How valuable is social media these days? Judging by Microsoft’s recent purchase of the business social media platform LinkedIn for $26 billion, plenty valuable.
Fortunately, you don’t have to resort to such extreme measures to leverage the power of social media to connect with customers, generate leads, and grow your brand. Just follow these 10 tips and you’ll increase your company’s social media reach in no time.
Go Where Your Fans Are
Using social media effectively is about establishing a social presence on those platforms where your clients and customers are most likely hanging out. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest—these are among the top sites on which you’ll want to create and maintain a presence. Remember, social media is a two-way street. Along with reaching out to potential and existing customers you need to give them the opportunity to connect with and talk about your company on the platform that they prefer—a platform that you already have a profile on.
Optimize Your Social Profiles
Once you’ve created profiles on each of the social sites you’ll want to optimize them to get the best reach possible. Adding branded cover photos on sites such as Facebook is a smart optimizing strategy that can help grow your brand. You’ll also want to include easy-to-find links to your company’s other social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ within each profile, and make sure that your company’s main website is listed on all your social media profiles. Using the same keywords consistently in each profile is also a plus.
Be Everywhere at Once
To really make a dent in your social reach you need to promote your social presence everywhere. For starters you’ll want to embed social media site “Follow” buttons into your websites and blogs. You’ll also want to cross-promote on all of your organization’s social sites so that Facebook fans can also become Instagram and Twitter followers, etc.
Post Great Content
When it comes to creating and growing a large social media fan base, nothing will get you further than creating and sharing great content. Today’s social media followers demand content that is useful, relevant and engaging. For example, Nu Skin posts lots of health and wellness, which is what the company’s customers want and need. Supplying a variety of great content on a consistent basis will grow your company’s social reputation and following.
Make Sharing Easy
While having great content is critical, it’s also vital to make sure that your users can share it with others as easily as possible. A great way to do this is to add
social sharing buttons to all of your content, encouraging readers to “Share on Facebook” and “Tweet This” with a simple click.
Ask Engaging Questions
A few years ago Virgin Atlantic accountants voiced concern that the company was losing money because its upper class passengers were pocketing the popular “Wilbur and Orville” salt and pepper shakers. In response, Sir Richard Branson blogged a question: “Keep Virgin’s iconic shiny salt and pepper shakers, or replace them with cheaper versions?” This question set off a storm of online discussion that became social media gold.
Listen and Interact
A big mistake many companies make is using social media to tell their followers how much they appreciate them. Instead they should be listening to what their followers are saying about them and interacting with those followers in positive, transparent ways. All companies rely on honest feedback to improve, and social media platforms can be a feedback bonanza.
Connect With Others in Your Industry
Thanks to social media your company can connect with other people or brands in your industry that are doing social media right—and aren’t direct competitors—and learn ways to extend your social reach from them.
Hire a Savvy Social Media Manager
Staying on top of social media isn’t a part-time job. Depending on the scope of your social strategy you’ll need to hire a social media manager to manage all of your accounts and profiles, at the same time making sure that content remains relevant, engaging, and in step with what’s trending in your industry and with your followers.
Stay Ahead of the Game and Have Fun
Increasing your company’s social media reach is not an easy task. It takes a lot of innovation and just plain hard work to stay ahead of the game. That being said, your company needs to incorporate a certain amount of fun into the social media equation to keep things fresh and creative.