In a recent post I broke down 10 reasons why you're not gaining social media followers, with the first reason being that your followers may not even know where to find you online in the first place.
There are so many ways to connect with your target audience, both on and offline, it's quite possible you could be overlooking some of them.
Here a few simple ways to expand your social media presence and help your customers find your business online.
1. Include visible follow buttons on your website
This seems trivial but I've seen some major follow and share button blunders out there.
Make sure that your follow buttons are clearly defined and different from your share buttons. AddThis.com has great free tools to help you get your social links on your site.
You can be more discreet by keeping the follow buttons on the bottom of your site in a few shades lighter or darker than the background, or take the TechCrunch footer approach.
Look at different websites for ideas - and always make sure the buttons you do add are actually linking to your social media channels correctly by testing them out for yourself.
2. For events, include hashtags on all signage, any promo materials or flyers
Events can expose you to hundreds or even thousands of people, and are a great opportunity to let your potential customers know where they can find your business online. You need to maximize that chance.
Use social media icons but also remember to include "@yourhandle" or "\yourhandle" so your attendees know how to find you. Don't just pop a hashtag on a piece of paper - remember to include a call to action to encourage people to share moments from your event.
Don't forget to remind speakers to ask the audience to use the hashtag to share photos and videos online - a little verbal reinforcement is always great. There are tons of other places to promote your hashtags and social media presence at events, get creative and have fun with this.
3. Own a store? Get social media vinyl stickers for your windows
If you own a brick and mortar location, put your space to work - you can get vinyl stickers for your windows, create table tents with your social channels on them, or even use your sandwich board to draw attention to your social media handles.
4. Brand original content with your hashtag
If you made it, put your hashtag on it.
This is especially true if you share quotes or lifestyle images - place the hashtag in a corner where it won't disrupt your photo or take away from the image. You can do the same with your website link. Now if someone reposts your image, your hashtag will be exposed to new eyes, and they'll know how to find more of your content.
5. Send an email
If you have an email list or newsletter, send an email dedicated to letting your list know where to find your business online.
6. In snail mail
If you send a physical item in the mail, include your social media handles in the packaging or within the mail piece.
7. Email signatures and landing pages
This is one is super simple, but add your social media links to your email signature and any landing pages you may have.
Some folks will even include a popular post in their signatures to drive extra traffic.
8. Cross-promotional posts
Use your established social media networks to drive traffic to the ones that need a little love. This can be as simple as a tweet letting followers know that you're also on Facebook, or create an Instagram post with all your social media network and handles on it (this can be a great way to use Instagram's new Slideshow posts).
9. Run a social media awareness ad
I've seen more and more TV networks running social media specific ads, and although I'm not telling you to run an ad on TV, you can run a Like campaign on Facebook or a Twitter ad for relatively low amount of money to get the word out about your social channels.
These are just a few ways you could be missing out on reach and awareness. As with everything else, don't be obnoxious in the way that you brand and put hashtags on things, but be conscious of every opportunity you have to let people know how to find your business online or join the conversation.
This post originally appeared on Dhariana Lozano's blog.