Boosting a company’s social media presence

Social media has become an integral part of everyday life and, by extension, is crucial for how businesses market themselves and build their brand image. For small companies, in particular, a social media presence is vital to ensure they stand out from the crowd and make people aware of their products and services.

By now, the vast majority of businesses have at least some kind of social media presence. However, without a clear social media strategy in place, companies risk missing out on the major benefits that a good social media presence can bring.

In the current economic climate especially, it is more important than ever for businesses to be visible online in order to attract as many customers as possible. Here are four simple ways that companies can boost their social media presence and ensure they’re getting the most out of it.

Choose the right platforms
There is a huge array of social media platforms on offer these days and each one can be used in a different way to boost a company’s online presence. Due to the range of different approaches they provide, it will be important for businesses to select the right social media platform/platforms to focus their efforts on.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are likely to be used by most businesses, but are especially useful as a focal point for businesses that need to offer detailed information on their services and don't necessarily rely on a strong visual aspect. However, if a company is focused on products in which visuals are key (for example, clothes or greeting cards), then a site like Instagram or Pinterest is likely to provide a more appropriate platform for showcasing this.

Before choosing where to focus their social media content, businesses should research which platforms are most used by their target markets and competitors. This will help to identify the right social media channels and make it easier to reach potential customers.

Devise a content plan
A thorough, well-thought-out content plan is vital to making a company’s social media activity as effective as possible. In order to devise one, companies should research their audience and what types of content are most successful with them.

Once this is done, companies can start putting together a list of potential content, a schedule for posting it and consider the metrics that will be used to measure engagement and the success of each post. With these metrics in place, the content plan can be regularly adjusted based on what kind of posts, platforms and timings drive the most engagement.

Be part of the conversation
Social media isn’t just about posting content, however. A business that only posts about its own products and services, without more broadly engaging in what different platforms can offer risks coming across as faceless and distant.

Companies should seek to use social media to connect to their customer base and target audience, as well as to promote their products. This will help to build a sense that there is a relationship with customers, potentially boosting loyalty and meaning people are more likely to return in future and recommend the company to others.

Companies can engage with social media users by replying to comments, commenting on other users’ posts, opening up discussions with their audience (such as through Q&As) and by posting about topics not directly related to their business, such as social issues (although be careful not to alienate people!) and their local community.

Keep at it
Social media isn’t a one-off investment, it’s something that requires constant work in order to ensure the best results. Companies will need to be posting regularly and always looking for ways to update and improve their content strategy to help build their social media presence.

At the same time, it’s important to balance regular posting with the acknowledgement that bombarding customers with constant content is more likely to annoy them rather than engage them. Overloading users with content will most likely be counter-intuitive and ultimately damage a company’s social media brand.

For that reason, businesses should seek to develop a content strategy that involves regular posting, but is flexible and can be adjusted based on what works with the business’ audience and what doesn’t.