1) Prioritize the social networks where your fans are likely to be.
"Which social media network should I focus on?" This is one of the most commonly asked questions marketers have. We recommend that you create and maintain a presence on the top social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest), but focus your efforts on the social media networks where your target buyers are spending time.
Create profiles for all the top social networks.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to tweet to or about a company, only to find they don't have a Twitter account? I have. Not only is it frustrating, it also creates distance between your brand and your customers and potential customers.
No matter what size your company is, which industry you work in, or which target market you're going after, people are going to talk -- or going to want to talk -- about you on every social network. So it's important that you at least give folks the option to get in touch with you on their social network of choice, and maintain some sort of presence there.
Focus on the networks where your target buyers spend time.
A few ways to find out where your target audience hangs out on social is to:
- Ask your customers.
- Run a survey to an anonymous audience.
- Use share data.
- See where your competitors' content is getting shared.
- Do keyword research.
- Check if your industry is active on the network.
2) Optimize your social profiles.
Whether you already have profiles for your business or you have yet to create them, it's important to think about how you can optimize your social profiles.
This includes choosing an easily identifiable username, uploading a recognizable photo (like your company logo), including clear and concise descriptions of your business, and leading people back to your website with a trackable link.
Now that social media updates are included in search results, you should also do your best to optimize the content you're actually publishing on those networks, like tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn company status updates. For example, including keywords appropriate for your business could help you get found in search. (Just make sure you're incorporating them in a way that sounds natural.)
3) Promote your social presence everywhere.
And by everywhere, we mean everywhere: On various pages of your website, on your blog, on signage in your storefront (if you're a local business), in print advertising, on your business cards, in your email marketing messages.
Many social media sites now have official "Follow" buttons you can include on your website and blog. That way, people can start following you with a single click -- without ever having to leave your website or blog.
Cross promotion across all your social media accounts is also a great way to let your social followers know where else on social media they can find you. That way, you can get your Twitter followers to become your Facebook fans; to get your Facebook fans to become your Instagram followers; and so on.
4) Add social sharing buttons to all your content.
Just as you should be promoting your social presence in as many places as possible, you should also be enabling your site visitors and email subscribers to share your content with their personal networks as easily as possible.
By evangelizing your audience to share your content, you'll have better potential to reach a broader audience that extends beyond your direct network of fans and followers. (And if those people like the content that their friends are sharing with them, they may be inclined to become direct followers of you, too.)
5) Share useful, valuable content.
It's not just enough to promote your presence. You need to make sure your presence is something that's worth following in the first place.
Make sure your tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates consist of valuable, useful, and engaging content. Avoid product-focused content, and instead, aim for social updates that contain educational content that has the potential to attract more fans and followers.
6) Interact with followers and anyone who mentions you.
Most social networks are all about making connections and having conversations. Just as you should be regularly sharing educational, insightful content, you should also be monitoring your presence and interacting with your fans and followers. This'll help you build a loyal, engaging following.
Ask questions, be engaging, and participate in discussions to create a presence worth following. Be sure to monitor mentions of your username, company name, and any unique hashtags every single day.
7) Find, follow, and build relationships with people in your industry.
Social media is a great way to find and follow leaders in your industry, which can include both people and other brands that are creating great content related to your industry (and aren't a direct competitor, obviously).
For example, you may want to find and engage with influencers who have an audience that you're targeting. Relationships like those could pay major dividends in the future in a wide variety of ways. You might also find and follow influential bloggers and brands, and retweet or otherwise share their content on your social accounts. Start following some of your own followers -- and the people they're following, too.
8) Hire a dedicated social media manager.
There's a whole lot more than goes into optimizing a company's social media strategy than someone can do on as a "side project" -- especially with all the important changes and trends that are cropping up in the social media world all the time. Eventually, you'll need to hire a dedicated social media manager to manage your accounts, keep your profiles current, stay on top of trends, post great content, and do a whole lot of experimenting.
Have any questions? Need help getting your social presence higher? Contact us at 1.800.638.9784 or e-mail MyIT@networth.ca today.