If you are a brand today, chances are you are on social media. The question is – do you have an active social media presence? Simply being on social media isn’t enough. Posting random links and throwing a couple of mentions from time to time isn’t going to get you far. If you want to reap the benefits of social media, you need to have a solid strategy.
You don’t necessarily need a huge budget. Some of the most efficient tactics for building a strong social media presence can be replicated even by small businesses and startups.
In this article, we’re offering 7 tips you can follow to grow your social media presence starting today.
1. Post Consistently
Lack of consistency in posting content on social media is one of the most common mistakes small businesses make. Content on social media moves quickly and people see yours as they scroll through their feeds. So, if you want to connect with your target audience, you need to post consistently.
Using a social media scheduler can help you a great deal. A good social media scheduling tool does much more than just help you queue up your posts. The right tool will help you post timely and consistently, but also enable you to develop an integrated and comprehensive content strategy, thus boosting your efficiency and allowing you to build connections with your audience in real-time.
2. Don’t Be Too Promotional
You probably want to use your content in order to establish yourself as an industry expert, but if the content you create and share revolves strictly around your industry or you only post advertisements, you might lose followers.
People don’t like hearing someone talking about themselves all the time. And on social media, anyone can escape easily – all they need to do is click the ‘unfollow’ button. So, instead of focusing on yourself and what you have to offer, think about what your audience wants. What can you provide to attract their attention or meet their needs? Posting useful, interesting content adjacent to your industry can be an excellent way to stay on top of your audience’s mind.
3. Get Visual
More than 80% of marketers say that images are a very important part of their social media content strategies, and over 50% of them say that video content has the highest return on investment. At the same time, visual social platforms are growing at an increasing pace: Instagram has over 800 million monthly users, followed by Snapchat with more than 200 million, and Pinterest with 100 million monthly users.
Images and videos can be used in different ways and across all social networks, not just the “visual” ones. For instance, you could post how-to videos or ask your followers to post videos of themselves using your products in real life.
4. Pay Attention to Brand Consistency
Brand consistency across all of your social media channels is crucial. If you want to be easily recognized, you can’t have profiles with low-quality, blurry images or mismatched logos. This can confuse your customers and make you look unprofessional.
Instead of using cheesy stock photos or simply using what you have at hand, take some time to create high-quality, original photos and optimize them according to each platform’s specifications. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer; you can use your phone and the basic editing tools provided by the platforms to create great images in just a few minutes.
5. Spread the Word
If you want to get found through organic search, you’ll need to work on expanding your reach and building a solid following.
The best place to start is with the people you know – family, friends, customers, and coworkers. You won’t be adding these contacts with the aim to make a sale or simply boost your numbers. You’ll be doing it to expand your network and stay on top of people’s minds.
Social media and word-of-mouth referrals go hand in hand. In fact, recommendations from friends and family are trusted more than any other form of advertising by more than 90% of customers. Moreover, 85% of small businesses consider word-of-mouth referrals to be their best source of new customers.
6. Don’t Avoid Paid Ads
Paid social media ads aren’t always a bad thing. Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have access to unimaginable amounts of data which allows you to run highly targeted campaigns.
You can now target people not only based on their location or demographics but also based on their behavior and interests. You can create an audience from your own contact list or target lookalike audiences. And the best part is, you don’t have to break the bank in order to advertise on social media – on Facebook, for instance, you can start with paid ads for only $5 per day.
Cross-promote your social profiles whenever possible. Start by linking profiles, adding links to your email signatures, icons to your site, and social information to your printed materials.
Then, share your content across platforms, but remember that every social platform is different. What works on LinkedIn won’t work on Twitter, and what works on Twitter won’t necessarily work on Instagram. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t share the same content on all networks; you’ll just need to tailor your presentation to suit the platform.
When it comes to building a strong social media presence for your startup, there’s no universal solution. Instead, there are a number of strategies and tactics that can help you build your accounts for engagement. These 7 tips are the staples and if you follow them, you are sure to build a solid foundation and stay ahead of your competition.