Every internet marketer knows that it’s possible to increase market engagement and campaign effectiveness by using social media. In fact in 2013 we saw an average of 500 million tweets every day and over 350 million Facebook photos uploaded every month. Despite such massive growth across social channels, it amazes me how poorly some businesses use social media today.  Here’s my three top tips to help you engage with your audience.

#1 Become a Content Junkie

There’s more content on the internet than ever before. One thing’s for certain, key influencers share and curate high quality content. Now we’re not talking about plagiarism, just sharing content from other key influencers. Your content will form part of your arsenal to grow your own social credibility. Set yourself up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus and start planning your content strategy. You can then begin to share your content across your social channels.

Content marketing is one of the quickest ‘wins’ particularly for B2B marketing. It will help build your brand awareness, increase site traffic and improve your overall credibility. Google will even give your site extra SEO credibility if you regularly share good content. Get yourself going by building a list of well-respected bloggers and authors. Setting up an “Influencers” list within Hootsuite or Tweetdeck will help you to monitor the content that they share. When new content is posted, start by sharing and retweeting and then mix in your own content periodically. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers to share your content.

Find your niche by sharing a balance of curated content mixed in with your unique content. Start with a monthly blog post and if you can, consider growing this over time to a weekly or even daily post as your followers grow. Write engaging and inspirational content that is easy to consume and help your audience by adding value. Finally remember content is not only written text but it can be picture and videos. Dynamic interactive content gets more likes and shares than static blogs – fact. 

#2 Invest in your personal brand as well as your commercial brand

Over 97% of recruiters utilise social media to recruit candidates. Now that’s no surprise but what if I told you that 86% of your clients and almost 93% of your suppliers will use social media channels to engage with you personally. Forget the company page (well not entirely), these guys are looking directly for you. So if you want to grow your business, then it’s vital to ensure your personal brand is in tip top condition. 

Start by building your online social channels across LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook. If you have time, then incorporate Twitter into your personal strategy. Be authentic in your communications, sharing your experiences. Think creatively and don’t be stuck in the rut of the “Just had lunch with…” post. Your personal voice is at the heart of your personal brand, so remember your audience and make your interests known. Personal branding isn’t just about you – so make it simple for people to engage with you. Remove the roadblocks and encourage your followers to connect. Consistently share content that is relevant to your interests and remind your community about what you like through the content you share. You could share blogs or links to different articles and then consider retweets or Facebook shares. The important thing is that you are consistent in the amount that your share. 

Finally, make it easy for people to build a relationship with you. Say ‘hello’ to your followers and apply the “honour principle” on social media. Honour speaks of recognition and valuing others. Endorse your community, share their work and put your audience in the spotlight. You’ll be amazed at what happens in return.

#3 Grow your audience on Twitter

Twitter is perhaps the biggest and best channel to create live, real-time conversations with your followers. In 2013, there was a new Twitter record set with 143,199 tweets per second and in 2014, we have seen huge spikes across Twitter. The recent Malaysian Airlines flight disaster took to Twitter within moments and other national events such as the Royal birth or the expenses scandal went viral within seconds of being announced.

Despite this evidence of engagement, time and time again I’m asked if Twitter is a tool for business engagement. The answer is fundamentally “yes”! The difference between successful accounts with thousands of engaged followers and accounts that just bleat out poor quality drivel is monumental. However, the changes required to make your Twitter account amongst the top influencers is actually quite simple.

Firstly, Twitter is a social community. That means it’s person-to-person not company-to-person so take my advice and make sure you’re posting from an individual rather than a company logo. If no one in the company wants to be the face of Twitter then look at Walt Disney’s account and use a pseudonym.  Next up, engage with your followers – don’t just broadcast content. Interact with your audience and be quick to respond to tweets. The best Twitter users limit self-promotion and keep tweets focussed entirely around their area of expertise. I work on the basis that we will only tweet our own content 30% of the time. The rest of our tweets are focussed entirely around other great content. Finally, begin to grow your audience. If you want to become a highly effective Twitter users then check out my recent blog on How to Get 1,000 Genuine Twitter followers in 8 weeks

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Authored by Steve Pailthorpe, Follow me on Google+