Melbourne Entrepreneur Kathryn Thompson launched her social media business KeepSnaps two years ago, and she’s letting us in on the secrets to using social media to grow your business.

Social media is so engrained in our lives that Australians spend 1 in every 5 minutes on social media. This includes checking Facebook, scrolling through Instagram, filming a Snapchat or sending off a tweet. So businesses need to be where their customers are.

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Here she shares her five things small businesses must do to succeed on social media.

  1. Come up with a social media strategy and stick to it. Map out a content calendar which details what, where and when you will publish new social media content. This will eliminate those ‘I have no idea what to post about’ moments.
    “As Instagram is a visual platform, the images have to beautiful to capture the viewers attention, and then if you follow it up with a humorous, cheeky caption, you’ll have them hooked,” says Kathryn.
  1. Create a style. Ideally stick to one or two Instagram filters, similar colours or patterns, and tone of voice. This includes using the same profile picture and the same cover photo across all your accounts.
  1. It’s a good idea to reward your loyal followers with special offers or competitions exclusively for them to get them truly engaged. You could join up with similar businesses to offer even greater prize packages. You can ask them to regram, like and tag a friend, or comment on why they deserve to win, whatever works for your business.
  2. Follow plenty of accounts that are your target market so they get notified you exist, then you can unfollow them a few days later, once they’ve started following you! This is a very quick and easy way to grow followers in your target market.
  1. Don’t forget to reply to comments, start conversations and like other posts, as the whole idea of social media is to be social. Avoid spammy generic comments, and keep them relevant and genuine to really get noticed.