1. Listen to your audience

One of the most important features of social media is that it allows businesses to directly relate to its customers. Whether it’s through “likes”, “retweets”, “reblogs”, or “favorites”, it is important to see what is appealing to consumers and what is not. However, it is not enough just to note what is successful, it is crucial to then make adjustments to your customers needs. Social media allows businesses to interact with the public. Don’t be afraid to directly respond to clients, as it is important in building a relationship. The better relationship you have with your clients, the more likely they are to promote your business. Don’t underestimate the power of “word of mouth” marketing.

2. Show, don’t tell

The notion of “showing” instead of “telling” is an important marketing strategy that focuses on quality rather than quantity. A sales approach that is overwhelming, pushy, or too intent on direct sale may seem like spam to viewers, and will drive away customers. Use social media to present the quality and uniqueness of your product.

3. Consistency

It is important that regular scheduled posts are being generated across all social media platforms. Consistent posting is key to generating traffic to your company. It is also important to have a variety of posts and images on your businesses different pages. Followers will not hesitate to abandon your company if they are left uninformed or bored with a lack of posts. Increasing your posting also generates site traffic as it effects SEO. Variety, consistency, and aesthetics are essential to social media posts to get the best results.

4. Have a plan

Don’t start posting without “knowing”. Have a focus, know your audience, research strategies, and become familiar with the platforms. Consider elements such as keyword research for SEO. Utilize hashtags to generate traffic and target a specific audience base that is likely to connect to your business. Maintaining focus is important in creating a strong brand image that has a targeted and committed client base, which is more successful than a broad strategy that attempts to appeal to all people.

5. Brand image

Brand image is central to relating to your customers. Brand recognition comes from consistency of posting, as viewers eventually will begin to recognize your brand or business just by reading your slogan or seeing a specific set of colors. The more your brand image is put out to consumers, the more they will begin to recognize what it is associated to. Brand imaging is based off of trust with your customers, which makes your brand known as dependable and credible.

6. Know your platform

Social media is unique in that it offers multiple channels to promote your business or brand. Knowing your platforms is a key element in planning your social media campaign. Specific platforms may be preferred over others depending on your specific audience. It is important to know who accesses the various platforms, as it can change how you present your business depending on the media. There are a plethora of tools that each platform offers that you should become familiar with. For example, Google+ offers “circles” where a specific group can be created among a client base where you could share special discounts, and “community” where you can monitor feedback. When using Facebook, build a business fan page, and remember you are relating to friends, so the tone should be casual and light. Pinterest is image centered, therefore great detail should be paid to the visual aspect of products. LinkedIn is a more professional environment, and brand promotion should be enhanced by “recommendations”. The specific function and audience of each social media platform should be tailored to your specific message.

7. Know your competition

Observing your competition is one of the easiest ways to enhance your own performance. Take note of what they do well, and also learn from their mistakes. Take note of their social media strategies, and tailor them to your specific brand.

8. Links

Getting links to your website is at the root of every social media campaign. Linking can be done in many ways. Don’t be afraid to connect with other businesses’ content, as they are likely to reciprocate, as well as interlinking to your own blog posts. Make sure that your posts across platforms always allow an outlet back to your webpage.

9. Check your analytics

Studying the analytics of your social media posts allow you to see which posts are more effective than others, and gives you the opportunity to make adjustments. Twitter analytics shows you the attention each tweet received. Facebook Insights collections and presents the data from user interaction with your page, where you will see how many views, likes, clicks, and connections your page received. Analytics are a built-in and free feature on social media that measures your performance.

10. Time sensitivity

Social media is time sensitive in that there are specific times that generate more traffic than others. There are also peak times that are specific to certain medias. While Monday is a good time to post for Instagram, Friday is a peak day to post on Facebook. Time should be considered hourly, weekly, and across time zones. What is the best hour to post? What are the best days of the week? If I post now, will half of my audience across the globe be asleep? These are questions to consider when deciding the best times to promote yourself on social media.

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