How are you using social media to help grow your business? The fast paced world of social media is always changing and it can make creating a successful social strategy somewhat difficult at times. Whether it’s being able to create the type of content that provides value to your audience or understanding the best ways to manage paid advertisements, it’s never been more important to be in the “know how” when it comes to the current best practices of today’s most popular social networks.

Once you’ve created your social networking accounts, and established a content strategy, it’s time to engage and grow your audience. However, this isn’t going to happen overnight. Developing your social audience is a long, but worthwhile process. While this step may seem daunting, here are a few steps to get started.

Firstly, giving followers an inside look at what happens behind the scenes at your company can help to humanize your brand. Sharing your company culture is a great way to draw in current and potential clients. Use your social networking pages to develop relationships with your followers. To do so, avoid filling your news feed with listing photos. Instead, post links or pictures that accentuate your human side. According to Inman, “agents should focus 90 percent of their content strategy around their community and limit property posts to around 10 percent.”

Additionally, see if you can work with another company to cross promote your brands. This can be as simple as retweeting each other’s tweets on Twitter or sharing each other’s posts on Facebook. If you want to take it a step further, seek out a local business that you could partner with. Local decorators, professional stagers, or home repair technicians could promote your company and, in turn, you could promote their services to new home buyers or sellers.

If you’d like to up the ante, consider hosting a giveaway, contest, or sweepstakes. Contests and sweepstakes are great ways to increase your followers and fan base. Contests also enable you to engage with your audience, and can be a great source for consumer data. This can be done singly through your social media pages, or jointly in an effort to cross promote another company. If you’d like to host your own giveaway, but aren’t sure how to get it off the ground, Social can help.

Looking for even more tips to optimize your social strategy? Download the Social Media Checklist 2015: 7 Steps to Generate Even More Business. Want to keep up with the rest of the posts in this series? Subscribe to the blog to receive notifications when they are published.