Our Top 10 Strategies to Improve Your Social Media Presence
If you have your own brand or your own business in the 21st Century, you almost certainly have a social media presence. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much these days. It seems like everyone has at least a Facebook account that they keep updated, even if they don’t have a business to promote. The trick is to have the kind of social media presence that can grab people’s attention and promote your brand to the right people. That can mean making enough updates to show up easily on people’s Facebook and Instagram feeds, but it also means reaching the right people at the right times. It can be tricky, but there are certain strategies that will make it a little easier.
Find Your Target Audience
The first thing you need to do when coming up with a good social media campaign is to find your target audience. You need to know who you should be trying to reach on social media and who will be most likely to be interested in your brand. And no, you shouldn’t try to reach “everybody” during your campaign. That sounds like a lofty goal, and we all would like to think we’ve come up with something that “everybody” needs or that “everybody” would like, but there is no one thing out there that appeals to “everybody.”
The optimal thing to do is determine the demographics of those who would be most likely to be interested in your brand. If you’re selling something that primarily appeals to younger people, write Facebook posts and post Instagram photos that might appeal to them, and put them up when that specific audience are most likely to see them. If you’re trying to reach big industry players who might be able to improve brand awareness, focus mainly on them and make sure you’re on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t think you’re reaching that many people at first, remember that you are reaching out to those who will have the biggest impact on your business.
Personalize Your Content
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make on social media is to sound too much like a corporate machine. They write and post things that sound like the product of an advertising campaign, not like a real person trying to be friendly on social media. The “social” aspect of social media is very important. After all, Facebook and similar networks started out as a way for people to be able to communicate with peers and share their thoughts with family over long distances. Embrace that aspect of the platform and try to personalize your content and respond to others personally whenever you can.
Speaking of responding to others, you should be spending some time doing just that and building relationships with your followers. Yes, people brag all the time about how many thousands of followers they have, but that’s just a vanity metric. Those followers mean nothing if most of them just ignore you.
It is admittedly difficult to respond to everyone who contacts you or mentions your brand on social media, but try to respond as much as you can while your business is still relatively small. Your followers will appreciate the extra attention you give them.
Create a Schedule
As fun as it is to be spontaneous on social media, you need to create a decent schedule to make sure that all of your accounts are updated regularly. This means posting when members of your target audience are most likely to see your content and staying at least a few steps ahead of the game to make sure you have a number of Tweets, Facebook updates and photos that will go out over your various social media accounts on a set schedule. Some of this can be automated if you have too much for one person to handle, but you should still keep track of your social media calendar regardless.
Also, don’t be afraid of deviating from your schedule if you feel that you must. Things happen, and it could be that a scheduled Tweet or blog post that you wrote a week ago will suddenly be inappropriate or irrelevant once it comes time to post it.
Avoid the “Hard Sell”
Even though what you are doing is essentially advertising your brand, you should try to avoid the “hard sell” when it comes to social media. As we said before, social media is supposed to be about social engagement, so focus on answering questions, addressing concerns, and otherwise helping your followers instead of getting them to buy your products.
Optimize for Engagement
While you shouldn’t focus too much on selling your content, you should still be increasing your brand awareness through optimization. We know that can sound intimidating to some people, but social media optimization is really not that difficult. In many cases, it’s as simple as placing a hashtag (#) in front of trending topics or key phrases that will lead people to your content. It also means using images and mentioning other brands that might increase the awareness of your own brand and make you seem more authoritative. In other words, it’s about making your profiles seem more professional. Keep in mind that a little bit of optimization can go a long way, so don’t overdo it to the point that your content is a mess of hashtags and photos.
Don’t Neglect Your Visuals
As much as people might like to read a well-written blog post, sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Photographs, charts, and attractive logos on Instagram and similar image-sharing sites are a lot easier for the eye to scan sometimes than a paragraph of text. You shouldn’t neglect posting paragraphs of text on your blog or your homepage, but visuals are great for getting people’s attention at a glance.
Make Yourself Easy to Follow
Since there’s no point to having a social media presence if nobody is following you, you will need to make it as easy as possible to find you. This means including buttons to like and share your website and blog content across many social media platforms and inviting people to follow you on your business’s website or blog.
Create Good Content
The fact that you should be creating content that people want to see should go without saying, yet too many businesses fail at this. They get so caught up with posting content that is all but engineered to go viral or sell their products that they forget that people should want to know what they have to say. Get creative and engage your followers even if not all of your content is designed to sell your brand.
Above all else, you need to stay active on social media if you’re going to increase your presence. Things move fast on the Internet, and you will be quickly forgotten if you don’t keep updating your accounts and letting people know that you’re still around. It will be hard work and feel like a job in itself sometimes, but don’t give up on your social media accounts, no matter how hard it is to keep up with them.
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