If you want your company or organization to succeed in today’s world, it takes more than a sound business plan, intelligent and dependable employees, and a quality product. You also have to effectively promote your brand.

Ok, that’s not necessarily a new concept - advertising and branding have always been key components to business success. What has changed, though, is HOW.

There are still a variety of forums available for delivering a message – print, billboards, radio, television and, of course, digital. For a while, that simply meant being accessible via the Internet. Can consumers find information about you through search engines, and do you have a website? You better have a website!

For a while, that was enough. And there are many who still think that. Those folks, unfortunately, don’t know what they don’t know!

To achieve maximum success in today’s world, you better have a social media presence. There are a variety of platforms out there – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. – and while they all allow you to reach a worldwide audience, they are all a bit different. Take the time to research how each platform works and what the strengths and weaknesses are for each. The most effective platform(s) for you and your business is dependent upon your target audience and what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish.

Regardless of which platform best suits YOUR needs, be sure you find at least a couple that you’re comfortable with (force yourself to become comfortable with them, if necessary)…then USE THEM!!!

Social media is an inexpensive way to literally reach people throughout not only the U.S., but the world. Also, by creating and sharing interesting and relevant content, you can immediately reach your target audience, whomever that may be.

At this point, you’re probably starting to feel a little more comfortable with this concept. But, for maximum results, there is another step to a successful social media strategy – ENGAGEMENT!

Engaging on social media is a bit time consuming, but it can also be fun. In fact, it SHOULD be fun. Interacting with others, including followers, friends, etc., as well as sharing and re-posting others’ content are all effective forms of engagement that can build your social media audience. It’s also important to monitor your account(s) for messages and to reply to those who took the time to seek you out. Personal and thorough responses go a long way toward earning trust and garnering loyalty and support.

That’s Social Media Engagement 101, but there’s always more to learn…

For now, though, just know that social media is truly a brilliant strategy for your business, and one that you can’t afford not to use!