Do the words social media terrify you? Many people view social media as time consuming, difficult to follow or understand, and pointless. Social media can hinder your business, if not done correctly, but it can also grow your business if you know how to use it.

Successful social media marketing takes dedication, planning and a few simple tips.

1. Know your audience: It is important to know not only who your audience is but what they like. If your audience isn’t engaging with you then social media isn’t helping build your business. Does your audience need daily motivational tips? Do visuals help your audience understand your product? Don’t be afraid to take the time to test ideas and find out what your audience reacts to best.

2. Pre-schedule your posts: You have to be willing to take the time to think about and plan your posts. I use HootSuite to pre-post information each day. You can set the time and date for each post and the networks you would like your information to post to. Set it up for 1 day at a time or a week at a time, it’s your choice. It is also important to know what time your audience responds best to. Test out a few times and analyze your stats on what times work best with your audience. I usually post 2-3 times a day at 11am, 4pm and 7 pm.

3. Follow or favorite people retweeting you: Your followers want recognition from you. Take time each week to acknowledge your new followers and those that have retweeted you. This helps build your audience. A simple shout out can go a long way.

4. Variety with your posts: Don’t tweet or post the same thing every time. I like to share motivational quotes, pictures in the office or at events, ask pool questions, and promote events and products. Sometimes a short quote is a nice way to motivate your followers for the week. A picture allows your audience to see what is going on with your business. A poll question allows people to engage with each other and with you. Finally, it’s always important to promote your business and what you have to offer.

Taking the time to implement these 4 tips could change your business. Start small and find out what works best for you. You may have to begin with posting once a day or simply promoting your products. Find a rhythm that works best for your business and go from there.

About the Author: Suzanne Evans owner and founder of Suzanne Evans Coaching, LLC, is the tell-it-like-it-is, no fluff boss of business building. She supports, coaches, and teaches over 30,000 women enrolled in her wealth and business building programs. Having surpassed the seven figure mark herself in just over three years, she’s coached her private clients to total revenues exceeding 8 million dollars. In 2011, she launched her Global Impact Project, a not for profit serving women worldwide in education, entrepreneurship, and equality.