While some small business owners are still reluctant to test the waters by becoming involved with social media, most businesses today have incorporated at least one social media platform in their business. They recognize that –
- Social media is an important marketing tool that allows you to expose your business to a much larger audience
- While it does take time and effort to maintain the accounts you create on social media, there are no financial costs involved in creating and maintaining them in the normal scope of doing business.
- You do not own the various platforms and the rules can change overnight, but they allow you to market your business, and when this is done correctly, it can create or raise awareness about your products, your brand, and your expertise.
How You Can Increase Your Influence on Social Media
Your ability to increase your influence on social media starts with simply becoming active on whatever platform/s you choose to create accounts. Once you have completely filled out your profile, you should have a goal for what you want to accomplish and accompany that with a carefully planned strategy.
1. Your Content – Post your own content on social media platforms, but remember that the focus is on social. While you do want to increase your brand awareness, you also want to avoid over-promotion.
If you have a blog that you post to regularly, you can easily set it up so that your posts are automatically sent to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter accounts. This is a personal decision, as there are marketers who prefer to send the information they write about to their list first, and then post it on social media for their fans and followers.
2. Other People’s Content – You do not have to come up with your own new content every day. Follow other thought leaders and share valuable information with your readers. You can easily get access to lots of information on a daily basis through Google Alerts and through RSS feeds.
3. Photos – People love sharing images and photos on social media. Again some of these can be your own, but you’ll notice that the majority of images shared originated with someone else. On the other hand, if you have a business that you can actually give your followers a glimpse of the inside by posting pictures of the business and the activities, then feel free to share them.
A good place to showcase your images related to your business would be on Pinterest.
4. Be Consistent – This can be a challenge in the busy life of an entrepreneur or small business owner, but there are tools like Hootsuite that can help you to have a consistent presence on the social media platforms you join. Remember too that you can use the Scheduler that’s right on your Faceboook fan page to schedule your status updates.
An advantage of consistency is that when people see you regularly sharing stories, articles, images, photos, and quotations they are more likely to take notice when you post something and even better, they’re more likely to share, like, re-tweet or re-pin your content.
5. Listen and Respond – Have you ever browsed around Facebook and see pages with posts after posts and people like or comment, but no one replies? That tells people that you’re not listening to them. Your only concern is what you have to say and what they have to say is not important. This may not be the truth, but that’s what is conveyed when you fail to respond to your fans and followers. On the other hand, when you listen and respond your followers will be loyal to you.
Take some time to study what large companies are doing with social media to increase their influence significantly, learn from their strategies and devise a plan to implement them so you improve your own methods to help to increase your influence on social media platforms. In a future post we will look at the benefits of increasing your influence on social media.
What are you doing to increase your influence on social media platforms?