The world has gone online and we seem to spend more time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. than ever. I often speak with owners and marketing professionals of small and medium sized businesses who tell me that their social media marketing efforts are not yielding the desired results. It’s no surprise that they usually don’t have a solid social media marketing strategy in place and they often end up putting their newest intern in charge of social media so that at least some “stuff” gets tweeted, posted and shared in the digital world; the quality of the content seems to be an afterthought.
I strongly believe that every piece of social media and digital content in general needs to get reviewed and approved by a senior member of the company. Just read these social media disasters and you know what I’m talking about.
So let’s take a look at some strategies on how to increase your social media followers and hopefully these tips and best practices will get you some results too:
Take Advantage of the LinkedIn Long-Form Publishing Platform
I absolutely love LinkedIn and the new Long-Form Publishing Platform. Initially, LinkedIn members had to apply in order to be able to publish long-form content but now pretty much all members have access to this feature. Though, don’t think that you are now automatically a LinkedIn Influencer. LinkedIn is very selective when making someone an official LinkedIn Influencer and it’s by invitation only. Here’s what you need to know about the LinkedIn Long-Form Publishing Platform:
- You basically now have your very own “blog” associated with your professional LinkedIn account.
- The content that you are posting will be part of your LinkedIn profile and articles are displayed on the Posts section.
- The published post will show up in your stream and will be shared with your connections and followers.
- LinkedIn members who are not in your direct network are able to “follow” you from your long-form post so that they automatically receive updates when you publish your next post.
- Your long-form articles are not only searchable on LinkedIn but they will also show up in Google searches!
I recently published an article entitled “7 Tools to Perform an SEO Website Analysis on the Fly” and LinkedIn ended up featuring it on Pulse, their professional news platform. The article took off, people actually read it (and continue to read it), liked and shared it and I ended up getting several inquires about my SEO site audit services as a direct result.
Since starting to publish articles to the LinkedIn Long-Form Publishing Platform, I have seen a huge increase in business professionals who now follow my updates and read my content; pretty cool.
Proper Twitter Management
Twitter can be a crucial asset to any business because of how easy it is for followers to periodically get updated on your company throughout their day. However, this does not just simply mean that you should be posting as many Tweets as possible every day; your content needs to be of high quality, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. Posting interactive links can encourage engagement and increased exposure for your Twitter account and also your company website. Make sure to have a content calendar in place and to draft a wide ranges of Tweets that are not only about you. This means creating a balance of Tweets about your company, industry news and best practices, retweeting other interesting content, etc. And don’t forget to occasionally direct message some of your followers to build rapport if appropriate. The “reply” aspect of Twitter can build a lasting impression on followers displaying your customer service ability and acts as a form of direct conversation to customers for any comments or questions that followers might have about your business.
Diversified Facebook Page
In order to maintain an increasing amount of Facebook followers, it is essential to engage your audience in multiple different ways. Having a variety of postings can accomplish this goal by combining written postings, images, and shared postings from other businesses that your audience can relate to. Having this mix of postings throughout your Facebook page will create a visually pleasing page for your target audience, encouraging their attentiveness and routine reference towards your page. This will improve the validity of your Facebook page as well as increasing company exposure. Here are some tips on how to use images in your social media efforts.
When posting to any of the major social media sites, it is important to consider the direct relevance to the followers, customers, and potential customers who will be reading your content. Investing the time and effort into producing memorable and engaging content is key to maintaining current customers while also obtaining the attention of potential new customers. Effectively writing concise and knowledgeable content will influence other followers and businesses to share your postings to an even wider range of social media users, further expanding into segments that your company has not yet reached.
I often teach workshops on social media and content marketing, search engine optimization and online marketing and always enjoy meeting people in person who initially connected with me in the virtual world (aka social media). Follow my Tweets @SwissChris and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if you’d like to stay in touch.
About the Author
Chris Raulf is founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, a boutique SEO training and consulting agency located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Chris and his team assist local, national as well as international clients with all of their SEO, social media and content marketing needs.
Chris has 15+ years of digital marketing expertise under his belt and The Online Marketing Institute recently added him to their “Top 40+ Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014” list.