If there’s one thing we all know it’s that social media is here and it’s here to stay – in fact, it’s constantly growing as a means to connect both personally and through a business standpoint… but chances are you knew that already too.

What you might not know is how to use social media to your best advantage. Whether you’re a new business figuring out how to start marketing your product, or an established company thinking about expanding your social presence, the following tips are just some of the ways to ensure your content is on point and reaching your target market.

Social Media Examiner released their 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report in May, which took the opinions and knowledge of more than 5,000 marketers to create. According to that report, the top five questions marketers face when thinking about social media have to do with tactics, engagement, measurement, audience and tools.

Tactics
There are so many different tactics you can use when marketing on social media, but making sure to plan ahead and schedule your posts is one that should apply to everybody. This ensures that your key messages are always on par with each other and you don’t get so caught up in other tasks that you skip your social media work for the day.

Monitoring activity on your accounts and responding whenever possible is another important tactic that should apply to every business using social media. The whole point of being on these channels is to be social – so when clients or customers engage with you, make an effort to write back.

Engagement
In order to really engage your followers – and attract new ones – you must write in a voice that speaks to them. Be social and be personal! Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your posts to try and push readers to comment.

Another great way to engage users on various social media channels is as simple as tagging them in your posts. If you’re sharing the link to an article you loved, or a breaking news nugget about a particular organization, be sure to tag their accounts and use any related hashtags. This raises the chances of that organization re-posting or responding to you, and brings more eyes to your account.

Measurement
Analytics are a great way to measure how many people are interacting with your social media pages, and since this information is for the most part available directly through each channel, it’s incredibly accessible. Analytics not only show you how many page views you’re getting, but how many people are clicking your links and how many eyes have seen your posts based on the people who share them. A good way to measure your social media success is to set a goal based on something like how many link clicks you want to get in a month, and be sure to follow up.

Audience
As mentioned under Engagement, it is crucial that you write your social media content in a voice that speaks to your audience. Before you can do that however, you need to have a clear sense of who your audience really is. Research not only your target market, but who from that target market is actually using social media. Do you sell a product for people aged 18 to 45-years-old? Chances are the 18-year-olds are more active on social media than those at the other end of the age range, so you might want to write for them.

Tools
According to Social Media Examiner’s study, 55% of the marketers interviewed chose Facebook as their most important social network. At least 63% also said that Facebook and YouTube are the top contenders for their future social media plans. YouTube is becoming increasingly popular among brands – Forbes even ranked top-earning YouTubers for the first time ever in 2015.

But just because YouTube works for some businesses, doesn’t mean it will for yours. Make sure you use only the social media channels that make sense for the type of message you’re trying to promote. Is that message very visual like promoting a line of products? Use YouTube and Instagram. Are you more information-heavy? LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter would be best.

Take these preliminary tips into consideration when starting a social media campaign or re-vamping your own and you’ll set yourself up for marketing success. Want to step out of the Facebook-Twitter-Instagram box and into something new? In an upcoming blog post, we’ll take you through some of the emerging social media channels you can use for business like SlideShare, Hyper and BizSugar.