Social media has grown into a massively powerful wave in the world of digital marketing, with brands riding it all the way to serious online success. And if you aren’t ready with a strategy of your own, you can easily be washed away by your competitors – so let’s get to it.
We’ve created one of our most jam-packed guides ever, rounding up 25 ideas for growing your brand’s social media presence in 2021 and beyond. These practical strategies can propel you towards effective growth, whether you go all-in on a social media overhaul or take it slow with a couple of tips each week.
How-To: Increase Social Media Presence
One of the most significant benefits of using social media for marketing is that there are many tried and true strategies for solidifying your online presence. With so many options to choose from, you can easily build a personalized plan that’s tailored to your goals, strengths, and even your available time.
We wanted to assemble one of the biggest and best collections of social media tips and tricks, giving you an easy reference that covers all the bases. So, let’s jump right into 25 ways to grow your brand’s social media presence starting now.
1. Set goals and create a plan.
How will you know that your hard work was worth it if you don’t have a plan for measuring success? Before you log in and start posting up a storm, make sure you have a clear purpose and goals in mind. Consider exactly what kind of growth you’re hoping to see: what will it look like if/when your efforts are successful?
It’s vital that you establish your goals before you begin working on your social media campaign. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting time, energy, and money on tasks that aren’t relevant to your focus.
Here are a few critical steps to make your first priority:
- Have a thorough understanding of each social media platform that you will be using
- Know who your target audience is going to be (using factors such as location, interests, and demographics to zero in)
- Set precise targets
- Have a plan for tracking and analyzing progress
2. Create a high-quality profile for your business.
Let’s go back to the beginning of using social media for business and break down the process of creating a profile. If you already have a profile in place, giving it a little TLC is always a good idea. Otherwise, if you’re starting from scratch, we’re going to walk you through each step.
Although every social platform is unique, most follow the same general setup. You’ll begin by requesting to create an account and then be guided through the steps of completing a publicly viewable profile. Complete every single item/field that applies to your business, ensuring that your profile doesn’t have any information gaps. A fully completed profile is far more credible than one with missing pieces, increasing the likelihood that a user will be interested in getting to know more about your brand.
When you are creating a bio, brevity is key, but so is telling your brand’s story. Think of it as your “elevator pitch,” the way you would describe your brand to someone new if you just had a few moments of their time. As you write your bio, include a few relevant keywords to help bring traffic to your page.
As you build out your profile, keep branding in mind. The image presented via your profile page should be consistent with your website, other materials, and even your physical business. This can mean sticking to a specific color palette, using your brand’s logo and other signature images, and continuing the tone and voice of existing content.
3. Find relevant accounts to follow.
One of the ways to prove your legitimacy online is to follow other accounts, including people and brands. Ideally, you want to search for accounts that are relevant to your brand.
So, for example, if you are a restaurant in Miami, you might follow Miami tourism accounts, the city of Miami, well-known Miami food bloggers, and other related accounts.
Many of the accounts you follow may end up following you back, which even further establishes your online credibility. And in addition, you’ll be curating a social media feed that contains information that could be useful for your business – so it’s a win all around.
4. Start interacting with your online audience.
Connection and interaction are two of the core purposes of social media for brands and individual people alike. One of the most effective ways to expand your social media presence is to have consistent, positive interactions with your audience.
In doing so, you gain their attention and make them feel more connected to your brand. From there, the odds are far greater that they’ll feel driven to explore your website, browse more of your social media content, and even make a purchase.
Some quick and simple ways for businesses to interact with their audience on social media include:
- Responding to their posts
- Replying to comments on your posts
- Sharing relevant posts your followers/other users create
- Promptly answering questions
- Replying to direct messages
5. Know your audience and create content accordingly.
No matter what type of marketing you’re doing, understanding your audience is always going to be a foundational principle. And on social media, interacting with them will help you build a clearer picture of the audience suited to your brand.
Pay attention to your target users: what do they like, comment on, and share? Are there certain types of content that appear to perform best with your audience?
You can better tailor your content as you learn more about what they like to see, read, and interact with. Your content will then perform better, engagement will increase, and your presence on social media will grow.
Another benefit of getting to know your audience is being able to show your ability to serve their needs.
Because your social media content will be offering them exactly what they want and need, users will be more likely to want to continue a relationship with your brand. That can bring them to your brand’s website or your physical business location and move them through the next phases as potential customers.
6. Place social media buttons on your website.
Your social media sites can drive traffic to your website, but your website can also be a jumping-off point for users to visit your social pages. Use your website traffic to its fullest potential by putting social media buttons in an easy-to-see spot on your website. With just a click, a user can view your various social media profiles and follow you there.
Of course, you don’t want to come off as pushy, so don’t go overboard. Instead, situate a single set of buttons (one for each of your active social platforms) somewhere they won’t be missed.
7. Make sure all of your social media profiles link back to your website.
All of your social media profile pages should include a direct link to your business website so that users can effortlessly navigate between the two.
A link included in your social media bios will chart a clear path for users to learn more about your brand, providing a reasonably steady flow of traffic to your website. It’s a profile edit that takes you seconds but will continue to pay off for quite some time to come.
8. Host events that help promote your social media pages.
Events are one of the oldest (and most effective) tricks in the book when it comes to spreading awareness about a business. These days, they can also be a great way to put the spotlight on your brand’s social media presence.
And your event doesn’t have to be a big, expensive undertaking to be successful, either. Even just a one-day special can have a solid payoff.
For example, let’s say a local bakery decided to celebrate National Cupcake Day with a promotional deal: guests can get a free cupcake when they post a tagged photo from the bakery to their Instagram account and use a special hashtag. In return for handing out some cupcakes, the bakery gets a ton of online exposure and advertising and probably more than a few new followers.
9. Share your social profiles when possible.
People certainly can’t follow you online if they don’t even know you have an active profile, which is why simply sharing information about your presence can be productive. Share your social media handles when the opportunity presents itself, but avoid getting too pushy or “spammy.”
Some tactics for sharing social media handles include:
- Printing your social media handles on your receipts, order forms, and other materials
- Sending online invites for friends and family to like/follow your pages
- Letting customers know (in person) they can find you online
10. Use hashtags.
A hashtag (denoted by the pound symbol followed by a word/phrase) indexes all tagged content, giving users a one-click method for accessing similar content from various accounts, days, etc. For example, if users wanted to browse posts about Thanksgiving recipes, they might click #thanksgivingdinnerideas.
When you create a post for social media, try to attach at least a few related hashtags. Keep in mind that you want to choose hashtags that are likely to be interesting to your target audience. You also don’t want to use too many hashtags because it can negatively impact your brand and content quality.
You can also opt to create branded hashtags, which are hashtags that are based on your business name or slogan. Then, you can encourage customers and online users to share their related content and use your branded hashtag.
11. Don’t be afraid to branch out.
When you’re choosing the best social media sites for marketing, a few are always at the top of the list: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are widely popular and a necessity for most brands.
But you can also explore other platforms, especially those that are well-suited to your brand and business goals. LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok are just a few of the options out there. Social review sites such as Yelp are also a meaningful way to expand your presence and grow in multiple directions.
12. Include your social media handles in your emails.
You probably send out multiple emails to various subscriber groups regularly, covering a broad range of purposes: monthly newsletters, sales and discount information, new product releases, and more.
Putting your social media icons or handles directly in these emails is an incredibly easy way to bring in more traffic to your profile pages. The audience that receives your emails has already shown their interest in your brand one way or another, so who better to guide towards your social media?
13. Host giveaways and offer special freebies.
Everybody loves a freebie, and social media can be the perfect platform for building a bigger following through free products, discounts codes, or a free trial of your services. Not only will these freebies benefit your already-existing audience – and keep them engaged – but they can also get more people talking about your brand online.
Usually, it makes the most sense to set a giveaway up in a way that earns you something in return. Here’s an example: create a holiday-themed post that offers users the opportunity to win one of your signature products once they follow your page, like the post, and tag three friends in the post’s comments. So, you’re able to generate activity on the post (and connect with new users), and they get a “thank you” gift in return.
14. Make authentic engagement a top priority.
Social media isn’t designed to be a one-way street. Your audience expects to be able to engage with your brand online and receive genuine responses in return. Think of your social media page as a virtual version of your physical business: you wouldn’t ignore someone that walked in the front door and said hello; you’d start up a friendly conversation! That same concept applies to social media.
Anytime a user comments on one of your posts, posts about your brand, or interacts with your brand in another way, do your best to respond to them. Keep in mind that a few users may comment/post negatively, but it is still your job to formulate a professional and positive response.
In addition to participating in basic “conversations,” you can also set up other opportunities for engagement. Polls, contests, and quizzes are all fun ways for your audience to get involved.
In the big picture, actively engaging with your online audience demonstrates that your brand values authentic, long-term relationships. This works in favor of establishing trust, earning you new customers and even recommendations.
15. Optimize your social media content.
SEO optimization on social media is a complex topic that needs its own guide (which, by the way, we created for you), but here’s a quick summary. Using keywords at every possible opportunity can help you earn a higher rank on search engine results pages (SERPs), which will bring more users to your page. So, when you’re creating new content for social media, incorporate a handful of keywords if and when you can.
16. Link your virtual presence with your real-world business.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, visitors should be well aware that you’re also active online. Small touches like posting your social media handle on a sign inside your store or including social media follow links in their emailed receipt make a connection between the in-store experience and social media.
17. Make posting a regular habit.
Post too often, and your followers are going to feel like they’re being spammed. Post too little, and your followers are likely to lose interest in your page. But with just the right balance, you make sure you’re at the top of their minds (and their social feeds).
Consistently posting on social media allows you to deliver information to your audience on a regular basis, and it lets them know when they can generally expect to see a new post from you. Some brands use the scheduling feature to set up posts in advance so that they can debut new content within optimal timeframes for the best possible results.
18. Be a “real person” behind the brand account.
Nobody wants to feel as if they’re talking to a robot, especially not on social media. When you use template-based replies, generic messaging, and unoriginal content, your audiences will see right through it – and they won’t be pleased.
Instead, make sure you’re applying a personal touch to your social media profiles. Address users by name when you’re interacting with them, and personalize messages each time. This shows your audience that you appreciate them enough to take the time to interact authentically. Additionally, it paints a more relatable picture of your brand online.
19. Have a plan for navigating negative feedback.
Getting complaints on social media can be tough, especially because your entire audience can easily see what an unhappy customer has to say. But with the right approach, you can use those challenging moments to illustrate your commitment to quality service and strengthen your brand presence in the process.
Let’s say you have a customer post a negative comment on your Facebook profile, referencing a bad experience they had visiting your neighborhood coffee shop. Responding as soon as possible, using a professional and personalized manner, is your best bet. Rather than an automated reply (like “Please contact us to discuss this”), answer the complaint in a way that shows you want to solve the problem.
For example, “Hi, Susan. I apologize that you weren’t able to enjoy your visit to our coffee shop, and I am sorry to hear that the pastries you purchased were disappointing. We would love to make it up to you. I’ve chatted with our pastry chef about your concerns, and we’d like to invite you back to try our scones again sometime soon. Let us know when you can visit – coffee is on us!”
Not only can you fix the issue with the individual customer, but you can also make a good impression on the users that are watching the interaction play out.
20. Ask customers to share.
We’ve talked about creating branded hashtags to get your content in front of interested eyes. But branded hashtags can also be an excellent tool for encouraging customers/online users to share on your behalf! You might want to consider incentivizing social sharing as a way to motivate as many people as possible to join in. The “prize” could be something as simple as being featured on your brand’s social media page.
21. Don’t duplicate content across your profiles.
It can be tempting to take a copy-paste approach when you’re trying to manage profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and several other sites. However, it would help if you thought of each of your platforms as an individual. Each one has to be managed slightly differently, and the purpose and audience of each are also unique.
Once you view each social profile as an individual, you can see how they all come together to be a “team.” So, your Facebook profile should be able to stand on its own but also make sense when it’s seen alongside your Pinterest page. Optimize each page according to best practices for that platform, and you’ll be able to achieve better results in the long run.
22. Venture into paid promotions.
When you’re ready to go beyond the methods for organically growing your social media presence, you can start trying paid promotions. Virtually every social media platform has options for paid advertising, giving you an array of options for marketing to a precisely targeted audience on each of your networks.
Because you already know all about your target audience (remember, we said this is key!), you’ll be well-equipped to develop paid ad campaigns that hone in on users based on their location, interests, demographics, online behaviors, and other factors. That will ensure that you’re utilizing your ad spend to its best potential.
Many social platforms also set you up with user-friendly analytics to measure your ad performance. So, you can see which promotions are up to par and which ones aren’t doing as well as you’d like. Using this data, you can make purposeful improvements.
23. Collaborate with online influencers.
Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity, with its growth far exceeding what most people ever thought possible. An influencer marketing campaign is one in which a brand partners with an individual with a significant social media following. Influencer marketing can be a means to achieve many different goals, including generating sales, promoting new products, and increasing your brand’s social media following.
24. Make it fun.
Yes, your brand’s social media pages are a professional representation of your business. But they’re also an opportunity to show off a more fun, casual side to your brand.
Social media users want to laugh, be entertained, relax, and enjoy their time online. If you can base your online presence on this idea, your audience will look forward to your interactions and posts that much more. Plus, you’re more likely to garner a loyal following because people will genuinely like and appreciate the value you bring to their social media experiences.
25. Get out there and get proactive.
Above all, the best way to grow your brand’s social media presence is also the most basic: get out there and start doing it. As convenient as it would be for social media marketing to be a “set it and forget it” strategy, that’s just not how it works.
In order to see worthwhile results, you’re going to have to invest your time and effort into it. The sooner you get to it, the better – why not get started today?
Learning How to Grow Social Media Successfully: Why it Matters
Now that you have some new tips and tricks on hand let’s talk about one of the most common questions we hear on this topic: is it really worth it to invest in social media marketing? While it’s true that social media started as a fun way for people to connect with friends and family, it’s grown into a staple of our everyday lives.
Social media has evolved into a hub for businesses and advertising, a valuable funnel for online traffic, and an incredibly important component of your overall brand presence. If users can’t find your brand online on Facebook, Instagram, and the like, you’re losing potential customers, website visitors, and actual profits. In 2021, businesses simply can’t afford to sit out on social media.
A strong social media presence contributes to measurable goals.
As a business owner, your goals for your business might include boosting your conversion rate, increasing traffic to your website, and expanding overall brand awareness. And guess what? Social media will help you do all that and more.
Often, social media is viewed as something that solely offers entertainment value. But actually, businesses can see real growth when they put a smart social media plan into action.
And when you think about what it means to have a strong social media presence, it makes sense.
Let’s say you’ve worked to develop a good following on Facebook, and you consistently post quality content that earns regular shares, likes, and comments. As your “community” reposts your content (which ideally links back to your website), they’re essentially doing the work of marketing for you.
New users are exposed to your brand and content (brand awareness, check!) without you having to do anything. As a result, more people visit your website to learn more (there’s your increased traffic), with a good percentage of them making a purchase (conversion rate). That’s three major business goals that you can make steady progress on, all by leveraging the power of social media.
The data doesn’t lie – social media is here to stay.
Every single day, there are more than 3.7 billion people active on social media (Oberlo). That’s nearly half of the global population logging onto Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms, ready to see whatever you have to offer. As mobile accessibility continues to improve, it will get even easier for more people to get online, anywhere and anytime.
As the leader in the social media race to gold, Facebook is in the lead: close to 70% of American adults are active Facebook users (Pewinternet). This is a huge potential audience, just a few clicks away – and that’s just on one of the many social media sites out there!
Marketing is seeing a major shift, and social media is one of the primary forces behind the change.
People spend more time than ever scrolling their social feeds (about 2.5 hours every day, according to DataReportal). So, if you need to get your brand in front of the right people, there are few better mediums than social media.
And people aren’t just using social media to look up new and go-to brands. They’re also researching products, reading customer reviews, and looking into your brand values and personality. In the pre-internet days, potential customers did these same things; but instead, they learned about your brand and products/services by talking to their neighbors, friends, and family.
Now, they have all of that information and more at their fingertips, and it’s up to you to make sure that they’re getting the right impression of your business.
Get Social Media Savvy when You Partner with V Digital Services
Social media marketing is one of the most exciting topics in online advertising, whether you’re a business owner, a marketer, or just an everyday internet user. It’s a massively unexplored territory that’s expanding and evolving by the minute, offering up an incredible amount of potential for brands to stake their claim and develop a meaningful presence.
But with all this potential also comes a fair number of challenges, especially because social media moves at such a fast pace. For many business owners, developing and implementing an effective social media marketing plan ends up turning into a full-time job – one that they don’t have the time, energy, or even the training to get done.
At V Digital Services, our social media team is made up of creative, experienced, and skilled experts, each one bringing unique talents to the table. With us on your side, you can get a professional perspective on a social media strategy and make a plan to achieve your business goals. Whether you’re hoping to grow more social media presence, focus on content creation, fuel website traffic, or all of the above, VDS is ready to take on the task.
Let’s work together to make social media work for your brand – and then, you can look forward to celebrating measurable, real-world results.
Connect with us to learn more about our social media marketing services and how they can help you today!