That smiley photo you posted on Facebook only got three likes. Your pithy tweet is met with silence. You have no idea how to Snapchat. Failing to get a reaction on social media can be frustrating and embarrassing—and it can also be bad for business. Social media has become an essential way to connect with customers, not just friends, so we spoke with marketing and digital strategy experts about tried and true ways to boost your social media profile.

1. DETERMINE YOUR OBJECTIVE.

Do you want more followers? Are you trying to engage your customers? Figure out your goal before deciding on a strategy, says Dana DiTomaso, president of Kick Point, a digital-first marketing agency.

2. INTERVIEW YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Get to know your audience's online tastes and habits and adjust your game plan accordingly. Once you discover why they go online, you can figure out what you should be putting on your social media pages, DiTomaso, says. In order to help a healthcare client gain more customers, for instance, DiTomaso interviewed a group of local nurses about why they use social media. Turns out, they often log on to see where their favorite food trucks are at lunch. So DiTomaso suggested her client incorporate the food trucks into their events. Similarly, after determining that a builder client's online followers were interested in home design, DiTomaso encouraged her client to share more stories about decor.

3. USE VISUALS.

Eye-catching photos, graphics, or videos can help your posts stand out from the rest, says Peg Fitzpatrick, a social media speaker and strategist. Fitzpatrick suggests using Adobe Spark for fun, easy, and free graphics and videos.

4. USE HASHTAGS.

Think of hashtags as the glue that holds social conversations and ideas together, Fitzpatrick says. “On Instagram, you can use up to thirty hashtags per post,” she says. Fitzpatrick recommends using hashtags that are relevant to your photo to connect it with like-minded people. “I put one or two in the initial description and the rest in a comment on the post.” But use discretion: Over-hashtagging or tagging unrelated terms or products makes people cranky—and you won’t reach the right audience.

5. BE STRATEGIC ABOUT YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS.

Maintaining an engaging and interesting Facebook page is an art, Fitzpatrick says. She recommends the following steps to make your page more popular: Experiment with posting at different times of the day; add variety to your posts; space your posts apart so you don’t clog your fans’ newsfeed.

6. CROSS-PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT.

Use social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to share your videos to reach more people. “The wildly successful vloggers are all working multiple social media channels with their YouTube content,” Fitzpatrick says.

7. GO LIVE.

According to Facebook, people will spend triple the time watching a live video as they will one that was previously recorded. So think of an event, interview, or contest that you can broadcast live in order to attract more eyes to your page.