Expanding Your Social Media Reach (Part 1)

Social media can be a gift and a curse. From a branding perspective, certain things such as effective advertising, can be enhanced through social media.  Social media marketing, on the other hand, may be more difficult , as your targeted audience is not guaranteed to be reached. For those in charge of marketing, it’s easy to miss opportunities that may increase the number of people who see your product or service. Effective tactics can be frequently overlooked, and in turn, disregarded, while you could end up spending a great deal of time on something that has virtually no impact on your social media reach, and thus harm business.

In the United States alone, 1.96 billion people use social media to some extent, and that number is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018. Tapping into this market is crucial for a successful business, with the largest platforms to do so being Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, just to name a few. On these sites, you can build a proficient social media following through many different ways.

Facebook

Having your business’s page, or even individual posts shared is an extremely effective way to increase your following. In order to get shares, you must motivate and engage people. Running a contest is a powerful way to brand your product or service. Rather than simply saying “Share our page,” offer a giveaway for anyone who does share a specific post. Seeing “share to win” on one’s news feed will immediately grab the attention of the person seeing the post. Not only does this engage and reward those who have already been following you, but it increases the potential for others to see your page who may not have before.

Call to actions in general are great tools in reaching your targeted audience through Facebook. “Like our page for more!” or “Comment below if you agree!” are tactics that can engage those who truly wish to learn more and share their opinions. But, this is something that should not be overdone. A page that posts nothing but pleas for attention will be continuously ignored.

Use images as well. Photos make up 75% of the content shared on Facebook since 2014, and have an 87% interaction rate among users. It’s pretty simple. Visuals are much easier to process than text.

Twitter

As the third largest social media site in the world behind Facebook and YouTube, Twitter can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses if used correctly. First, you’ll need followers. Otherwise, who is going to see what you post? One thing you can do is run a Twitter campaign. Here, you can send out promoted tweets that will reach a specified audience based on geographical location, interests, and language. While this is a great way to grow your followers, it can be expensive.

Short on cash? Don’t worry, there are some free strategies to increase your followers including following others yourself, using hashtags relevant to your target audience, and scheduling tweets to be posted at times when most people are using the site. Adding links to tweets is a proven way to engage more people as well. Posts that provide the convenience of information without asking readers to look it up themselves are much more appreciated.

And don’t forget to establish your brand through Twitter. Update your bio with relevant information about you or your business, and make sure people know what they can expect by following you.

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