No matter what industry you’re in, using social media is one of the best methods for expanding your reach and building your reputation.
Many business owners take this for granted and start publishing content unselectively, without a clear goal.
Such a DIY, impromptu approach can only damage their brand and make it come off as unprofessional. Building an engaging social media presence takes time.
It requires a well-crafted strategy and we should bear in mind that consumers spend 20-40% more money purchasing brands that actively engage with them on social media. It’s clear that all these efforts will pay off eventually.
Identify your audience
This is the first and the most crucial step. Once you know who you are talking to, and whose pain points and interests you are addressing.
It will be much easier to create and share the right content on the proper social media channels. This will also help you determine your voice and tone and be consistent.
To do this, ask yourself who members of your audience are regarding their age, gender, income, marital status, location, education, and occupation.
After establishing some essential demographic characteristics of your audience, it’s time to deal with psychographics, that is, your customers’ habits, values, opinions, lifestyles, and other factors which explain what makes them buy.
With the information you compiled, sorted, and analyzed, you will be able to create relatable social media content that will hit the right note with your customers.
Determine the right channel
One thing should be clear when we’re discussing selecting the best social channel for your business – it’s not you who choose it but your audience.
Namely, it’s your job to find out where they hang out and reach out to them across those channels.
Big brands usually use several different channels, but when it comes to smaller companies, it’s a good idea to start with two or three social media platforms frequented by your target audience and be active on them.
Facebook is by far one of the most popular social media networks, and that makes it suitable for almost any industry.
B2B companies which offer services various types of software will benefit from LinkedIn, while different fashion, sports, or food brands can share their visually oriented content on Instagram.
Generally speaking, posts with images perform much better, and for example, on LinkedIn, they receive 81% more attention and comments than posts without a picture.
Similarly, tweets with images get 150% more retweets. Smaller companies usually operate on a shoestring budget, which is why they can’t easily purchase high-quality stock images for their social media.
Fortunately, there are websites which offer free premium stock images for fitness, fashion, food, or any other industry.
Automate your efforts
Just like hiring agency or third-party to take care of time-consuming activities in the offline sphere, such as appointment setting, automation tools are extremely useful in the online world.
They pick up the slack by taking over some mechanical tasks that still have to be done and let you focus on more important things.
For example, it’s a good idea to take advantage of a time-saving tool for scheduling social media posts and have these tasks taken care of ahead of time.
On the other hand, automating communication with your customers and using the auto-reply option for their complaints isn’t recommended as this task requires a genuine and personal approach.
Humanize your outreach
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with your social media audience on a more personal level.
Many companies, in an attempt to present themselves in a more flattering light go too far and create a raw, unrealistic image which seems fabricated and impersonal.
Instead of that, you should try to add some human touch to your interaction with your customers. This means creating a narrative which includes them and deals with their issues and pain points helpfully.
Try to spark discussions when you’re posting links and content, and make sure to always respond to any comment or question. Don’t ignore or delete negative feedback, but try to handle it constructively.
As for the frequency of your posting, there are various suggested ratios, but some of the most effective are:
- The 4-1-1 rule, used for Twitter, which implies sharing four pieces of relevant content produced by others, one relevant retweet, and one self-promotional tweet.
- The 5-3-2 rule, which can be used for various social media channels, boils down to sharing five pieces of content from others, three pieces of content from you, and two personal status updates.
Leverage the power of influencers
Connecting with an influencer from your industry can do wonders for building a strong social media presence.
It goes without saying that the content you produce has to be superb, but it can be hard to break through the noise and promote it, which is precisely what an authority figure with a massive following can do for you by sharing your content with their audience.
Before you approach an influencer directly, start sharing their content on your social media channels, mentioning them in your comments, and tagging them in any posts in which they’re referenced.
This way, you’ll draw their attention to your brand, and they’ll be more willing to put in a word for you with their followers.
Building an engaging social media presence is essential for the growth of your business and these strategies can help you improve the visibility and increase the exposure of your brand.
Lauren Wiseman is marketing specialist, contributor to bizzmarkblog.com and entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, firmly believing in a holistic approach to business.