Most social media sites are free, and because of that, it can be really easy to use them wrong. Companies or individuals promoting their websites and blogs can get overly eager to dive in, and before they know it, they have ruined their chances of building a strong social media community.
Social media takes time and persistence, and success won’t come overnight. Here are a few important steps to building a strong social media audience.
1. Diversify Content
This is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind when building a social media presence. Social media is a great tool for promoting businesses or blogs, but it’s important not to overwhelm followers with a constant flow of promotional material.
Instead, think about your target audience and what they might be interested in seeing on your social media feed. Starting discussions or posing questions to your followers can be a good way to increase engagement. In addition, don’t be afraid to pull in links from other sites that might be of interest to your audience. This can help in two ways. First, your followers will start to come to your feed as a source for good links from around the web. Also, the websites you link to may take note of the publicity and return the favor down the road. You can build partnerships with other websites and increase audience engagement at the same time.
2. Don’t Fake It
Social media users have gotten really smart when it comes to sniffing out fakes on Facebook and Twitter. If your participation in social media seems forced, people are going to know.
That’s why it’s important to get engaged in areas in which you can actually provide interesting contributions. If you are promoting your company, focus on the expertise and interest that brought you into that business in the first place. Social media is about honest connections with customers, not just about boosting profits. Engage followers in an honest way each time you use social media tools.
3. Add to the Conversation
Engagement is vital in social media. Followers engaging with your social media activities will eventually travel over to your website. For businesses, obviously, that means getting more business for your company.
In order to boost engagement, focus on direct interactions with followers. When other people make comments on your Facebook posts, write back to add to the conversation. If they retweet your messages or send you responses on Twitter, be sure to engage as many followers as you can. This is especially important for complimentary messages or complaints. If feedback is positive, always thank the commenter. In the case of complaints, use them as an opportunity to demonstrate your company or site’s personality.
In addition, you should be participating in conversations outside of your own feeds. Getting involved in other social media feeds is a good way to promote your own. Of course, you need to bring the same genuine interest to other people’s posts as you do to your own.
4. Be Consistent
Consistency is vital for social media activities, in terms of both content and frequency. Never leave your followers hanging by disappearing for days and days at a time. If you find that getting on Facebook all the time isn’t your favorite thing, use one of the WordPress templates that comes with social media features built into each post so that you can easily share your content. That makes it easy for you and your followers to move the conversation to Facebook or Twitter.
In addition, be sure that you are bringing your own brand to your social media feed. Blogs should be consistent with the material they are sharing so that followers know what to expect on each social media feed. Companies, meanwhile, should always be consistent with statements in social media and their websites.