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Finding success on social media is much more difficult than just making an account and posting frequently. Sites like Instagram and Facebook are great tools for finding people who are specifically interested in what you have to offer, but a lot of businesses flounder and fail to find their audience on social media.

Upping your social-media game takes some work, but there are ways to start things off strong. Here are five simple and effective tips that can make all the difference.

1) Post at Your Peak Hours

“How do I know when the best time to post is?” The first thing to do is to look up when the peak hours are for the social-media platform you are posting on – the best time for Facebook is not the same for Instagram. Determine the best days of the week and hour of the day and start posting then.

Once you have done this for a while, check your analytics. Each site offers a way to see what day and time people are engaging with your content. Adjust your posting times to align with your peak views and you should notice an increase in your overall views and user engagement.

2) Always Include Some Kind of Media

Pictures are good, videos are better. Text posts are not as eye catching as an engaging video or photo. Numbers show that social-media posts with videos, picture, or GIFs are far more popular than those without. If you’re making an announcement, advertising a promotion, or making a holiday post, include something that is going to get people’s attention.

3) Keep Your Videos Short

People scroll through their social-media feeds at a rapid pace. Unless they are specifically seeking out something you posted, you are just another billboard on the highway that they can drive right past. If you’re posting a video, keep it under 15 seconds and make sure you get to the point from the beginning. Text should be big, clear, and bold. You only have a few moments to get your message across – don’t waste it.

4) Don’t Overdo It on the Hashtags

Hashtags are a great tool that people can use to find you, but don’t go overboard with them. Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to your posts. Don’t just use popular hashtags to try and gain visibility, and make sure you don’t overuse the same hashtags on every post.

These things can be flagged as potential fake-account activity, which can severely limit your overall visibility. Also, geotagging your posts to show your location is a big plus.

5) Engage Your Followers

If you want to grab people’s attention, give them a way to engage with your posts. Make a post asking a question and have them answer or start a discussion in the comments. Start a poll on a topic relevant to your business to give people a chance to vote on something they may be interested in. Make sure to respond and comment; this level of engagement draws attention and helps your business stand out.

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