Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water?”

Simply put, it means that although you are done with the water and it has served its purpose, the baby is still valuable. It is like that with many business practices that are being ignored today, even though plenty of solid ideas from the “old school” are effective with social media.

Your social media strategy needs more than what’s happening on Twitter to improve conversion rates. To improve your impact, it is best to review your goals and upgrade your social media tactics for increasing conversion rates, building brand awareness and bringing in new customers.

Here are eight ideas that still prove valuable today.

#1 Do smart, thorough research

Advertising people who ignore research are missing customers. Social media marketers should support their strategies with analytics platforms and research-backed ideas. Given the variance in demographics of different social media platforms, it’s not surprising to see that some products sell better on one platform over another.

Create a social media strategy tailored to the demographic of each platform. For example, an e-mail service provider may not capture many direct sales from Twitter, but that doesn’t mean it can’t build brand awareness and long-term name recognition.

#2 Optimize social sharing buttons to drive engagement

Many publishers simply work hard to create content and trust that readers will figure out how to share their content. However, good social sharing buttons are easy for publishers to integrate onto their sites. What makes a good social sharing button?

    • Clarity and ease of use. Don’t make users work.
    • Noninterference. Users will share your material if you make it easy, and the sharing button doesn’t get in the way of the content.
    • Strategic placement. Place your social media buttons where they do not appear prematurely or are hard to find.
    • Styles of social buttons: inline or sticky share. Your choice is a matter of your own strategy and preference. Inline share buttons are arranged together, and sticky share buttons are a little more interactive.

#3 Avoid using sleazy bait-and-switch tactics

Keep your advertising real and your Copy believable. Active communities are chatting, sharing and supporting. If you participate on these sites, you’ll get more attention on your brand. Social media copy should not be too over-the-top or exaggerated, especially because teens are skeptical about trusting brands. Avoid empty platitudes or superlatives that may arouse doubt. Don’t lie. Millennials are 43 percent more likely than other generations to call a brand out on social media.

#4 Get right to the heart of things

Commercial attention doesn’t grow. Hit hard right away. Your audience can only become less interested, never more. The level you reach in the first five seconds is the highest you will get, so don’t pull your punches.

This advice is eerily applicable to video marketing in the current digital media ecosystem where attention spans are running shorter than ever, especially among today’s teenyboppers. You must catch your audience’s attention immediately or risk losing them entirely.

According to current trends, “On average, Facebook users devour 100 million hours of video every single day. About 82 percent of Twitter users watch video on that particular medium.”

#5 Use the right imagery

Consider the popularity of the artwork and consistency of style, including videos. Using images is a great way to up your social media game, especially since visuals can aid in information retention. Marketers should ensure that photos complement branding and style guidelines. Consistency in style will help your followers recognize your brand on any platform.

If you want to increase conversion rates on social media, increase use on the channels that are already working for you. See higher rates of reaching more potential customers and generating immediate page likes and engagements, increasing the average daily registrations. Your choice? Simple. Pick the style that suits your site the best.

#6 Use social media as a primary support channel

According to research, in the last two years, customer service interactions on Twitter have increased 250 percent. Today’s social media user expects your service to be timely and responsive even in matters of customer support. Why not give them what they want? Send personalized and timely replies on social media, even if it’s simply to direct someone to the right customer support channel.

#7 Context matters

No one wants to follow a social media robot online. Be the kind of account you would want to follow. Think of your social media like a blog. Promote the work of other companies and provide a link that your audience might want to check. Some people will follow you because you share interesting tidbits and links. Participate and share insights with your targeted audience.

Beware of insensitivity. Getting context right, on the other hand, can have a positive effect. Social media marketers should use content tailored to suit each platform. Getting context wrong can make a brand appear ignorant at best. At worst, it can cause lasting damage to a brand’s image.

#8 Engaging the audience in a conversation

Copy is a conversation with the consumer you are targeting. This is where asking a question is a great way to get followers engaged and increase the visibility of your campaigns. Once you get the conversation going on social media, remember, follow-through is key.

Let’s face it: Internet users are addicted to video, and that’s great for publishers and marketers. But to get them into the subject of their choice, they may need a headline to help them quickly determine the solution they are searching.

Creating headlines targets your audience and helps them to engage faster. Headlines get to the point: there’s no doubt in what you can expect to get or learn. Starting from the customer’s perspective, headlines also may sound like key phrases to customers and readers.

After all, social media is a two-way street. To be successful, you need to promote your company as well as provide valuable information to readers.