A new year is always a good time to start fresh. It’s a time for new plans, new opportunities and building better business practices. The thought of starting something anew can be incredibly exciting — but it can also be intimidating. Where should you begin? Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free For now, we’re going to zero in on just one element of business: social media marketing. Marketing your business online can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a dedicated marketing person to manage the accounts. Many businesses these days know that there’s value in social media marketing. Instead of going straight to a search engine, many people go straight to Facebook to find out about a business. It’s not as easy as just having a Facebook page or a Twitter account, though. It needs to be active, engaging and offer the information people are looking for. Related: My Single Biggest Real Estate Marketing Discovery of 2014 If you slacked off on social media in 2014, now’s the time to get back in the saddle. 6 Online Marketing Tips for Your Business 1. Refresh Your Image New year, new you! Let the same apply to social media. If you’ve had the same cover photo or icon for months on end, now’s a great time to change it. Whatever you decide, be sure that the images are clear and of professional quality. Good branding and paid work from a professional graphic designer are preferable — image does matter. Think about your business goals, the image you want to convey, and what you really want to get and give through social media. 2. Start More Conversations Too many times, businesses take the “social” out of social media. Not everything will be a conversation starter for you, but it’s always good to try to start a conversation or leave your readership with something to remember. Share relevant videos and articles, but talk directly to your audience. Remember to reply to comments, messages and mentions, even if it’s just a simple thank you. When you take the time to acknowledge your audience, it will pay off. 3. Remember That There’s No Body Language One of the biggest barriers in written communication is the lack of body language. How you convey your message through text is the only thing people have to go on online — there’s no posture, inflection, expressions or tone to go by to clue people in to what you mean. You have to keep that in mind, especially when conflict comes up. Sometimes an attempt at being “professional” in any given situation can be interpreted as being cold. Read and re-read your messages before you send to make sure nothing can be misconstrued. Once it’s on the Internet, it’s out there for good. 4.Work Social Media into Your Schedule Part of making New Year’s resolutions that stick is making them specific and habitual. It’s easy to set a distant goal, but if you don’t have a good plan to execute it, it’s far more likely to fail. Work social media planning into your schedule. It’s difficult to find things spur-of-the-moment, and you need to have time to both check for responses and make posts. If you don’t pencil in time, you’re likely to let your social media marketing fall by the wayside. Related: How to Blow Your Local Competition Away Using Internet Marketing 5. Include Your Audience The worst thing you can do on social media is talk too much about yourself. Ditch a self-congratulatory attitude and trade it in for gratitude. Take the time to thank and talk to your audience. Highlight positive things, and not just the things that help your business (provided they aren’t too off-topic). You audience isn’t just a number to boost. Take every opportunity to include your fans and speak to what matters to them. 6. Keep Up-to-Date What is the purpose of social media marketing? Ultimately, conversions and conversation. It’s still marketing, and you still want your business to be better for it. It’s important to note changes in your business on your social media account: Addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses all need to be up-to-date. Include office hours or hours of business. It won’t help your business if an interested lead can’t get in touch with you or get the information they need. What online marketing advice has made the most impact on your strategies? Share with us in the comments.