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Optimize Your Social Media Presence

Social media has always been a way to make connections. While it may have started out as a place to post family pictures and funny pet videos, businesses soon discovered the power of this channel.

Social media icons floating above a person’s keyboard.

Worldwide, more than half the people on the planet (almost 4 billion) use social media. For businesses, popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

But how can businesses make the most of this far-reaching technology? These tips can help you optimize your social media presence and boost your reach.

Identify your target audience

Start by identifying the audience that you want to reach. Do you want to engage current customers? Attract new customers? Catch the eye of industry influencers?

Creating marketing personas can help you fine-tune your approach. Your website and current social media analytics will reveal patterns to help you identify your target audience. Who do you want to reach? What do they value? What are their hobbies and preferences?

The answers to these questions will guide your next step: laying out a strategy.

Set a strategy

It's not enough to simply throw out a post or a tweet every now and then, hoping the right people see it. Instead, aim posts directly at your target audience.

Setting a strategy to guide your social media plan is key. Start by creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, which are:

  • Specific: "We'll increase our engagement rate on Facebook by 25%."
  • Measurable: "We'll measure engagement using Facebook's Insights tool."
  • Attainable: "We'll give ourselves six months to achieve this goal."
  • Relevant: "Achieving this goal will increase our reach to potential customers."
  • Trackable and time-bound: "We'll set monthly milestones and review at the end of each quarter."

Scope out the competition

How do competitors in your industry use social media? Looking at competitors' social media accounts – both local and in other areas – can reveal what's effective and what's not.

While you don't want to copy your competitors, you also don't want to reinvent the wheel. Consider conducting a competitive analysis on a couple of competitors with the goals of identifying steps to take and avoiding potential pitfalls.

Let your personality shine

So many business accounts play it safe – too safe. Think of it this way: Do you enjoy reading overly formal, bland posts that sound as if they were written by a robot? Do you think your audience enjoys it?

Don't be afraid to show the human side of your brand! People want to connect with the companies they do business with. This builds a relationship, a sense of trust, and brand loyalty.

Using a bit of humor in your posts, showing photos of the people behind the scenes, and highlighting the ways your business gives back to the community go a long way toward building an audience.

Social media is a key to business success. When used strategically, social media engages your followers, increases brand awareness, and drives traffic to your site, leading to more conversions and more sales.

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