Social media offers diverse benefits for business owners. The evolution of different social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn means that you need to be aware of general as well as channel-specific hacks to fulfill your social media marketing objectives. 

Here are five social media hacks that will enable you to save time and gain wider exposure, more followers, higher conversion rates and better engagement. 

Related: 10 Signs You're Using Social Media Wrong

1. Know what’s hot. If you can post information that is current and relevant to your niche and most importantly your customer, you’ll give your audience a reason to read your posts on social media and from there visit your website. One really great search tool is uvrx.com. Powered by Google custom search, it throws up results for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and other platforms. Social-searcher.com is another search tool designed to allow users to check out how their chosen keywords are being treated by social media networks. It offers analytics data, revealing other folks you can follow online, sentiments associated with keywords, and the types of posts that are doing well.

2. Social media is speaking a new language. And the language is one of images, videos and infographics. These types of media are generating excellent engagement numbers for businesses that have made it standard practice to employ them in a pertinent and creative manner. Vine, the video sharing app for Twitter; Instagram; and Flipboard for iTunes are just some of the apps that enhance the appeal of your posts and make them stand out on your followers’ pages or timelines. Creative calls to action used with such media can help bridge the gap between entertainment, information and lead generation. 

3. Grow your base. Reaching followers, subscribers and "friends" is central to creating a successful and enjoyable social media campaign. One way to find new customers is to run paid ads on Facebook or Twitter as a way to increase "likes" and followers, promote blogs or make other offers; another is to tap the LinkedIn premium subscription that allows you the opportunity to reach out to potential prospects or partners via InMail. A fairly basic but often overlooked hack to attract more subscribers for your Facebook page is to immediately direct message the link to new followers on Twitter. Similar creative, cross-fertilizing techniques should be employed on all social media platforms to capture the interest of members of your audience when you’re already on their radar. 

Related: How to Steal Your Competitor's Social Media Followers

4. Save time. Whether you’re running a one-man show or an enterprise-level social media operation with data being fed into customer-relationship management systems, you need to automate certain processes. If you don’t, then these will tend to become chores that you may begin to avoid, thereby decreasing your effectiveness. Some activities that you can place on auto mode include posting updates across platforms, sending email and SMS updates on favorite topics, and uploading social media content to remote storage. If This Then That offers handy solutions. 

5. Embrace change and be in the know. When a social media platform changes its guidelines, you have two options. You can take the change in stride and adapt -- or give up. When you opt for the former approach, you give yourself an opportunity to occupy the space left vacant by those who gave up the fight. For example, a recent Facebook update prohibited informing contest winners of results through Facebook; this restriction has since been relaxed, however. Last month, LinkedIn introduced enhancements such as the ability to block profiles and unwanted messages. These have clear benefits for popular LinkedIn groups that have had to deal with a lot of spam until now. It pays to be in the know. 

While most social media hacks are little more than commonsense activities, the ones that may surprise you with their effectiveness are those that you come up with through observation and learning. Entrepreneurs can become busy and can easily forget to allow time each week for creative thinking. Do some strategic thinking on a regular basis and keep coming up with ways to extract better results from your social media marketing. 

Related: Here's the Big Problem With Chasing Customers on Social Media