It’s becoming more and more clear as the years pass that social media is a facet of modern society that will not be going anywhere anytime soon. In a world where there are 1.6 billion active users on Facebook and 1.3 billion on Twitter it’s easy to see how social media can be essential to the success of any business. Utilizing these websites can benefit your business by broadening your customer base, getting instant feedback on your products and/or decisions as a company, and it can give you insight on what moves your business should make in the future by gauging the response to links and articles you share.

The most common mistake that many businesses make with their social media accounts is oversharing. Flooding your followers feed with links and hourly updates will do nothing but annoy people and limit the reach of your posts. Of course this also applies to the opposite approach ─ only posting once a month or even less frequent than that. If people aren’t used to seeing your posts on their feed, they may forget who you are entirely, or your post may not appear on their feed at all.

Social media is all about engaging your followers, so refrain from posting menial updates about your business. Keep them interested. Ask questions, make polls, offer special deals periodically to keep them on their toes. Some of the most lucrative social media accounts randomly offer a discount code that is only offered their followers.

It’s important to make sure each profile you have is uniform across all platforms of social media so that your business can benefit from brand recognition. Different profile pictures for different accounts looks sloppy, uncoordinated, and makes consumers question the accounts legitimacy. Be sure that the information you provide is consistent as well to avoid encountering similar problems.

It will become important to check your social media accounts frequently to maintain good communication with your audience. The point of social media is to connect with other people, and in the case of marketing, connect with your customers. Being available to answer questions promptly is crucial especially now that Facebook broadcasts businesses response time on their profile.

Building a fan base doesn’t happen overnight, so above all else remember to be patient. Regularly post quality content without flooding your follower’s newsfeeds and be responsive. If you find that you or staff do not have the time to maintain social media accounts, it may be time to investigate what it would take to hire someone on to delegate the responsibility to, or outsource to freelance content writer.