Social media can be a superpower鈥 if you鈥檙e using it right. We all know that building up a large social following is a crucial part of getting a new business or brand noticed, but getting those followers to engage, buy products and spread the word to their friends? Now that鈥檚 a whole different ball game. To help you tap into the world of professional social media marketing, FedEx is sponsoring our Build Your Brand on Social Media Online Class so that you can take it for FREE through December 31, 2016! Check out the five quick tips below for building a large AND loyal fan base and then head over to the free class for even more must-know tips.

TIP 1: CONSISTENCY IS KEY

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This part is all about knowing your brand and staying true to it, with a consistent look and feel to your posts. Think about your brand as a potential new friend to your followers. If this new friend is constantly switching up personalities, you might not trust them or feel like sticking around. As much as keeping up with the cool and trendy sounds tempting, keeping it real (like this super relevant tote from Nice Work) is the most attractive way to be.

TIP 2: BE PERSONAL

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Take that consistent, genuine vibe and then kick it up a notch. Use your captions to tell your audience honestly what you鈥檙e excited about and any struggles you鈥檝e had along the way. Give them a glimpse of who you are outside of work by posting a weekend pic or telling them about your undying love for [insert delicious carb here].

TIP 3: BE RESPONSIVE

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Comments are easy to ignore, but are also one of the best ways to interact with your faraway fans. Make sure to respond, thanking them for the praise, acknowledging their concerns (professionally and within reason of course) and answering any specific questions they have. Let your followers know they matter to you and they鈥檒l stick with you much longer than if you silently let a comment slide.

TIP 4: SHOUT OUT TO YOUR FANS

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Get your fans involved with regrams, shoutouts and contests! Again, you鈥檙e letting them know that they are important to you and inspire you to keep going.

TIP 5: MEET UP IRL

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This comes from the same reason that authors still hold book signings and musicians still perform live. Even though we鈥檝e all gone digital, as humans, we will always be drawn to real life experiences (thank god, right?!). Give your fans a chance to meet you at maker faires, launch parties, signings or wherever else you can show off your brand and one-of-a-kind personality!

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Okay one last tip for the road: HAVE FUN. Trust us, it shows! And for many many more tips on going pro with your social media, make sure to check out our FREE Build Your Brand on Social Media Online Class through December 31, 2016.

Sponsored by FedEx.

Author + Styling: Lee Schellenberger

Photography: Chris Andre