This article was originally published on Instasize.com

These days, social media can make or break your brand or business. Knowing the ins and outs of each platform and what your audience wants will give you a great start, but what about gaining that competitive edge?

Social media is important for business growth. Marketers say that their brands have gained significant exposure through the use of social media, and consumers rely on it, too, with 71% saying they recommend brands to others if they’re social media friendly.

With so much riding on profiles, it’s important to invest in growing your social media.

Here are some social media marketing tips that will help:

1: Schedule posts ahead of time.

You can ensure the quality of posts when you give yourself enough time to make it the best it could be. While photo and video editing apps like Instasize significantly cut down editing time, you just never know when you’ll be suddenly struck with creative ways to improve a post.

2: Post consistently.

These days, it’s not so important that you’re constantly posting a new Tweet, or Facebook or Instagram post. Audiences look for quality and consistency. Set a frequency that you can manage, a schedule your audiences can rely on, and make sure you meet those deadlines. You can even announce it, too!

Telling your audience they can expect a new vlog every Tuesdays and Thursdays will give them something to look forward to, and they’re likely to show up to view and engage with your content.

3: Quality is key.

If there’s one social media tip you should follow, it’s this one. Every post should add value and be relevant to your target audience. It could mean one post a day or one post a week, and that’s okay. You are more likely to lose followers when you post subpar content than rarely posting. In fact, 51% of users unfollow brands that post poor or even irritating content. You don’t want to fall into that category.

4: Engage with your followers.

Engagement: social media’s magic word. Everyone wants more people liking, sharing, commenting, or interacting with their posts in some way. A good way to boost engagement is to join the fun! Retweet a mention, reply to comments on Facebook, maybe even like an Instagram follower’s post. When your audience sees that you’re responsive and approachable, they’re more likely to respond and approach.

5: Plan separate strategies for different platforms.

The top social media platforms have their own best practices, and it is in your brand’s best interest to make plans and content according to each platform. While you can certainly cross-post content, you can’t simply upload the exact same graphic and paste the exact same copy.

Consider the different audiences you have for each site, the types of content that do well, and how to optimize copy according to the platform.

6: Focus where you are strongest.

It is likely that you won’t have the same number of followers on one social media vs. another, and that’s okay! Give more focus to where you have the highest engagement (these doesn’t always mean highest follower count). This may even save you time in the long run, as you will realize which is the best fit for your brand and concentrate efforts where it makes the most sense.

7: Stay on top of updates.

Platforms are always updating–from adding new features to changing their algorithms. You need to stay on top of each change and quickly adapt to these changes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new features or post types. It pays to be an early adapter.

8: Keep up with trends.

Everyone wants to be a trendsetter on social media, but it’s also a good thing to keep your eyes peeled for rising trends and see how you can apply it to your posts, too. If you see something that works for a different brand, it could work for you too. Just make sure the trends you’re adapting fits your profile.

Jumping on trends when they don’t make sense for your social media persona could give you a boost in followers, but will ultimately alienate your target audience.