Increase your social media stakes

There are more than 11 million Facebook business pages in existence, and new pages are being added every day. The majority of companies are now aware how social media can help build your brand and increase sales. But simply signing up to the various social networks is not enough.

You need to learn how to make the most of the opportunity that social media provides. Rinse those social media sites for all they’ve got with these 6 steps:


1. Improve your online profile

Spend some time creating your profile, for whatever site you have chosen. It’s a valuable piece of marketing collateral that will be used over and over.

Make some improvements to your profile:

-  Get the basics right

Say who you are and what you do. Don’t write a 500 word essay about your goals and company ideals – just get to the point. Always add a photo (or your logo) and include a link to your website.

-  Continually update your profile

Are you details out of date? Or is your profile boring? Share recent updates, achievements, industry relevant content or stories or pictures of your product in action.

-   Share your goals

Connect with your followers on social media, and you might be surprised what you get in return. If you share your goals and ambitions, someone out there might be able to help you.


2. Take advantage of apps

Social media demands a lot of attention, and it can be hard to keep on top of comments, mentions, uploading pictures, videos and content. If you have presence on multiple sites, then your work load increases. How can you keep on top of it?

There are lots of social media applications out there that can help you to manage your online communication, even when you aren’t as your desk:

-  Echfon

This will automatically keep track of which mentions or notifications you have read, so that you don’t have to read them twice. It will also notify you of mentions and messages.

-  Hootsuite

A personal favourite of ours, Hootsuite allows you to have multiple fingers in multiple pies. Control your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, StumbleUpon and more, from one dashboard. Customise your streams based on what information you want to know. You can also schedule tweets and posts for a future time.

-  Tweetdeck

This is very similar to Hootsuite, but only connects with Facebook and Twitter. You can create groups, manage multiple accounts and post to various accounts at once.

apps phone

3. Create more content

If you’re looking to gain more followers, you should produce valuable content that your followers will share to their useful connections. It’s also a great way to show yourself in a positive light without trying to sell your products directly.

-  Write useful ‘how to’ content that helps people and share it on social sites.

-  Create infographics. Post them on your website and share.

-  Write blogs that provoke discussion. Ask questions on Twitter or LinkedIn.


4. Find your audience

Are you using the correct social media site for your audience? Be proactive and connect with the right people. Potential customers are not the only people who are interested in what you have to say – people can be influenced by others. Use monitoring tools to find your audiences.

Try and reach out to:

-   Influences in your industry, thought leaders

Your partners, affiliates and suppliers

-  Bloggers, writers and journalists.


5. Draw up a social media policy

Create a simple social media policy to protect your brand. If someone is tweeting on your behalf, they may damage your reputation, even by accident. Make sure your employees understand:

They should never mix professional and personal posts

-  They must never post views that don’t represent the views of your business

-  They must never post confidential information.


6. Improve customer service

Customers are more likely to visit your Facebook or Twitter pages for updates, rather than your actual website. That means you will need to balance customer service requests with brand promotion. This is chance to show off your customer service. You can:

-   Encourage customer feedback and respond quickly

-   Allow customers to make suggestions to improve your product or service

-   Monitor what the public is saying about you and your business.

The trick to a successful social media strategy is to think of social sites as an extension of your website or brand. Don’t think of them as individual battles you must win. Instead, use all types of social media as ammunition for your overall business strategy.

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