Social media is an indispensable part of marketing – but how do you leverage your social-media networks for optimal exposure and interest? Read on for some tips on using social media networks to your best advantage.

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Photo Credit: FongZa Santhiti

Consistent Content

Your customers will probably be checking social media feeds multiple times per day. This can work in your favor as long as you schedule your updates frequently and consistently. The more often you post content, the more opportunities you have to catch their attention. Generate a blog post at least three times per week. If you can bump that up to five times, your audience will check in with you every weekday. Plan posts ahead of time with scheduling apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck.

Instant Content

Social media networking broadens your reach and brings you into contact with new interests and ideas. You can leverage this feature of social media by linking content from other professionals in your field, especially industry leaders with large audiences. When they post relevant content, share it on your page with a concise caption. If you can, link to a post on your blog or a product on your website.

Shareable Content

When it comes to social media, all content isn’t created equal.  Infographics, quizzes, surveys, videos, and images are more likely to be shared than text alone. Make your text posts shareable by incorporating a graphic header. Add images to tweets for maximum impact. Convert snippets from blog posts into images to create shareable Facebook posts. A snapshot of your storefront or workspace can help personalize your social media pages; graphic cues can help sort themes and topics on blog posts. You might also consider creating “mini-infographics,” which incorporate a few tips or charts into a simple graphic. Quotes are another form of extremely shareable content – use an inspirational quote to personalize your social-media presence.

Search Engine Optimization

Searchable content will have higher impact across social-media networks. Use keywords to ensure that content will appear in searches. Use tags on your blog to ensure that customers can find all archived posts on a given topic. Include links to prior content – a blog post, a product or service, a web page – in every new update. Use hashtags on each post to ensure that your posts reach a wider audience – before you choose a hashtag, search it on all channels to make sure it’s not already in use.

Diversify

Each social media site has its own specific strengths. Instagram and Pinterest are oriented towards visual content. Facebook is a general site with an emphasis on sharing and commenting. Twitter is all about quick hits and quips. LinkedIn is the premier site for “B2B” or “business-to-business” content, and their LinkedIn Publish page is a fantastic way to promote original posts on business-oriented topics. Make sure that your content is tailored to each format for maximum impact. Don’t forget to cross-post: every time you post an update on your blog or website, share a link on every social media account to maximize your readership.

Constant Comment

Social media is designed to facilitate reader response. Facebook Live, the new live-streaming app from Facebook, allows viewers to share and comment on videos. You can ask your readers for feedback, or include a “Call to Action” asking readers to contribute advice. You can generate comments on blogs by concluding with a question or asking readers about their own ideas and experiences. You can even use these comments to create follow-up posts – if you do this regularly, your audience will follow the discussion. You can also “hijack” opportunities for comment by sharing posts and news articles on current issues related to your business. Remember to personalize linked content with your own take.

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Image Credit: Evan VanDerwerker

Hold a Contest

Contests are a great way to generate interest – and diverse content – on social media networks. Hold a contest for “best photo” or “best video,” or ask your audience to generate a slogan, a logo design, or a new product idea. A giveaway can be as simple as some swag from your store or a small gift bag. If your audience sees that your social-media pages provide a stream of inventive new visuals, they’ll check in more often.

Market Tested, Media Approved

Customer reviews are highly valuable content – most of your customers will seek out information on your products and services online before they buy. You can expand on these reviews by offering social-media personalities the opportunity to test your products and services. If you’re a fabric store, reach out to sewing and crafting bloggers. If you make cameras, see if you can get a photographer to test your new lenses. Many of these professionals will already have a substantial social-media presence with a dedicated audience for your business.

Join Up

Search for pages and groups you can use to raise your business profile. These can be pages for local business owners in your area, or pages for an industry group, or alumni groups for your university. These days, most large conferences and events will also have social-media pages. You can use these to broaden your social network. If you can’t find a group that’s right for you, consider starting one.  Twellow is a list of Twitter groups organized by interest – think “Twitter” plus “Yellow Pages.” Search for a few keywords related to your company, and then check member lists for Twitter accounts to follow.

Rapid Response

Nobody likes to be put on hold, and this is just as true for your social media audience. Respond to comments as quickly as possible, especially when you receive complaints and other feedback from customers. If you can personalize your responses so much the better. Address commenters by name and introduce yourself. They’ll feel appreciated, and they’ll be more likely to remember you.

Hire a Professional

Social media network expansion is about providing consistent content at a polished, professional level. To maximize your social-media impact, consider hiring a digital marketing firm to help you develop a social media network strategy. They can provide you with original content, editorial assistance, eye-catching graphics and layouts, marketing analysis, and expert advice on techniques like search engine optimization and metrics.

Are you interested in learning more about growing and engaging social media networks? We suggest working with a team of digital marketing professionals who can help you make the most of your social media presence. Contact Square 1 Group for a consultation today!