Look around – you see it too? You’ll be hard-pressed to find somebody not on their phone or tablet, browsing the internet and scouring social media like it were the daily newspaper. On the surface, social media may seem like a minefield. But with hundreds of sites, apps and services available to the public, each with a different focus and reach, it would be daft to ignore the enormous potential that promoting your business through social media can bring.

Admittedly, it’s not always easy to stay on top of current trends and pop-culture. New platforms and mediums are always sprouting up, while existing ones are rapidly growing and changing at an increasing rate, leaving others obsolete. Just as you become used to an app or service, another one comes along and the public go mad for it. Additionally, with each platform you adopt, you ought to decide on the style, tone and frequency of content you want to be publishing on each – what may work with one service will not necessarily work on another, (and could reflect badly on your business). But as Yoda once said: ‘Persevere you must’*. With that in mind, however many new and quirky apps pop on the scene, it’s an absolute given that you probably shouldn’t ignore long-time staples such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

It’s immensely important you stay relevant in today’s fickle market, or your lack of insight will show. Currently, ephemeral content (or rather, temporary content) has been on the rise for a long time. More and more businesses are taking note and embracing it as an integral part of their marketing campaigns. Why, you say? Personality, transparency, voice. In the age of smartphones and social media, it’s important to appeal to as wide a target audience as possible. Use Snapchat and make a quick video of workplace shenanigans! Showcase daily life at the office through photos on Instagram! Show that your company is comprised of a friendly, fun staff, and that you’re approachable. Give the public consistent, fresh and accessible content they can relate to and remember you by.

According to our market research, 91% of suppliers said they use social media as their primary method of attracting new customers. More than 300 million people use Instagram every day, while on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the US alone. Those are not figures to turn your nose up at! Increase awareness of your brand – get social!

Maintaining an online presence gives you access to thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of new clients every hour of every day. It is worth nothing though, that poorly managed and badly designed websites and social media campaigns can also damage your business too. Before you go, here are some tips and tricks for businesses looking to dip their toe in the sea of social media:

• First and foremost – take heed of what’s going on with your competitors. You can learn a great deal from your rivals, what’s working and what’s not, and it may well spark a new idea for your campaign and how you want to run your social media.

• Hashtags! Almost every popular form of social media functions using hashtags. Using hashtags, your content will be much easier to access and search for, as well as being grouped together alongside past posts also using the hashtag. This means customers can filter out and narrow down the content that matters to them most, without needing to scour through reams of previous posts that might not be relevant to them.

• Does your business have a website? No? What are you doing?! Get to it! Use your social media posts to generate interest in your webpage, include direct links to it within your posts.

• Finally, modernise said website! There is no use in creating a run-of-the-mill, generic site that’ll look dated and ugly alongside your competitors.