Social media has grown into a powerful marketing strategy – gaining exposure for brands and increasing targeted traffic to websites. The majority of businesses would benefit hugely from a successful social media campaign, and most have already jumped on the bandwagon. However if you want to increase your presence on social media networks then be prepared to dedicate time and effort into devising strategies and implementing them. Alternatively you can pay someone to do it for you – although if you can do it yourself then you will retain control and save money.
- 1. Avoid “Buying” Fans
Setting up a Facebook and Twitter account is the easy part – but now you’re faced with gaining a network of fans and followers. Unfortunately this rarely just happens by itself, and as such, many businesses turn to individuals that ‘sell’ likes and fans. You may already have come across people offering, “10,000 Facebook likes” and these people can often deliver on their promises. However these likes only serve to create an impression of a popular brand, and only a few of these fans or followers will be genuinely interested in your business. In fact these false fans often do more damage than good, which is why your aim should be to gain a gradually increasing number of true fans that will interact with your brand. So how do you do it?
- 2. Tap into Every Possible Network
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Google+, Pinterest….the list goes on. It is important to create a profile on as many social networks as you feel you can regularly manage. Each network will help to gain exposure for your other networks, for example, people that see an interesting picture you have shared on Pinterest can be encouraged to like your Facebook page…and so on. This will involve providing links on each of your profiles to your other networks.
- 3. Capture the Attention of Visitors
Ensure that your social media profiles and pages are designed to look unique and professional. Personalise the background of your twitter account so that it reflects your brand and design a profile picture that includes your logo. Visitors are more likely to explore your page if their attention is captured, with unique photographs or bright colours.
It should also be instantly obvious to visitors what your business is offering. Use your brand-image in the colours and style you choose when designing your pages, and ensure that any photos or videos you share are relevant to the industry you are operating in.
- 4. Get People Talking
Depending on your brand-image you should devise an appropriate strategy to get people talking.
Use current news events to provoke a debate amongst followers, and to get them sharing or retweeting your posts. Use call to actions, such as “Tell us what you think” or “Share with your friends”. If your brand is quite down-to-earth then why not share funny pictures or videos that fans will be inclined to share with their friends.
Target an audience on twitter by using ‘trending’ hashtags. A hashtag is used to mark a word or phrase on twitter, e.g #tweetme, so that other people can easily find tweets on the same subject. On your twitter homepage you will see a list of hashtags on the left that are currently ‘trending’, which means that other people are using them. Use these hashtags, along with an interesting tweet to gain exposure.
- 5. Always Interact with Fans
If a fan or follower tweets about you or posts on your wall then it is important to respond. Interacting with your fans will keep them interested in your brand and make them feel connected with you. You can also use this as an opportunity to gain more exposure with a call to action,
e.g “It is great to hear that you like our product. We love it when we receive such great feedback. Please don’t forget to share with your friends!”
- 6. Write Interesting Content
Create a blog on your site and use this to regularly produce interesting content. Remember to include social media buttons at the end of your posts and to encourage readers to “share” this content. Write about what you know, giving useful tips or offering an opinion that will provoke debate.
There are many methods for gaining exposure on social media networks, including paid methods such as Facebook Ads and buying fans. However in my experience the best methods involve producing regular, quality content and posting interesting updates. Taking time out every day to update your social media networks with interesting updates should produce a steady increase in exposure.
What are your experiences with creating a social media presence?