Using social media has now become standard practice for many business owners, but few know how to utilize this medium for maximum effect. Many business owners consider social media as an afterthought and something to be done after their other marketing strategies. Few are aware that using a social media plan can be crucial to business success. Here we discuss 10 social media tips that can help small business owners to build brand recognition and increase their customer base.

10 Social media tricks and tips

1. Use the same name for all social media websites. If you use one name on Facebook and something else for your Twitter account your potential customers may not even realize that it is the same business. In order to build a brand the same name should be used on a consistent basis.

2. Try to be short and sweet in your status updates. A 140-character limit is considered a safe starting point. Tweeting about your latest business updates or upcoming sale is relevant to your fans. You can supply a link for anyone interested in reading the longer posts.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can put up pages of product descriptions, but it will never have the same effect as a simple picture does. When you get new inventory or even hire new employees you can post relevant images on social media sites.

4. Become aware of the changing nature of social media. Only a short time ago it was all about Twitter and Facebook. The latest social media darlings are Instagram and Pinterest. In half a year it could be something different again. This means you will probably have to change your social media strategy again. Keep up with the latest trends.

5. Keep your pages frequently updated. In order to keep people interested in your fan pages you have to constantly put up new content. Every day is ideal even if it’s only a picture. Doing this keeps people coming back.

6. Make your Twitter pages look good by customizing the background colors and layout. Use customization on all social media sites that allow this. Using the default page is never a good idea since potential customers may think you’re not taking your business seriously.

7. Promote your social media links. People will not find you if they don’t know you exist. Every piece of signage or advertising should have links to your social media sites.

8. Use contests and giveaways to increase your followers. People love getting free things, especially if it doesn’t require them to do much. Sponsor giveaways and give people additional entries by liking you on Facebook and becoming your followers on Twitter.

9. Make sure to follow the rules set up by social media sites. Each site has its own rules of conduct. Before starting your social media campaign or creating a contest make sure to read the rules and find out what individual sites allow and don’t allow.

10. Personal sites should be kept separate from business sites. A little business and personal overlap is expected, but refrain from talking about your Uncle John’s hernia operation on your Facebook or Twitter business account. Do not follow your favorite celebrity either. Keep it completely professional.

Thank you to Edwin Miles, marketing & financial enthusiast at CarFinance247, the UK’s leading car loans provider for contributing this informative article.