Now that your business is on social media, what’s the first step to growing your professional network? A strong social network will maximise your reach to get your content in front of the people you want to reach.
If you have started posting to your social pages, you’ll want to make sure that these posts are capturing the attention of your clients, prospects and other industry players. And, if you can count your social media fans and followers on one page the chances of your amazing insights or thoughtful commentary being seen are pretty low.
So how do you maximise the impact of your hard work?
It’s no longer enough to publish a few articles on your website and hope people will find it. Defining the right way to connect with and engage your audience is key to getting a return on your investment. Grow your audience of followers on your social channels and you will build a powerful channel to share messages, updates and build your profile.
Here are 7 Steps to developing a strategic approach to growing your reach and maximising the time invested.
1. Enlarge your following through the people you already know
This gives you opportunities to connect with their networks when they like, share, retweet or comment on a post you have made.
Start with the basics:
- Reach out to your own personal network by sharing your Business Facebook page on your own personal Facebook timeline – And ask friends and family to connect and support you. In your post, ask them to like the page and share it with others. To share your page, click on the Share button below your cover photo.
- Invite your Facebook friends – Click on Community in the left-hand column and then find your friends by typing in their name or selecting invite beside their names. Don’t be afraid to ask friends to also share it with their friends, who may be interested in your business.
- LinkedIn Business Pages – Create a Business page on LinkedIn and post your blogs and articles here so that your team members can connect to the company and also share the content on their personal profile.
- Twitter – follow influencers, retweet and comment as your page. Use hashtags in your tweets so that your activity is more easily found by Twitter users.
- Engage with other Facebook pages – Use your page profile to comment on other people’s or businesses’ posts. You can also reference them in your posts using the @sign to tag them. e.g. @xero. By engaging with a variety of content you also broaden your reach and reach new audiences.
2. Social Media is a two-way conversation
‘Being responsive’ is the number one action businesses can take on social media to affect decision making by consumers.
Show you are listening, ready to answer questions and to solve problems. The more comments and engagement on your page the better your visibility across the network. Thank the people who interact with you and offer more information. All of which shows you are client focussed and proactive.
Taking the time to respond to questions and comments on your own social channels is vital, but also look for chances to expand your influence by commenting on other business’ posts (as yourself and as your business). Simply liking, sharing and commenting on other business’ content gets your name out there and shows you’re genuine about participating in and adding value to the wider conversation.
Participating in LinkedIn groups and Facebook Groups is another great way to reach an audience that is very niche and therefore, highly engaged. Groups are trusted places where professionals (and others) can help and support one another so not a place to sell but to contribute and listen. Groups might be for an industry vertical or across small business. In addition to the wider network opportunity, groups are useful places to build industry knowledge.
The reward for your engagement on social is the opportunity to build and grow a higher quality network and organic, genuine engagement with your business, which can be a rich source of new contacts – 79% of B2B Marketers see LinkedIn as an effective place to find business leads.
3. Two ears, one mouth
There’s a treasure trove of information on social networks about your industry and your competitors waiting for you to discover right now.
Set time aside to look at what content is being shared and discussed online to stay across the latest industry buzz and pick up valuable ideas and tips for topical posts and tweets.
It doesn’t have to be time-consuming – you can use apps like LinkedIn and Facebook on your phone to stay across the conversation in your downtime and set up Google Alerts to get notifications on topics related to your business. If your business is being blogged about or is in the news, make sure you share the coverage on your social pages.
4. Post more often
The more activity on your social pages, the higher your visibility and potential engagement with your followers. Make sure it’s relevant and useful for your audience so they’re more likely to spread the word by commenting, retweeting or sharing it.
5. Share your content with others
Hitting publish on an article or video is just the first step – finding the right way to promote it is next. Publish your blog or video on your business account, then share it on your personal profile to reach a wider audience. Email it to your contacts that may be interested. Post a link on a related (this bit’s important!) article online to add to the conversation.
Experiment with sharing your content in different ways and find out what works best. Respecting your audience’s time and attention is key – adding genuine value for people who are likely to be interested in your goal, and will keep them engaging with your social media account. And be careful not to share content that’s irrelevant, which will turn people off!
6. Make sure your house is in order
Your website is your home base, the authoritative and up-to-date place where potential clients can find and learn about your business. Consistently publishing fresh content on your site not only creates credibility for your business but also drives your SEO.
You can also share your social networking activity on your website – including your social media feeds on your site maximises return from the time you invest online. At the very least, make it easy for people to connect with you online by including social icons and links to your social networks on your website footer and in the signature of your emails too.
7. Advertise on social
Your posts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are seen by the fans and followers of those pages. Creating an ad reaches a wider group of people and pushes your content beyond your existing networks, based on a specific target audience and location. This is a useful and effective addition to your promotional budget.
To showcase your best content, it’s worth the extra investment to put social media advertising budget behind it to push it beyond your existing network. It’s simple to get started, doesn’t require a huge investment and can help build your network. You can set up Social ads for Facebook and Instagram in BOMA, choose your target audience based on age, location and interests, set a budget and view the insights.
Growing your social network starts with your goals
Before you dive in, it’s a good idea to define your goals for being on social media, and bear them in mind as you go about sharing content and joining the online conversation. You may want to generate new leads by promoting your services, establish and grow your reputation or nurture and support your existing clients. Your social strategy should support your business’ goals and clearly come through in your approach.
And once you have started building fans and followers on your social pages. Keep them actively engaged with your pages by posting regularly.
BOMA is a marketing tool for Business Advisors. Communicate with clients and prospects with ease from one platform. BOMA gives you expertly written advisory articles and free images so you can create emails, newsletters and social posts in minutes.
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