If you aren’t promoting your business on social media, you’re asleep at the wheel. Here’s what eight social media masters and advisors in The Oracles told us about the channels and tactics that impact their businesses most.

Understand the platforms

There’s definitely a science to social media. Consider what each platform can do for you and your followers. For example, I look at Twitter as an incredibly connected and trusted focus group. Instagram is a solid, stable place to communicate information and images. Creating Instagram Stories is a fun way to capture what I’m experiencing and share with people pieces of who I really am.

— Bethenny Frankel, founder of Skinnygirl, cast member of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” New York Times bestselling author, and Shark on “Shark Tank”;

Create content your followers want

Don’t try to be everywhere. Identify where your ideal clients hang out, master that platform, and gather feedback about what’s working as you implement. Create content your fans want, not the content you want to create. Ask what they want, answer their questions, and like their comments. They are humans, so don’t treat them like a number. Becoming a brand requires depth and substance.

Use compelling video titles with “how to” or “secrets of.” Create a “teaser” trailer explaining who you are, what your content is about, what you want them to do (subscribe to your channel, for example), and what they will get. Tell them how often you will post content. Your following will grow faster when you post more frequently. But you have to build trust first, which takes time and consistency. Upload at the same time and same frequency. Don’t give up after just a dozen videos. Once you have followers, don’t forget you have to sell them something to convert their attention into money.

— Dan Lok, Chinese Canadian serial entrepreneur, global educator and international bestselling author of “Unlock It!”; two-time TEDx opening speaker and founder of Closers.com, which connects companies to closers;

Focus on Instagram Stories

Instagram is the golden goose of social media right now. The Instagram Stories feature is the secret to turning it into an unstoppable sales machine. An Instagram feed is like the window in a retail store: it’s meant to capture your attention as you pass by. That’s where you post content that is valuable, purposeful, shareable, and high status. Giving your followers value strengthens your connection. Shareable content makes your followers look good for sharing it, and high-status content makes youlook good.

This organically grows your following and gets people to trust you enough to check out your Instagram Stories. Start your stories with a slide that catches attention and builds curiosity. Share content that proves you are an authority and delivers value. Then you’ve earned the right to ask followers to take action. Tell them what they can get, how, and why they need it now. Like Facebook, Instagram may not always be so effective for organic marketing. So get in now.

— Craig Ballantyne, owner of Early to Rise and creator of The Perfect Day Formulaand Social Story Selling System; author of the WSJ bestseller “Unstoppable”; read how Craig overcame entrepreneurial anxiety

Get to know your followers and avoid the ‘friend zone’

Don’t get caught up in the vanity metrics of getting more followers. You can have many followers but few customers. And followers don’t pay the bills — customers do. So focus on attracting your ideal clients and don’t worry about repelling those you don’t want to work with.

Social media is best to help people get to know you. Use it to show them you can help them. For example, if you’re a personal trainer focusing on female weight loss, create content that helps women get the body they want. Talk to their pains, fears and desires.

Focus on driving followers into your sales process by engaging with them and building strong relationships. But avoid getting into the “friend zone,” where followers engage with your content but don’t buy from you. Separate yourself from your competition by delivering more value. This is key to positioning yourself as an authority, which helps you attract your ideal customers and grow your business.

— Chris Dufey, founder and CEO of Coaches Cartel, which he grew to a multimillion-dollar business in one year; author of “Your First 100 Clients” and host of “The Chris Dufey Show” podcast;

Pull back the curtain

Letting your authentic self shine through is a challenge in our industry. Social media, especially Instagram and Twitter, has enabled us to open a door and give our audience a behind-the-scenes peek at our world. Instead of being the accounting department behind the curtain, we leverage social media to regularly broadcast our people and personality to the world. We believe this is instrumental to our success.

Share key moments and ideas from your company. To ensure you have a genuine voice, give different teams the responsibility to post on social media. And don’t be afraid to share your true self. People can tell when something is authentic or fabricated. Your company is candid art, not a stock photo.

— Dennis Najjar, co-founder of AccountingDepartment.com, a virtual accounting service for small businesses;

Make connections on Instagram

Instagram is No. 1 in my book right now, and I believe that’s where the trend is heading. That is where I recommend focusing. Some studies are showing that people are spending more time there than on Facebook.

My favorite thing about Instagram is the interactions I have with my fans and students via direct messages. I don’t get to respond to everyone, but I read all the messages. It’s incredible how connected we can be in today’s digital world; so take advantage of that connection. With it comes the opportunity for greater impact and contribution.

— Jason Capital, White House top 100 entrepreneur under 30, bestselling author, high-income coach, online marketing expert, and founder of High Status;

Cultivate your tribe

Soon after I started using social media in 2008, I became well known in the Australian fitness industry and was making tens of thousands a month, even without any intention or strategy. I didn’t do this by focusing on sales. I cultivated a loyal tribe of incredible, driven women who loved my message and energy and were my perfect clients.

If your sole reason for being on social media is leverage or growth, you’ll never succeed. People can sense when you only see them as a conversion. Focus on connecting with your tribe and communicating your soul-led message. That’s how you build a following that is 100 percent sold — on you, your vibes, and anything you offer them.

Now my multimillion-dollar business runs on a combination of social media and email marketing. About half of my sales come from Facebook posts and live streams. This comes from giving value, cultivating community, and connecting as human beings — then giving them the opportunity to buy something as a secondary goal.

—  Katrina Ruth, founder and CEO of “The Katrina Ruth Show,” a multimillion-dollar online coaching business for entrepreneurs;

Decide who you are and stick with it

The first step is deciding your core message and value proposition. Own who you are. Too many people worry about what others think. Your message should attract and resonate with people, but it should also repel those with different values — and that’s OK.

The next step is to consistently deliver your message, no matter the platform. Stick to your message and keep sharing. You can’t say something doesn’t work just because you don’t see results after a few tries. For our real estate company, Facebook has been the best channel to reach sellers. Instagram has been best to reach buyers, and LinkedIn helps us recruit agents to our team.

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startupnation / Originally published on Entrepreneur.com / Photo by Unsplash

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