10 Tips for Social Media Success

by USDAgov on flickr ccToday, it makes sense to be involved on social media. The key to being successful with social media, however, is determining which social media channel makes the most sense for your brand/business, and coming up with a plan of action to better engage your target audience.

Marketing Your Brand via Social Media

Getting started in social media can seem overwhelming for some businesses because there are so many different social media sites available, and each one takes a considerable amount of time to set up, and manage on an ongoing basis. One of the rookie mistakes that many businesses make is setting up a profile on every single social media channel. Take a look at the following list of social media tips to help you better engage your audience.

10 Tips for Better Social Media Engagement

#1 – Listen.

Before you determine where to spend your time on social media, spend some time listening to what others are saying about you and about your industry. Where do you hear or observe the most conversations? This is where you need to be focused.

#2 – Engage.

A common mistake that many marketers make is trying to go for the hard sell immediately. This only turns customers off. Instead, focus on engaging them. Find common interests, tell your story, figure out how to relate to them on their level. Social selling focuses on just this. Eventually, you’ll find the right opportunity to introduce a service or product that your business offers

#3 – Post Quality Content.

Content will always rule the roost. Once you’ve listened to your customers needs, you can use that to build relevant, engaging content. Content should be: useful, informative, and shareable. Things to consider include: length of content, visual stimuli (images), and easy access to share (ex: social buttons).

#4 – Have a Plan.

Fail to plan. Plan to fail. Consider how you plan to produce your content, what mediums you’ll use, how often you’ll post it, and what niches you’ll target. Then, sit down and come up with a social media calendar, and be sure to include any editorial content, such as blog posts, press releases, and new landing pages. Share this with your team, and delegate responsibilities (if need be) so that you know who is posting what to where.

#5 – Don’t rush things.

Like most things done well, it will take time for things to come together. BE PATIENT. Set realistic expectations for your business, and recognize that true success is (and should be) a long term goal.

#6 – Find Influencers.

Determine who the influencers are in your niche. Look at how their social media is set up, listen to what they are saying and who they are saying it to. Take notes. Figure out what they are doing and how you can apply it to your own social media plan(s).

#7 – Create Value.

People love to buy, but they hate being sold to. So, how do you sell others on your brand or business model? Create value that they simply can’t pass up on. This goes back to quality content, listening to what people are saying, determining what the possible needs are, and figuring out how your business/brand can solve their problem(s).

#8 – Acknowledge Others.

Success isn’t built by one person. Rather, it is the result of multiple people coming together to provide a solution. As you craft and implement your social media strategy, don’t be shy about acknowledging others. Building relationships is what social media is about, and part of social media marketing success is reaching back out to those who have reached out to you.

#9 – Be Accessible & Responsive.

It’s easy enough to create content, publish it, and then leave it alone. Instead, you should be on the ball – using your social media content calendar to stay on top of the latest news, posts, and other publications to your website. People have short attention spans nowadays, and it is more important than ever to create content that people care about and that you’re available to help foster discussions about. *Hint* Don’t publish content and then drop off the face of the earth for a month!

#10 – Focus Your Efforts.

By now, you already know who your target audience is, what sorts of questions they have, and where they spend the majority of their time online. Next steps: Focus your efforts by spending your time where your audience spends their time online.

Ex: If you find that most of your customers are on LinkedIn, perhaps you can field answers or offer a professional opinion in response to questions that you’ve seen asked. As an alternative, you can also create content around common questions or problems related to your industry, and then share this content on social media channels that your customers use the most.

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