A lot more businesses are discovering the possibilities of social media sites to reach customers. But merely signing up to Twitter and Facebook is certainly not enough. Find out how you can increase your opportunities on social media in six easy simple steps.

1.       Improve your online profileImprove your online profile

  • Your social media profile is definitely a valuable online calling card that can certainly impress your target audience or leave them cold. It pays to invest some time developing a compelling profile – it’s also a valuable element of marketing collateral that you can use continuously.
  • So if you actually haven’t updated your profile since you first registered on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and Google Plus now’s the best time to try to make some improvements. Get it right — say who you are and what you do as convincingly as possible. Include your location, a photo and a link to your website.
  • Update your profile frequently. Is it obsolete or just too boring? Did you share your recent achievements? Does your profile represent you well?
  • Share your goals — people might be able to help you.

Take advantage of apps

2. make use of of apps

Social media demands a good deal of attention and that may be overwhelming. It’s crucial that you be seen to be active and especially to be responsive. So what is the proper way keep on top of it?

  • There are plenty of great social media apps that can aid you to manage your online communication, even when you are out of the office:
  • Echofon automatically keeps unread tweets in sync between all your devices so you don’t have to read tweets twice. It can also notify you of mentions and messages.
  • Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to manage all your social networks from one website. It also allows you to schedule messages and tweets, track brand mentions and analyse social media traffic.
  • Tweetdeck is a desktop and mobile browser that helps you keep up with what’s happening on Twitter and Facebook. You can create groups, search Twitter, manage multiple accounts, and post tweets or share photos, videos and links.

Create more content

3. Create more content

Most likely the most successful people on social media are generous with their advice, sharing content and helping others to generate useful connections. Should you wish to gain more followers, it’s definitely worth producing regular content that you are able to share – it’s also a smart way to show yourself in a positive light without needing to do a hard sell.

  • Write useful “how to” content that will be able to help people — and link to it on social networking sites.
  • Record podcasts or create infographics — post them on your website and recommend them to your online networks.
  • Write blogs that will provoke a discussion online and be shared and retweeted. Ask questions on Twitter and join discussion groups on LinkedIn.
  • Post testimonials and case studies on your website — persuasive content that you can share with fans and followers on your social networks.

Find your audience

4. Find your audiences

  • Are you maximising your opportunities for linking on social media? It pays to be proactive when considering to finding the proper people to communicate with.
  • There are many various types of people that may be interested in what you have to say – not just likely customers but those that could encourage them. And every social media site has their own approaches to help you find people. You can also use monitoring tools like Social Mention and Delicious to search for your audiences.
  • Here are a couple of the groups you should try to reach out to, in addition to customers and prospective customers:
  • movers and shakers, influencers, thought-leaders
  • your own wider network — your partners, affiliates and suppliers
  • bloggers, writers and journalists

Draw up a social media policy

5. Draw up a social media policy

  • Anyone tweeting or posting as your representative comes with the possibility to damage your brand, even inadvertently. Don’t let your reputation suffer by creating a simple social media policy.
  • Make sure your employees understand the following:
  • they should never mix the professional and the personal on social media sites
  • they must not place comments that don’t represent the views of your business or that could bring it into disrepute — on any social media site
  • they must not reveal any hidden business information on social media sites, including the names of customers

Improve customer service

6. Improve customer service

Many customers like better to communicate with businesses via social media sites like Facebook instead of by phone or email. Meaning you could possibly well have customer queries and even complaints coming in via social media.

This is a chance to show your commitment to customer service. You can:

  • encourage feedback from customers and respond quickly — especially to complaints
  • follow up suggestions to improve your product or service
  • monitor mentions and reviews of your business on social media sites and other websites using tools such as Google Analytics