Building a social media following and expanding your influence takes some creativity, along with a decent amount of trial and error. There is no set formula that works for each company when it comes to social media, but there are some truths that can make an impact on your success in digital networking.
Remember these social media certainties:
- Quality followers are greater than quantity. In an attempt to raise Twitter and Facebook numbers, some businesses will run a few contests. While their numbers got up initially, many of the new followers will leave those pages once the contest period is over. Sure, some of them will stick around but not many interact on a consistent basis. A person who chooses to follow your business through social media channels, no strings attached, is one that is truly interested in you and what you are selling. It is okay to try to boost your numbers through things like giveaways, but look for meaningful ways to draw in quality, long-term followers too.
- It’s not (always) about you. Before you post anything in a social media sphere ask yourself this: how will this benefit my followers? Helping out your followers is not always about saving them money; sometimes it is simply providing them with valuable information. That expertise may not always come directly from you. Follow other social media accounts in your industry and monitor what they do right when it comes to statuses, tweets, images and other forms of social media outreach.
- Sharing is good. When other people share your status updates, retweet your links or repin your images, your Web clout goes up. Even social media shares that are not directly about your business put your name in the spotlight. Mentions on social media are digital word-of-mouth advertising that work to further the online credibility of your company. Make sure you have social media buttons enabled on your website and blog so that others can quickly share the things they like with others. You may also want to join LinkedIn Groups to find other people with similar interests that are likely to share your information with others.
- Visuals get attention. People respond more quickly, and with more enthusiasm, to graphics. Why is it that social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram have caught fire with followers? People love visuals. When you post a link to your blog, be sure to include a thumbnail photo. Even if you don’t think your business is a fit for Pinterest, sign up anyway and create boards that relate to you and your industry.
- Interaction is vital. Social media accounts provide businesses an opportunity to start informal conversations with their customer base. If a particular topic or type of post gets a lot of buzz, copy that style for future posts. When people do respond to a post, reply to them and keep the conversation going.
When it comes to social media, businesses can really get ahead by focusing efforts in the right direction. Keep your customers in mind every time you post new content to make the most of your social media influence.
What rules about social media guide your actions?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.