Social media is an incredible thing — it gives brands and businesses the ability to communicate with pretty much anyone, anywhere. It lowers the barrier to entry to become an authority in any given niche, since it’s readily available to anyone with an Internet connection. But a challenge that pops up repeatedly, regardless of industry or demographics is that the content creation process can be challenging.

By this, I mean that many people find themselves scratching their head, saying, “What should I say?” And this goes for Tweets and short Status Updates as much as it does for blog posts and longer form content. So to help, here are seven guidelines for what to say on social:

Stay Positive

Like attracts like, so attract the type of audience that you want to interact with. No one likes a whiner, so don’t do it on social. Stay above the fray and inspire positive thoughts and action. People gravitate and like leaders, so position your business as such.

Stay Within Your Themes

Most likely, there are some recurring themes related to what your brand talks about. If you were running a blog, these would be considered “categories.” Consider creating mental categories that your social activity should focus on, so that your brand stays consistent in messaging. It’s okay to go off on tangents, if that’s consistent with your brand.

Give Ideas and Suggestions

Create goodwill and become a resource by giving out helpful information. Ideas that help, suggest or inspire are all valuable, and it’s the type of thing that people will come back for more of.

Get Them Involved

People on social media love polls, voting and contests. Ask for feedback, but ask in a way that’s super easy to respond, like “yes” or “no” questions. It’s been shown that these type of questions get significantly higher interaction than feedback requests that ask for open-ended responses.

Give Your Opinion

Leaders don’t waver, they take a stand. Don’t be afraid to voice opinions (of course, steering clear of politics and religion — unless that’s your focus) and back up what you say with some thought. If you can give reasoning and support your opinion, you’re likely to earn respect and interest beyond what you would have garnered simply by staying objective.Just be prepared to hear from the other side of the coin and be respectful.

Get to Know Others

Sometimes the whole “social” part of social media gets completely lost on businesses users. People still want to connect on a one-to-one basis on social, so be sure to occasionally tag, tweet and interact on a personal level. This will go along way with those users you interact with and will make your brand more genuine to the entire audience.

Go Against Conventional Wisdom

So many voice, so many choices…Standing out is more difficult today than it’s ever been. Differentiating from your competition sometimes means going against the grain. Keep this in mind and stand behind your message, even if that means breaking rules that are listed in this article!