Social media marketing is perhaps one of the simplest and most accessible forms of marketing you will come across. That said, it also has its own set of challenges and pitfalls that you need to overcome. The trick lies in turning your social media campaigns into a truly effective, bottom-line boosting social media presence.
But the first hurdle before all of that is building an audience to market to.
Finding, gaining and convincing people to follow you can be a major challenge - if you're struggling with this aspect, here are five strategies you can employ to boost your success.
1. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Make sure your accounts are fully populated, including a great bio, profile picture and cover images that immediately tell people who you are - and most importantly have uniformity with your other online branding i.e. website and other social media accounts.
Make sure your Twitter and Facebook usernames are easy to identify, as opposed to something cryptic. You also need to ensure you include keywords related to your business in your bio so that your accounts show up when people search those terms.
Profile pictures can be either a picture of you or your logo. One school of thought is that there should be a person featured in the profile picture - people buy from people. This also gives your business a human touch and shows you're not some faceless corporation. On the other hand, strong brand imaging suggests that your logo should be the prominent piece and take stage front and center.
How you approach this is up to you, but it's important to take the time to ensure every element of you profile is complete and reflects the business message you want to convey.
2. Go Where Your Audience Is
There's no point producing dazzling social media campaigns if the people you need to reach never get to see them.
You need to establish yourself on the channels used by your target audience - once you've created a foothold on those few key channels, then you can expand your social media presence to other platforms as well.
Consider the demographics of your target audience. Once you work out who you are marketing to, you can more easily work out where they'll be.
3. Share Valuable Content
To keep people engaged you need to provide a reason for them to follow, and keep following, you.
Always provide value for your fans and followers. Whenever you post content, ask yourself - how is this helping my audience?
Useful tips and interesting facts relevant to you or your industry always work well. Or perhaps share a funny post to make them laugh or provide some entertainment. Whatever you choose, mix things up and work to provide value to your followers with every post and update.
4. Involve Your Fans
Social media is called 'social' for a reason.
The medium is all about relationships and you should always be working to build connections with your fans and followers.
One thing you can do on this is give a 'shout out' to your most engaged fans to let them know they're appreciated, while also encouraging others to become more loyal and vocal.
If you have products that they use, ask them to submit content they create around that product, or even create a contest directly relating to people using it. Feature those submissions on your social media accounts - this will not only make the person involved feel appreciated but it'll also give them a chance to get noticed by their followers too. Such efforts all contribute to boosting your social media presence.
5. Use Eye-Catching Visuals
We all know the importance of visual content - having custom, branded graphics can have a major impact on your social media presence.
The main thing is to produce eye-catching graphics that get people to stop and read when scrolling through their news feeds.
And fortunately, these days you don't need to be a graphics designer to create attractive graphics - head over to Canva or PicMonkey (both offer free accounts) which have templates, layouts, fonts and graphics to help you create custom visuals very easily.
Make sure you brand your creations - place your logo and/or website URL on your images. If they get shared, people will know where it originated from and find you that way.
These are some basic tips on starting out and boosting your social media presence. Hopefully they'll help you on the right track with your own social outreach strategy.