Social media is a powerful marketing tool. This is no longer an opinion or a visionary idea. It is fact, and if you’re not using it you may be missing out on new customers and accelerated growth. Here are a few great ways to get going.

Strategize. Treat social media like you would any other aspect of your business. Make sure that you have a strategy for each social network you’re on. Twitter is different than Instagram, which is different than Vine, etc. Your content on each social network should match the style of that social network. Record your current stats on each site before you implement a new strategy so you can track your success. Measure your success, refine your strategy, rinse and repeat.

Provide Value. Offering exclusive promotions to your followers is a great way to build a base. But that’s not the only kind of value you can provide. Content that establishes your expertise on a subject (blogs, videos, etc.) shows consumers that you know what you’re doing and provide another avenue of interaction.

Find Customers. There are great products out there that allow you to go out and find customers on social media. If you sell donuts and someone tweets that they could really go for a donut right now, you can reply to them with an exclusive offer. It’s real-time marketing at its most basic level, but it has the potential to earn you a lot of good karma as the recipients share their stories with others.

Monitor Your Reputation. Don’t simply allow consumers to comment. Listen to those comments and adjust accordingly. Treat them like people that you care about and you will earn their respect and possibly elicit an emotional bond with your brand. Interact with your followers on social media to show your investment in them.