Repost from Business2Community, November 20, 2013
By Joy Mali
The world of social media is constantly changing, and for the better too. Small businesses who want to jump onto the (somewhat crowded!) bandwagon may want to start growing their social media audience earlier.
Building a social media audience is a constant balancing act, but nonetheless it’s very rewarding once you have several best practices put in place. Here are some tips you may find valuable to start off.
Tip #1: Be consistent
Blogging and updating your social media profiles regularly will ensure a steady growth of audience and followers. Plus, it’s good for SEO! This can be done easily through the right social media tools (see below for a list of trending tools I love using).
Tip #2: Give something valuable back
Sure, there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this world (or is there?), but you may want to consider giving back to the social media community by providing information that your audience will value. Whitepapers, PDF reports, useful graphics or templates are only some of the things you can give away to grow your social media followers.
Tip #3: Optimize your profiles
There’s nothing worse than having business social media profiles that are vague and inconsistent. Before you can grow your social media audience, you need to tell the world who you are, what your business is all about. A good way to start is to optimize your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn with the relevant information. Adding personal, humanizing touches will secure your place in the social media community as not just another cold, faceless brand.
Tip #4: Leverage on the power of visual content
And what better form of visual content is there apart from the ever-popular infographics? High quality infographics are 30 times more likely to appeal compared to text-based content – how’s that for virability? Besides providing an appealing form of data visualization, infographics are also highly shareable and will allow your business to gain a loyal following on the Internet.
Tip #5: K.I.S.S your content
If you follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Significant and Shareable) principle, you will be able to create and share engaging content that people will generate interest and have people remember for a long time. Don’t be stingy; always link out to other authority sources of information (don’t blow your trumpet all the time!) and you’ll increase your trustworthiness in the long run.
BONUS! Social media tools that help you grow
Don’t you wish you could be the one person that always has something relevant and interesting to say in parties? To further grow your business, you can build thought leadership and be the person to look up to in your industry.
This can be achieved through Swayy, an upcoming platform that’s making waves in the social media scene. You’ll have access to the most valuable and relevant content on your Swayy dashboard, allowing you to share articles, videos, infographics or breaking news with your followers.
Swayy also makes your job as a social media influencer easier as it presents you with the right hashtags to keep your content constantly relevant in recent trends. You can also tap on a wealth of data via their analytics feature to see if you’re on the right path.
Compfight is a nifty social media tool that’s catered for small businesses who want to take the guesswork out of using the right photos for their online content. You no longer need to trawl the Internet searching for relevant photos that match your blog posts, articles or press releases – Compfight will crawl through millions of Flickr photos and present you with the most relevant one based on your keywords. You even get the right HTML code to properly give credit to the photography source.
3. Sprout Social
Imagine effortlessly monitoring all your social media account, scheduling your posts automatically. Guess what? You can have all that with Sprout Social, and more, without even hiring a single social media manager. This platform oversees your accounts and provides recommendations as to when is the most effective time to post content catered to your audience. A good and cheaper alternative to this is Post Planner and Hootsuite.