Out with the old and in with the new. The new year is the perfect time to adapt a new attitude toward your business. A presence on social media is absolutely necessary. I repeat, you cannot avoid it. Let 2014 be the year you fully embrace social media and all of the good it can do for your company. Don’t be scared. I’ll hold your hand and walk you through the important aspects of social media you need to embrace this year.

Add Some Flavor: Your social media accounts are a direct reflection of your business. What you tweet, post or link to on your sites says a lot about your company’s personality. Roundpeg does a great job of balancing lighthearted humor with informative content. You get a little chuckle, but you also get a healthy dose of knowledge. Make sure your social media accounts are accurately reflecting your brand. Don’t be afraid to add some personality to your posts. I understand that every business has a different image, but you also want your content to be somewhat engaging. Try it out in a few blog posts or tweets. If you like the response you get, great! If you aren’t satisfied with the results, try something else.

Build Relationships: When you run your own business, you know how important it is to make lasting relationships with clients. You also need to build those relationships on social media. Consumers love to comment on Facebook posts, blog posts and LinkedIn posts, as well as reply to tweets. Respond to them! Show your audience you are listening to what they are saying. Even if someone’s comments aren’t particularly sweet, you still need to have conversation. Respond in the most positive way possible. Kill them with kindness, right? It is more crucial than ever to be aware of what people are saying about your business on social media. You might have been able to ignore it in the past, but not in 2014.

Don’t Disregard LinkedIn: LinkedIn is most commonly used for people to network with one another, but don’t count out the site when it comes to promoting your business. Businesses can absolutely benefit from LinkedIn. It is a wonderful resource for B2B marketers. Make sure your profile is as close to 100 percent complete as possible. Use LinkedIn to connect with people who are truly important to your business. You want to utilize LinkedIn as a way to grow your business, not spam everyone you have ever made eye contact with.

Be Mobile: I’m not referring to physical exercise, but working out more (or at all in my case) is a great resolution to have too. I’m talking about mobile devices. More and more people are accessing websites from their mobile devices. Your business needs to get in the game. Your site has to be accessible from phones and tablets. Are you thinking about developing an app for your business? Make sure the content is seamless with your website and your customer experience isn’t jeopardized.

Make Emails Personal – Generic emails are the worst. They are impersonal and often times feel way too sales pitch-y. Talk to your customers through your monthly e-newsletter the way you would talk to them face-to-face. Small businesses have the luxury of creating their email content to speak specifically to their clients. Your customer list is nowhere near the size of Apple or Amazon, so you don’t have to write as if you are speaking to over a million people (insert generic, blah emails). Let customers know you care and appreciate their support.

Social media can be intimidating, but with these five tips, plus a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. But like, not as good as me because then I’ll be out of job. So don’t get too good.