Building a quality social media following takes time and a tremendous amount of patience. Maybe you plan your posts a month in advance. You tailor your message to your specific audience. You tweak it to each individual outlet. Yet your engagement is lacking and your likes and follows are increasing at a snail’s pace.
What do you do?
There is no magic recipe for gaining followers, and nothing is guaranteed, but there are a few steps you can take to lay the foundation and make the most of your social media presence:
- Identify your business’s keywords. Determine what words or phrases your customers will be searching for to find your business. You can use tools like Google’s keyword planner, Wordstream, Wordtracker and others to help you determine this. You will want to use these words in your social media accounts.
- Complete your social media profiles. Make sure all of the information in each of your social media profiles is complete, accurate and consistent throughout. Include all of your contact information, your company description, and add photos and graphics where appropriate. Use your business’s keywords or phrases that you identified in step 1 to write your descriptions, taglines and profile pages.
- Add social media links to all of your marketing materials. Add social media icons with links to your accounts to each page of your website, each new blog post, in your email signature, your email marketing materials, your invoices and your business cards. This allows your customers to find you easily.
- Make it easy to share your blog posts and articles. Include share buttons on your blog posts and articles. If your customers like your article, they can share it with their contacts through their own social media accounts. Their contacts can then like your page/follow you as well.
- Provide quality content. Your customers will only read and share if the content you are providing is quality. Really think about what the audience on each social media outlet is looking for. Try to provide helpful, interesting and valuable information to keep them coming back for more.
- Post consistently. I know it’s hard to stay on a schedule, but make it a priority to post to your social media accounts on a regular basis. You won’t need to post multiple times a day on each outlet, but try to post every day on each of them. The worst thing you can do is to post repeatedly for a few weeks, then stop. Your audience will wonder what happened to you. When you post consistently you are demonstrating commitment, reliability and dependability.
- Respond to every comment and question timely – even the negative ones. A prompt response shows you are committed to social media and being there when your customers need something or have questions. This also helps to build a strong and trustworthy relationship.
- Engage with other people’s content. If you come across an interesting post or a well-written article, comment on it. Ask a question. Or share it with your followers. It will show you appreciate good work and are interested in what is important to others.
If maximizing your social media presence seems overwhelming, start small. Focus on just a few steps at a time and slowly make your way through the list. Remember that building a social media following doesn’t happen overnight. But when you get there, your followers will be quality connections that appreciate the value you provide.
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