Facebook has over two billion users and two million advertisers right now, which makes it the undisputed king of social media.

Most stores are spending more time updating their business’s Facebook page than they do updating their website, which is a good strategy overall – your website is good for being found by new customers but they aren’t as good as they used to be for communicating with existing customers. Facebook, on the other hand, takes your business’s latest message, whether it’s a new install or information about an upcoming sale, to your customers on the same newsfeed they go to see what’s happening with their friends. It’s the kind of access that businesses kill for.

Most retailers are sticking with posts and updates, but will occasionally pay to advertise things like in-store specials and jobs. It’s not as straightforward as you think, but there are lots of great guides out there to show you how it works. This is a good place to start: https://adespresso.com/guides/facebook-ads-beginner/

The thing is, while Facebook is a good way to reach adults who have cars and money today, it’s not the preferred social network for teens. Teens tend to use SnapChat and Instagram to communicate, which means you might have to expand your social media presence in the future to include future customers as well.

Both platforms are a lot less ad friendly, and both have their own style and language. That’s why big companies hire social media directors to manage their presence in a way that works well in all mediums.

However, there’s no reason you can’t cover all of your bases now.

The free option, which requires a bit of setup, is to link your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages so anything you post to Facebook will be replicated on those pages.

This guide will help you link Facebook and Twitter: https://help.twitter.com/en/managing-your-account/link-twitter-to-facebook

This guide will help you link Facebook and Instagram: https://help.instagram.com/176235449218188

LInking to Snapchat is a bit tougher as it just doesn’t work the same way.

This link will explain how to use Snapchat to advertise: https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/

And this video explains how to add all of your Facebook friends who also use Snapchat to your Snapchat list:

There are a few options for managing all/most of your social media from a single platform. The benefit is that you don’t have to link all of your accounts, which means you can choose to run the same content or different content on each. That’s important, as you’ll see in a moment.

The undisputed leader is HootSuite, a social media dashboard system that lets you manage and update your social media accounts (not including Snapchat) from one place.

There are also alternatives to HootSuite you might want to check out like Social Booster, Buffer, and Sprout Social. These are all paid services, but some may have plans that work for you.

Once you have an increased social media presence, the next step is to test them.

In advertising, there’s a concept called A/B testing which lets you test marketing messages by dividing your recipient list in half and sending one ad to one group and the other ad to the other – the ad with the most response (clicks, likes, coupon redemptions, etc) is the winner, and you’ll know better next time what messages and styles resonate the most with your customers.

The same idea applies to social media. Dashboards like HootSuite can help you track your engagement level across different social networks so you can get a sense of who is paying attention, but if you want to find out which campaigns are having the biggest impact on your business then you need to test things.

For example, you could create three or four different coupon codes to share with customers on different social media platforms and see which coupons actually get used in store. You might be completely surprised to find out that LinkedIn works better in your market than Facebook, or that all those teens on Instagram do have a budget for vehicle upgrades.

That kind of information will make it easier to plan campaigns in the future, and reach different audiences with different messages. For example, maybe you want to leave your high-end clients on LinkedIn out of your subwoofer discount, or leave your younger clients on Instagram and Snapchat out of your marine audio campaign.

However you use it, it’s also important that you link all of your digital accounts together by linking to your web page and blog, or by ensuring anyone who finds your web page can see your latest social media posts – and connect with you on the platform that they prefer.