Cats in ties are very important to becoming a social media pro. Ok, I’m kidding, but I got your attention with that image and sentence didn’t I? I’ll get to that.

While social media gurus seems to abound these days, there are still quite a lot of folks in the media space who aren’t quite sure how to best utilize the free tools of advertising that are right at your fingertips. With organic social media, there’s no need to pay for ads, but how can you increase your followers and convert that into sales? Here are five easy ways to become a pro at social media without buying ads!

1.Post Often 
Social media never sleeps and you want yours to be active. There’s nothing worse than heading to a company’s social media page and seeing it hasn’t been updated for months. In today’s climate that can lead viewers to think a company may not be reliable or even real. In order to stay on top of your posts use a scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite, that allows you to schedule posts in advance. Hootsuite even offers a free version for up to three social profiles.

2. Use Interesting and Eye Catching Photos
Free stock photos abound and there are quite a lot of great sites out there to download them from. In addition, take your own photos! These are even better at times since they look real and you can use free apps to jazz them up. There are lots to choose from and you can always use your PC to add text or other images. Get creative!

3. Hashtags Work
People often make fun of hashtags, but it’s been proven numerous times that they work. For each post or picture be sure to use at least two hashtags. The hashtags are searchable and will boost the amount of views that your content receives. Add in a little humor with your hashtags and do a search ahead of time to find the most popular ones.

4. Find the Influencers & Engage With Them
Across all social media channels, there are a set of people known as “influencers.” These people have a lot of, well, influence. If you can get them to share, like, follow or mention your brand you could be in business. The free way to get them involved is to engage with them on their own social media to see if they will come over to yours. In this instance, go after the influencers who are the right fit for your brand.

5. Make It Funny
Living in a world with a lot of scary news can be a total downer. This is why a little humor in your social media posts is often welcomed and re-shared. Of course, you need to be careful with the humor you post so that’s it’s understood and of course, appropriate. But, live a little in your social media posts and your engagement will increase.