Social media is a great tool for building your brand, generating leads and promoting your business generally. But getting the most out of it requires a certain amount of forethought and planning. Indeed, plunging in on social media without due consideration can do your reputation more harm than good. Here are some things to consider when using social media for marketing purposes.
Most brands should have a presence on multiple social media platforms or channels, though when you’re starting out, don’t spread yourself too thinly. Using three different platforms is a good way to start. Each one will work in a different way and will reach a different audience. For instance, Facebook is a great all-rounder, while Twitter is good for succinct, instant communication. Pinterest and Instagram are image-focused, while LinkedIn is a peer-to-peer business community where you can post informative articles.
Think about who you are trying to reach, choose the right channel to do that, and tailor your posts accordingly.
Decide how often you’re going to post and keep to that schedule. You should maintain a constant presence but always go for quality over quantity. All your posts across different channels should be consistent, with a tone and message appropriate to your brand and the impression you want to convey.
Pictures, photos and videos especially are shown to get the most engagement, likes and shares across social media. Making a video might seem challenging, but it’s never been easier to create a short promotional film using easily downloadable software, and there are several social media video sites that you can post on.
Some people on social media have more followers than others, and that’s because they work hard at sharing great value content that they know their community will be interested in. Reach out to those influencers and make connections. Offer to write guest posts on popular blogs, or involve them in competitions. The great thing about social media is that there are so many ways to connect and reach new people – just use your imagination.
It’s great to share outside content and other people’s posts with your followers, but be choosy about exactly what you put your name to. Ask yourself if it’s relevant to your community. Is it helpful or entertaining? Avoid anything that might be controversial, and don’t rely on sharing tools or software to make your decisions for you. At the same time, it’s fine to include keywords in your own posts that will make these tools encourage others to share your posts.
Finally, remember that social media is a two-way street and presents a unique opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with your customers. Respond to their comments, join in discussions, and generally interact rather than just broadcasting at them. Always try to give good value with the aim of building a social media community around your brand that will inspire and uplift, leading to the kind of customer loyalty that’s always your ultimate aim.
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