Nine out of every ten businesses is using social media for marketing purposes. On Facebook alone, there are more than 50 million business pages. Social media marketing used to be something that put you ahead of the competition in and of itself but today you absolutely have to be doing it just to be relevant. Now if you want to stand out with social media marketing, you have to go above and beyond. Here are five tips that can help you stand out from the competition.

Use SMS to build your social media following

You’ve already got a mobile following in the form of SMS subscribers. They’re loyal customers who’ve given you permission to text them so the chances are good many of them would like to follow your brand on social media as well. Loyal social media followers are a major key to success especially when you’re first starting out. They can help extend the reach of your posts by sharing them within their circles. Send out a text with a link to your Facebook page. An incentive in exchange for a new follower doesn’t hurt either.

Know what’s trending and when to comment on it

Social media needs to be about more than promoting your products and services. Your followers will expect you to be a participant in ongoing conversations relating to your industry. When something newsworthy happens in your industry, you should be aware and ready to contribute to the ensuing conversation. On the other hand, you don’t want to be one of those brands who shamelessly uses trending stories to promote themselves even when the story isn’t relevant to the brand.

Use a post scheduler and a bank full of content ideas

Consistency in sharing valuable content is another huge key to success in the world of social media marketing. The majority of your posts should not be self-promotional. A post scheduler tool can allow you to create a few posts in advance and schedule them to be released at times when they’ll be most effective. You should also be thinking about content ideas constantly. Have a designated place where you jot down ideas as you have them. Some content will be responding to specific current events but others will be timeless advice that you can repurpose for new content pieces down the road so hold onto those as well.

Look before you leap

If Twitter has taught us anything, it’s that while you can delete a tweet, you can’t erase all of the screenshots people take of it between the time you published it and the time you deleted it. Social media marketing can be dangerous because social media users are always on the lookout for anything that can be seen as offensive. A thoughtless post has been the downfall of many brands on social media so businesses need to be vigilant in looking at a post from every possible angle before publishing it. Once again, a post scheduler is useful here because it gives you time between creating the post and releasing it to the world to catch any potential problems with it.

Invest in good data

An estimated 50% of businesses don’t even look at their social media metrics. They have no idea what’s working and what isn’t. Simply using each platform’s built-in analysis tools will give you an edge and investing in a few third-party analysis tools can really help you take your social media strategy to the next level.