Social media marketing has become just as important as landing pages and email lists, and if you are not savvy with how it works, chances are you are missing out on some huge conversion opportunities. 

A recent study found that over 30% of websites receive majority of their traffic from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

If you are one of those sites, or you want to be one of those sites, here are 15 tips that will help you boost your social media performance:

1.) Don’t Be Afraid to Spend: Don’t shy away from spending money to advertise on social media. It has proven to be highly successful for most businesses and is a great tool to add to your toolbox. Both Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon offer reasonable ad services that yield positive results.

2.) Build Facebook Groups: One of the best ways to get your content shared and read across social media is by posting it in a highly engaged group. Be mindful here, you may get flagged as a spammer and banned from groups if you keep bombarding them with your posts. Creating your own group however, would allow you to share and post as much as you desire.

3.) Insert CTAs: Imbedding calling to actions in your Facebook posts can help generate more customer leads and makes it easier for your customers to make impulse purchases.

4.) Use Many Platforms: Don’t just limit yourself to Facebook, there are so many other popular social media platforms out there from Twitter to Instagram and Google+. Get on all of them and then cross promote. Also, think about what would do well for your business. For example, if you are selling luxury handbags you should definitely be on Pinterest and Instagram.

5.) Make Connections: Creating engagement on social media starts with being engaged yourself. Make an effort to respond to comments, retweet and also share and like other people’s content. Strike up conversations with your followers and share personal details, this way you make it more personal.

6.) Offer Special Promotions: A great way to keep fans engaged on social media is to offer deals and freebies to those who retweet, share and like your content. This is a fantastic way to build a following and to get your product out there. Another tactic would be to offer a freebie on Social Media and then redirect them to an email opt-in.

7.) Post Memes/Quotes: They are easy to share and easy to like. Memes and inspirational quote images always do well on Facebook, Pinterest and even on Twitter. You may not get many engaged followers from this strategy, but it’s a great way to build up a following fast.

8.) When to Post: Most social media sites allow you to post as often as you like without consequence however, both Facebook and Twitter have algorithms that clock how engaged your audience is. Twitter puts top posts at the start of feeds whereas Facebook may not even show your posts to your followers if they are not engaged. Facebook is definitely more discerning when it comes to showing content which means that if you over-post on Facebook and your fans are not liking or sharing, they may never see one of your posts again. Post to Facebook strategically and only post things you know are going to be highly engaging for your followers.

9.) Use a Social Media Scheduling Tool: Posting to social media can become quite a time consuming chore which is why it’s recommend to use a social media scheduling tool. There are many out there such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social , Edgar etc.- pick one that you like and works well for your business.

10.) Cover Image/About Me: Both Facebook and Twitter give you the option to display a cover image, and write a brief blurb about yourself or company. Use this space wisely! Studies have shown that including an inspirational message or a beautiful cover image can help increase engagement. Your “About Me” section is also one of the first things people read- especially on Twitter, so make it short, concise and sweet.

11.) Use Hashtags: Hashtags essentially allow your posts to be searchable but they also increase engagement if you use a recently trending hashtag. Both Facebook and Twitter offer a list of trending hashtags so use them to your advantage. How can you use a trending hashtag in your posts while still making it relevant?

12.) Ask Questions: You will be amazed at how the simplest questions can engage followers. For example, Walmart Facebooked: “We’re comparing apples and oranges. Literally. Which one is your favourite?” Along with a picture of an apple and orange. Guess what their response was? This simple post was liked 4384 times, commented on 2475 and shared over 85 times.

13.) Get Involved with Throwback Thursday: #TBT or throw back Thursday is a day to share a memory or a photo or post from the past. It is constantly a trending topic across social media so use it to your advantage.

14.) Share Fan Content: If you have a big enough following or are a brand, chances are you will have fans sending in artwork, ideas, photos or testimonials. Everybody loves to feel valued so why not share them on social media? In fact M&Ms USA social media page ran a “Fan Pic Friday” campaign where they would share a fan generated image. This of course expanded their reach and engagement.

15.) Ask them to Fill in the Blank: Another great way to boost engagement is to offer an image and ask followers to come up with a caption, or get them to fill in the blank. Disney is known for doing this on Facebook and asks users to fill in the missing song lyrics from popular animated films. Their posts like this receive thousands of shares, comments and tens of thousands of likes.

There are countless ways to use Social Media to help drive your brand an increase engagement. Learn what works best for your company and continue testing and pushing the boundaries. Social Media is really one of those platforms where it pays to be bold and daring.