By Lauren Maillian

This post is sponsored by Chase Ink®

These days, just about every entrepreneur has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and countless other platforms.

But what truly matters on social is not where you are, but whether it’s really working for your business.

No matter what your preferred platform is, content and what you convey is what matters most. Social media is the most direct way to reach scores of existing and potential customers, especially for consumer-facing businesses.

I know from my own experience and I’ve learned a lot through trial, error and persistence. Here are a few ways I think entrepreneurs can win with social media in 2017.

  • Have something to say. That’s a no-brainer, right? What’s most important, though, is having something compelling and unique to say. “We’re having a sale” is fine, but it doesn’t speak to who you or your brand really is.

Don’t be shy about showing your personality, and having a point of view on topics you and your audiences care about. If they can identify with you, they will be more likely to come back for more info … and make purchases.

  • Be authentic. When I first started as an entrepreneur, I wish I had known that it was OK to just be myself. Whatever you are – a maverick, a free spirit, a rebel – it doesn’t really matter as long as you are true to your views. If your personality comes through on social media, you will find an audience that respects you, even if they sometimes disagree.

 

  • Leverage your connections. Most people already have a network of friends and contacts on their personal social channels. Start there with posts about your business, that may lead others to potentially introduce what you do to all of their contacts. For consumer businesses, it’s a great testing ground for a vibrant social media presence.

 

  • Spend wisely. Finally, while authentic content is your most powerful online marketing asset, you can rarely rely on it alone to maximize reach. Bolster your posts with paid amplification on social media channels and target the audiences you care about. (And if you don’t know much about “paid,” check with those social media sites you are interested in; there’s typically a business portal with tips and case studies on each site which can help you figure out what’s best for your business.)

Social ads don’t have to break the bank, either. The new Chase Ink Business Preferred Card can help maximize every single dollar an entrepreneur spends on social media. Earn 3X points on advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites, internet, cable and phone purchases and in other select categories. Chase Ink rewards you for the purchases you are already making and having those extra points to invest in the business is really helpful.

Being an entrepreneur is all about forging your own path. And social media may be just the right vehicle to get you there faster.

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Lauren Maillian is a former model turned serial entrepreneur. She and other small business owners are finding creative ways to use the rewards points earned on their Chase Ink card to invest in their business. Learn more about the new Chase Ink Business PreferredSM Card.