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Social media is a critical tool in promoting your business, products and events, but it needs to be done right in order to be effective.

According to a 2013 study of how Australians are using social networks, businesses expect sales to increase anywhere from 8-12% this year due to social media. How can you make your posts, tweets and shares work for you?

Start with these five tips.

Be friendly and accessible

Sometimes people forget that half of social media is literally ‘social.’ Did someone ask a question? Tag your company in a post? Say thank you! Respond! A 2011 study of nearly 1,300 Twitter complainants found that only 29% of those gripes were replied to by the companies in question. Don’t give your followers the silent treatment. Customers want to know that someone is listening.

Use your own voice

Would you really say that? Your posts should reflect the voice of your company, brand and the customers you are trying to reach. Formal posts that seem more professional may make you sound stiff and out of touch with your online audience.

Change up your messaging

Would you follow a Twitter account that tweeted the same message over and over and over again? Probably not. Take a look at your recent posts. When all of your content is laid out in front of you, it’s easy to see if all of them look identical or if you’re changing things up enough.

If you want people to get involved, include the link

Always. You’d be shocked to see how many people tweet, “Check out our new website!” “Buy your ticket today!” or “Donate now!” without including links. Australian twitter users follow an average of 116 accounts, so you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find what you want them to see. If you’re worried that the full URL will take up too much real estate, check out a link shortener like bitly.com.

Utilize the “call to action

Sometimes all readers need is a little encouragement. Suggesting that your fans like, share or retweet your posts may be enough to get things moving. Shares get people talking about your company and expand your reach.

Tamara Mendelsohn

Tamara Mendelsohn

Tamara loves live music events and tech events focused on positive social change. Tamara leads marketing for Eventbrite; focusing on customer acquisition, retention, and branding. She is passionate about spreading the good word for Eventbrite and the magic of bringing people together through events. She is equally obsessed with the power of social media and believes that technology changes everything. Prior to Eventbrite, Tamara was a senior analyst with <a href="http://www.forrester.com"> Forrester Research</a>, an independent technology research and consulting firm. As an expert on eCommerce technology, multichannel retail, and trends in how consumers integrate technology into shopping, Tamara authored research reports and worked with both retailers and technology vendors to help them shape their strategies. She spoke regularly at industry events, sat on the advisory boards of several industry associations, and has been quoted in top newspapers and journals. Tamara is a graduate of <a href="http://mitsloan.mit.edu">MIT Sloan School of Management </a> and received her bachelor's degree in comparative literature and economics from <a href="http://www.wellesley.edu">Wellesley College</a>.

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