Killer Strategies To Broaden Your Reach On Social Media
Pretty much every business owner in 2016 knows that social media can be a great tool for generating leads. However, you’re never going to be able to harness this awesome power unless you generate a good following. Your fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other platforms you happen to use is going to be a measure of your worth to those who see it, and your primary way of gauging how much reach you have. Sure, there are a lot of services where you can simply buy a number of followers. This is okay to get the ball rolling, but ultimately you should be aiming to earn your followers instead. To get you started on the right track, here’s some of my best advice on extending your reach on social media.
First of all, make sure you’re prioritizing the networks where your target market is most likely to spend their time. When business owners start liaising with marketing consultants, one of the most common questions they ask is “which social network should I be focussing on?” This all depends on your current brand identity. Before I go any further, I should stress that you should set your business up on all the major social networks; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. If someone decides they want to tweet to or about you, and find that you don’t have a Twitter account, they’ll end up frustrated and may even go away resentful of your brand. While you should definitely spend your resources efficiently, people are going to want to talk about you on every network they use. It’s important to maintain some kind of presence on all the big ones to ensure you’re not losing out anywhere. Aside from that, research buyer personas and try to gauge where your ideal customer is networking the most. You could run a customer survey, study your competitors’ strategies, do some keyword research or tap into some share data. Use your findings to come up with a solid plan for distributing your available resources. If your target market is spending more time on Instagram than LinkedIn, then spend more to promote your Instagram page.
Next, optimize all of your profiles. Whether you already have profiles up and running or not, coming up with a strategy for optimizing them is pretty essential. I could write ten more features on this subject alone, but I’ll go over some of the basic principles here. Optimizing social profiles could include choosing an easily identifiable username, representing it with an easily identifiable photo, such as your logo, and posting clear, concise descriptions of your business. Sending your target market to your website through a trackable link is another important step in optimizing your social profiles. Of course, there are little differences and nuances which vary from network to network. Facebook cover photos are a well-known example of this. Make sure you’re educating yourself about these and reading up on the various practices that are tied to each platform. Because social media posts are now included in Google results, you can also be applying SEO tactics to optimize the actual content you’re publishing. As long as you’re choosing the right keywords, and including them in a way that looks natural in the context, you’ll do a lot to guide people towards your brand through search engines.
Next, make sure you’re promoting your social media profiles everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere! Have links on several different pages of your website, your emails, and articles which you’ve written. Put your profile names on your signage, business cards and print materials. Many major social networks have official “Follow” or “Like” buttons which you can include on your web materials. This will allow people to start following you without having to leave whatever they were looking at on your site, and give your brand an extra little dose of credibility. Cross promotion which spans all your social platforms is another great way to make sure you’re reaching as wide an audience as possible. It’s pretty rare these days to find someone who uses just one social network, so it’s important that anyone who’s checking out your brand on one network knows where else they can find you. When it’s all linked together, your Twitter followers will become your Facebook fans, your Facebook fans will become Instagram followers, etc. One common and effective way of doing this is having a tab on your Facebook page dedicated to your Instagram feed, accompanied by a “view on Instagram” link which takes you to the page itself.
One of the most important things you should be doing to make your social media presence more far-reaching is keeping high standards for the quality of the content you’re sharing. You could throw all the money in the world at other, auxiliary promotion tactics, but it won’t get you anywhere near the influence that some profiles achieve simply through posting high-quality content. You need to make sure that every update, tweet, and LinkedIn post is made of valuable, engaging, or useful content. Product-focussed content is pretty week, and certainly shouldn’t make up the bulk of what you publish. Instead, you should be aiming for updates that contain educational or useful content, and has the potential to draw in more fans and followers. When you’re drafting your next posting schedule, keep your useful and promotional content at a ratio of about 8 to 2. Your promotional content will do a lot more for you once you have a loyal following to see it. Make sure you’re keeping a decent amount of variety, too. People use social media because they’re bored. If they know exactly what they’re going to get when they land on one of your feeds, then you’re just going to be making that boredom worse! Obviously, it’s hard to stick to a strict schedule while still remaining fresh and interesting. Because of this, I recommend spending more time sourcing engaging visual content than anything text-based. The modern consumer base is pretty squeezed for time, and are going to be more drawn to visual content than any kind of article. If you’re ever struggling to think of something that’s engaging and has some kind of link to your brand, then just drop the second bit! There are countless big brands out there which use their social media profiles to post quirky, random content. It may not end in a sale, but it will attract more users than a shameless promotional post!
Finally, be sure to interact with people. This goes for your followers just as much as it does for any old stranger that mentions you. Sourcing the next piece of useful, engaging content is obviously very important. However, you need to make sure you’re making time to interact with your fans, followers, and people who mention you. This will make your customer loyalty a little more dependable, and get people outside of your following more interested in your brand. Ask questions with an engaging tone, and participate in any discussions in a way which tells people you’re worth following. Stay on top of mentions of your username, business name, and unique hashtags. When someone mentions you with the “@” function on Twitter or Instagram, make sure you’re replying. Thank them for compliments, answer any questions that people have, and respond to negative comments in a clear and professional manner. Social media is so commercialized that businesses often forget that it was originally for social interaction. Don’t be one of those!