audience excited.”

The real power of social media is in the numbers, so the more you connect and collaborate, the bigger and better your results will be.

Do More With Social

Just when you think social media has certain limitations or a lack of capabilities, there’s a new feature or function announced that addresses that exact thing. Social media is always improving, so never miss an update and always be ready to jump on the next trend.

“I’m constantly surprised by how versatile and capable brands can be on social media nowadays,” said Sunny Mills, Design and Production Director at Yoga Club. “You can attract audiences, answer questions, build connections, sell products, and even facilitate service all from one platform. It’s the Swiss-army knife of marketing and sales that every company needs to have on its side.”

Not only can you grow an existing business on social media with its amazing features, but more brands are launching with an almost exclusive presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and more. Don’t miss these opportunities to capitalize on the social media wave, because it’s not slowing anytime soon.