Businesses have social media presences because that is where they can do several things:
- Establish relationships with their target audience members
- Show themselves as humans
- Spread their brands through the sharing by others of their content
- Get leads
How to do all of these things successfully, however, means developing specific strategies and tactics which, together, boost a company’s social reach – increasing the numbers of its fans, followers, and ambassadors. If you are looking to boost your social reach (and why wouldn’t you), then here are ____ strategies to do just that.
1# Pick Your Social Media Platforms Carefully
Business owners who are new to social media are not certain which social media platforms they should use. Of course, there are the major ones – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even YouTube. Unless you can afford to hire a social media manger, however, you will not be able to do all of these wells. So, you will have to be selective. Being selective means you do the research to find out where your demographic spends most of its time when it is on social media. Pew Research provides probably the most comprehensive breakdown of where demographics hang out, and they are highly reliable. Even if you can only begin with one social media platform, use their research to guide you.
Another method for finding the best social media platforms is to look at your competitors. Where are they? If they have been in business for a while, chances are they have done the legwork for you and know where your customers can be found.
2# Create a Great Profile Page
If you are unsure how to do this, look at some of the other profiles of both your competitors and those of related niches. They will all have a good-looking logo and a username that identifies their business. They will also have a photo that is of high quality.
3# Market Your Social Media Presence Wherever and Whenever You Can
Your website and your blog are the first places for you to provide links to your social media pages. But anything else you publish anywhere on the web should publicize it too. Most social media platforms now have a “Follow Us on….” The button that you can install on your business site, in your emails, and your blog – people can then become followers with a single click. Think of marketing your social media pages just as you would market a product. You have to get the word out. And if you can set up reciprocal arrangements with other related niche websites to advertise each other’s pages, all the better. And if you post comments or articles anywhere else, put a link to at least your most popular social account in your bio.
If you have more than one social media account, link to each from the other. So, if you have followers on Instagram, for example, they can also become followers on Facebook. The idea is to cross-pollinate as much as possible. The more you do this, the more opportunity you give your followers to share. If an Instagram follower never sees that hilarious Facebook post, you have lost a potential reach for that post.
4# Share Buttons
This goes without saying. These buttons need to be on everything you publish or post. You never know what may appeal to individual visitors/readers/followers, but you want to make sure that they can share what they like with their tribe with a single click.
5# Now, Let’s Talk About That Content
This will be the lengthiest part of this post and for good reason. No boost in social reach occurs if there is nothing of interest for someone to share. And that someone will stop coming too if there is nothing of interest. Content is the biggest factor in social reach, and here are the rules:
- Social media is not the place to market your products or services. It is the place to market your brand as human, caring, inspirational, humorous, and engaged. Having quotes or jokes of the day keeps followers coming back for more. And when they share those quotes or jokes, your brand goes along.
- Content must be creatively composed. It is rare that a business owner has the creative capacity to appeal to a discerning and pretty savvy audience. If you don’t have the budget to hire a creative writing staff, then get some help from a site like Bestessay.Education, a writing service that has a staff of creative writers who do this for businesses every day.
- Feature yourself, your team, your customers – tell their stories. This is how relationships are built. And if you have poignant or funny stories, they have a good chance of being shared – again, your brand goes along.
- Use a variety of content types – short posts, photos, videos, infographics. Visuals get shared far more than text. Visuals are more compelling and research shows they are far more shared. Try some humorous memes:
- Provide interactive content. Quizzes and surveys always engage and are shared a lot.
- Respond and interact. Every time a comment is made, you or a member of your team must respond. You can use one of many social monitoring tools that will alert you whenever a comment has been made or whenever your brand is mentioned. Follow through on these quickly.
- It’s fine to offer coupons and special sales, or to occasionally feature a new product, but do so sparingly. Social media is supposed to be “social.”
If you want to see some examples of great use and variety of content, customer engagement, and company responses, take a look at the following: Charmin, ModCloth, and Dollar Shave Club on Facebook; Foundr Magazine on Instagram. You will see the content of great interest, customers, and followers who are engaged in commenting and conversations, and company representatives responding.
- Read: Content Is King, But Are Your Subjects Listening?
- Read: A Guide to Video Content and how it fits in your Marketing Plan
You will see content that has nothing to do with products or services but that is compelling and shareable.
6# Timing and Scheduling
Timing refers to how often and when you post on each of your social media accounts. And yes, there is research and research results which will tell you this. In terms of how often you post, that will depend on upon your own time constraints or those of your team members. But whatever you do, you must set a schedule and stick to it. Regular followers get used to your schedule of posts and access your page to look for them. When they find nothing new, they are disappointed. When this happens too often, they just stop coming. And if they don’t come anymore, they don’t share anymore.
Businesses cannot afford to ignore social media. And once they have a social media presence, they cannot afford to do it wrong. Social reach is all about spreading that brand, like ripples from a stone thrown in a pond. Incorporating the recommendations in these six points will continue to push those ripples out.