With a new year upon us, companies are looking to get a fresh start just as much as anyone else. From changing up their marketing approach to altering how they handle sales strategy, this can be an exciting time to reinvigorate the business and pour energy into making 2018 a great year. If one of your goals is to get better at social media strategy, then here are a few helpful tips to get the ball rolling.

Utilize Hashtags 

Perhaps one of the most popular tools in social media, hashtags serve a few different functions to help boost engagement. On a practical level, hashtags are used to either increase likes on a picture or post, participate in a social campaign, or add a contribution to a relevant and highly searched topic. Hashtags appear on approximately 75 percent of social media user’s posts as noted by Sprout Social, and if you’re looking to connect to a wider audience on social media, brainstorming a few ways you can use hashtags more effectively is a must.

Start looking at hashtags that are popular in your industry. The goal is to target the specific communities you’re trying to tap into, even if they’re local or regional. For example, let’s say you’re an up-and-coming brewery that’s looking to get more involved with the craft beer community. While the hashtag #craftbeer might be too broad to really drive customers to your storefront, doing something more geocentric, such as #vacraftbeer because you’re based in Virginia, might be more advantageous. Search around to see if there are already established hashtags you feel would be beneficial to add to your posts, making them a part of the conversation.

Finally, another great practice with hashtags is tying a campaign to a central idea or event. For example, if you’re throwing a festival (we’ll call Redd Fest), then promoting with #reddfest on all of your posts is crucial, and you’re going to want others to do the same. While this seems like a simple strategy, it’s one that enables you to see the type of customers and fans who are willing to engage with you on social media. This information will be useful as you continue to tailor your posts to your target audience over time.

Don’t Forget About Calls-To-Action 

Another important aspect of social media is the use of a CTA, or call-to-action. These are a crucial component of any campaign, as they direct your viewers to a central hub, such as your blog or product page. Make no mistake, CTAs are a practice that has been proven to work time and time again, increasing engagement in places like Facebook at a rate of 285 percent, as noted by Protocol 80.

Whether you’re trying to sell something as specific as the best tactical flashlight or something as broad as lightweight spring jackets, try to have the statement lead into your CTA. For example: “Looking for the most durable, weather-protected jackets for camping this spring? Click the link in our bio to learn more.” In this case, the question leads into the CTA as a potential solution. Switching it up between different body copies in a formula like this can help you be more consistent with your social media presence while simultaneously giving you the ability to A/B test different products. Overall, think of this is a quantifiable way to test your efforts.

Define Campaign Limits 

Finally, one thing a lot of companies have problems with is defining their campaign limits and sticking with them. There are several ways to build a social media following quickly, with plenty of examples of everything from indie movies like People You May Know to political movements like Black Lives Matter gaining grassroots momentum online, but it’s important to actually sit down and define your campaign strategy and stick with it for the predetermined amount of time so you can gain insight from those metrics.

Although it can be difficult to estimate, you should ask yourself things like how long any given ad campaign on social media should run, and then stick to the decisions you make; this way, you don’t dedicate extensive time and resources to something that isn’t working, wasting your efforts. Overall, campaign timing and study is one of the most crucial aspects of any successful social media strategy and you should continually be refining your approach based on the live feedback you get from your active campaigns.

What are some social media strategies you’ve found successful in building your business? Comment with your success stories below.