Your social media presence plays a huge role in your overall performance. Hootsuite reports that 41 percent of consumers in the U.S.–and 40 percent of consumers in the U.K.–believe it’s important for the brands they engage with to have strong social media presences.
But for social media to be a viable marketing and branding channel, you need to start by growing your reach. This means you need to get more fans and followers across all the social media channels you’re using.
So it’s more than just creating a business account and hoping for the best. There are many mistakes you can make that could ruin your chances of increasing your following.
With that in mind, here are three best practices you need to follow:
1. Provide value to your target audience.
The most obvious tactic is to use your social media to share content that’s of value to your target audience. Instead of constantly posting about your product, create posts that have some sort of educational or entertainment value to your audience.
For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency don’t just share content promoting your services because that would only appeal to a small and select audience. Instead, create infographics or other types of content to highlight your latest findings about social media marketing. Or create memes or visuals that would entertain your target audience in some way or the other.
Hello Social, a social media marketing agency, does an excellent job of this. In addition to sharing their educational blog posts, they create hilarious memes that people in marketing and social media can relate to. For example:
CREDIT: Screenshot: facebook.com/hellosocial
2. Use videos.
Video clips on social media can help generate positive brand sentiments according to a study by Sprout Social. 83 percent of consumers in the study felt that brands who share video clips on social media are cool. So it might be a good idea to see how you can share more relevant and entertaining videos with your social media followers.
So it’s not surprising that 60 percent of consumers watch branded videos daily on Facebook, according to a survey conducted by Animoto. And if your video is educational in nature, it has a much better chance of getting shared by your followers. This is essential if you wish to expand your reach because the more people share your video content, the better chance you have of drawing in a new audience.
3. Be responsive.
Finally, it’s crucial that you use social media to interact with and provide support to your customers. Responding their queries is one of the first and simplest steps to pulling this off. And the previously-cited Sprout Social study also found that 83 percent of consumers in the study have a positive sentiment towards brands that respond to questions on social media.
48 percent even admit that witnessing a brand being responsive to consumers on social media often prompts them to purchase from the brand. Additionally, another Sprout Social study found that 50 percent of consumers would boycott a brand that doesn’t respond well to their customers on social media.
On the other hand, providing prompt and helpful responses to your customers’ social media complaints could result in more positive exposure for your brand. 45 percent of consumers in the study would react by posting about the positive interaction. And 37 percent would share the experience with their friends online. All of this positive exposure could help you win over plenty of new fans and followers.
All of these tactics are crucial for building your social media presence and winning over new fans. Try implementing them into your existing social media strategy and see how well they help you draw in new followers to your brand’s social media.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.