A social media plan is vital to the success of a small business. That should go without saying, especially in a time when people communicate more online than they do in person. But beyond that, a lot of small businesses are at a loss. They know they need to make their presence known on social media — they just don’t know how. It’s not nearly as complicated as it can first seem, and in the long run social media can be a great benefit to your company and brand. Here are some tips on how small businesses can make the most of the major social media platforms. Instagram: Post original content. Users on Instagram are more impressed with original, authentic photos that clearly display the personality of your brand and company. Small businesses can garner lots of loyal followers by regularly updating with interesting shots of the office, sneak peeks of new products, and fun promotions. Visual is key here: if you don’t have a fun or unique image to share, save it for another network. Pinterest: This is another site that’s big on visuals, but if you’re not of an artistic nature your small business can still do well. Like and share pictures that promote the interests of your company; seek out people that would benefit the most from your business and connect with them. Unlike Instagram, you can simply share other people’s picture and posts, so don’t worry if you’re not a photographer. Twitter: Twitter is a huge platform that can connect you to millions of customers, so tread carefully. Don’t spam people’s accounts with endless promotions, but don’t fall silent either. You’ll need to work to find the perfect balance for your particular audience. Make sure that you personally connect with and respond to customers (particularly those that are having issues or questions regarding your product). Twitter has become the fastest way to connect with companies online — make sure you put your best face forward. Mobile Advertising: Not a social network per se, mobile advertising and marketing is rapidly expanding as one of the best ways to connect with potential customers across the country and the globe. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, and works well with most smartphones. The best way to attract customers and boost sales is to design a marketing campaign specifically for the mobile audience (or at the very least ensure it’s compatible with mobile devices). If this seems out of your league, services like BreMobile can help you create and promote mobile ads quickly, easily, and effectively. Facebook: Considered by many to be the pinnacle of social media, Facebook doesn’t have the standing it once enjoyed. While pretty much every small business and individual you know seems to have a Facebook, more and more people (particularly the younger generation) are looking for other ways to connect with friends. Building a Facebook following for your company can give you credibility, and allows you to easily connect with potential customers around the world. Sharing coupons, deals, and updates about your company on a regular basis will keep users engaged and your social media profile strong. Please don't forget to connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bremobile and on twitter @bremobile. Also sign up with us by August 1st to get 10 weeks of FREE advertising at www.bremobile.com/offer.html.