It probably goes without saying, but an essential component of any new online or brick-and-mortar business is a quality business plan that considers all relevant business variables. In any business plan built for today and the future, you’ll need to pull out the most advanced techniques possible for your social media marketing and consider how to use the more traditional methods in new ways.

If you’re keeping a blog for social media purposes, you have to make sure that it’s kept as active as possible. With fresh and relevant content people will keep eagerly checking back in. This has historically been shown by user statistics of magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Being consistent is the best thing you can do to get visitors to return to your page.

If your goal is to create a large social network by opening different profiles, your first step should include inviting every person you know. Even if people do not need your products right now, they can share it with their friends if they know about it, and they can do so easily by clicking their mouse.

You should offer discounts and coupon codes to the people who connect with you on social networks. Add in something that no one else is offering to get people to want to like your page. You could organize contests, give out free prizes, or offer rewards to your best customers. You could also develop games, offer polls and quizzes, along with exclusive content. Or, you can simply make exclusive announcements via social media.

Don’t rush anything. Make an all inclusive, high level strategy. If you spend money and time targeting the latest social trend, then bounce to the next social media avenue, you will eventually wind up with a bunch of dead ends. Plot a comprehensive strategy that incorporates your overall advertising agenda and then start moving.

Make a decision about whether or not you want to have relationships with your clientele. If you desire to maximize sales, try to advertise using social channels and remember to keep it simple. If you prefer a more interactive relationship with your customers, initiate the conversation with a simple “Hello.” The customers will respond and you can go from there.

When using social media for your business, it is important to reply to your customer’s questions and comments. It is easy to miss a message or a remark, so each time you sign on to your site, make sure you look for these comments.

To get a better social media marketing network, avoid pushing products. Post links or stories about providers that are relevant to your niche or industry. Aim to bring in new followers through contests, photos and question and answer sessions. You need to have high engagement with your followers. Practice product engagement rather than product placement. See if you can get customers to associate your brand with their personal identity and lifestyle, instead of their wallet.

The advice in this article is intended to be applicable throughout your entire career and will provide a firm foundation for all your social media marketing efforts. Using social media as a marketing strategy has worked for many businesses. So, do it!