For most most of us, increasing your reach is the ultimate goal of establishing and maintaining a social media presence. But first things is first. In order to make social media an effective tool to reach out to others, you first need to generate a following — fans for your Facebook page, followers for your Twitter account and LinkedIn company page, etc.
The more fans and followers you have for your social media presence, the better reach you’ll have. And better reach means the potential to generate more leads for business. So at the very core of social media for lead generation, you must take steps to increase your reach. To help you get started, here are 8 effective ways to expand your social media reach.
8 Ways to Attract More Social Media Fans and Followers
1. Optimize Your Social Presence. First and foremost, you must make sure your presence is optimized. Make sure the bios/profiles for your social media accounts are complete and that they include clear and concise descriptions of your business, your company logo, and your website URL. And now that social media updates are included in search results, be sure you’re also optimizing your tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn company status updates with keywords appropriate for your business, which could help you get found in search.
2. Promote Your Social Presence Everywhere. And by everywhere, we mean everywhere — on various pages of your website, on your blog, on signage in your storefront if you’re a local business, in print advertising, on your business cards, in your email marketing messages. Many social media sites now have official ‘follow’ buttons you can include on your website and blog. If not, you can create your own button and link it to your social media account. Twitter, for example, offers an official follow button that enables your site visitors to become a Twitter follower with just one click!
3. Share Useful, Valuable Content. It’s not just enough to promote your presence. You need to make your presence is something that’s worth following in the first place. Make sure your tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates consist of valuable, useful, and engaging content. Avoid product-focused content, and instead, make your social updates consist of educational content that has the potential to attract more fans and followers. People follow brands in social media because they’re looking for something useful, not because they want to know about how great your products and services are.
4. Add Social Sharing Buttons to All Your Content. Just as you should be promoting your social presence in as many places as possible, you should also be enabling your site visitors and email subscribers to share your content with their personal networks as easily as possible. Add social sharing buttons (e.g. “Share on Facebook” “Tweet This,” etc.) to all of your content — on individual blog articles, in email messages, on landing pages for eBook and webinar downloads, within the pages of your eBooks, etc. By evangelizing your audience to share your content, you’ll have better potential to reach a broader audience that extends beyond your direct network of fans and followers. And if those people like the content that their friends are sharing with them, they may be inclined to become direct followers of you, too!
5. Find, Follow, and Build Relationships With People In Your Industry. Use tools like Tweet Grader, Twitter Search, and Twellow to identify other Twitter users in your industry. Start following them, participating in discussions, and engaging in conversations. Find and follow other influential bloggers and re-tweet their content. Follow back anyone who follows you. Participate in Twitter chats and hash tag conversations like #FollowFriday (#FF). Start following some of the people your followers (and the people you’re following) are following too!
6. Interact With Fans and Followers. Just as you should be regularly sharing educational, insightful content, you should also be monitoring your presence and interacting with your fans and followers. Ask questions, be engaging, and participate in discussions to create a presence worth following.
7. Create a Custom Facebook Welcome Page. Follow this quick tutorial to create a custom Facebook landing page tab to welcome first-time visitors of your Facebook page. Set the page as your ‘Default landing Tab’ (you can do this when you’re editing your page under ‘Manage Permissions’), and use the tab to encourage new visitors to ‘like’ you right off the bat!
8. Offer Incentives for New Fans/Followers. Make it so your social media presence is a must-follow. Research shows that 58% of Facebook users expect exclusive offers from business pages, so consider offering exclusive promotions and offers available only to your social media followers. Create a Facebook contest and make it a requirement for users to ‘like’ you in order to be eligible. Create an offer available only to Twitter followers that can’t be obtained elsewhere. Make it so that users need to follow you in order to receive specific perks.
Building your social media reach will take some time, but if you are committed, you’ll start seeing results.
By Pamela Vaughan at Hubspot.com