By 2023, Instagram alone is predicted to have close to 1.2 billion active users. This opportunity to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of users is why social media marketing is such a powerful tool for businesses and ecommerce brands.
But with so much competition on social media, simply publishing content and hoping for the best isn’t enough. Instead, small businesses need to be thinking strategically about how they can foster an engaged and thriving social media presence.
Luckily, growing your social presence is easier than you might think. Keep reading to discover why your business needs to prioritize social media marketing and 10 practical steps you can take to grow your social media presence.
What is a social media presence?
Let’s start with the basics. In a nutshell, a social media presence is how active and visible your brand or business is on social media.
While anyone can create social media accounts, an active social presence nurtures an engaged community of loyal followers. It involves being proactive, posting regularly and understanding the needs of your audience to build trust, boost engagement and grow your following.
With a strong social media presence, you can reach new, high-value customers at scale (all without making a dent on your marketing budget).
Plus, more and more customers are heading straight to social media to decide whether or not they spend with your brand. So, having an active and up-to-date social feed gives potential buyers the reassurance they need to seal the deal.
Why is it important to have an active social media presence as a business?
Before you put time, effort and energy into another marketing channel, you want to know what you stand to gain in return.
As far as social media goes, this is a low-risk marketing channel that can deliver big results and boost your brand awareness.
Let’s dive into the key benefits of building a social media presence and how this can help your business succeed:
- Deepen connections with your existing customers: as a content marketing channel, social media is the perfect place to provide free value to your audience and build trust with potential customers (even before they’re ready to make a sale).
- Reach new, high-value prospects at scale: by optimizing your social media profiles to maximize search visibility and harnessing the power of hashtags, you can get your content and brand name in front of the right audience to maximize your chances of success.
- Gain valuable insights about your customers: one of the biggest benefits of social media marketing is its ability to provide in-depth insights and analytics that can help you understand what content is and isn’t resonating with your target audience.
- Turn engaged followers into paying customers: with a considered social media strategy, you can nurture your social media audience all the way down the sales funnel and inspire them to convert using the power of content marketing.
- Transform past customers into brand advocates: plus, social media is the perfect place for your customers to share their positive brand experiences with the world and craft powerful pieces of social proof for your business.
Ultimately, an active social media presence has the potential to drive sales, expand your customer base and convert new customers on autopilot.
10 ways to boost your social media presence
Ready to level-up your social media presence? Keep reading to discover 10 actionable tips and strategies to boost your impact and results using social media marketing.
1. Pick the right social media channels for your business
Just like any digital marketing channel, you need to make sure your business is prioritizing the right platforms on social media. Why? Well, it can be easy to spread your efforts too thin and show up on social platforms that aren’t relevant to your ideal customers.
Instead, it’s worth carefully considering which social media channels are the best fit for your business and your overall marketing goals.
This means digging into your audience demographics and interrogating which social networks will deliver the best outcomes for your small business.
Let’s run you through what this might look like:
- If you’re a skincare brand targeting millennials: prioritizing visual content platforms like Instagram and Pinterest will help you catch the eye of your target audience. Plus, booming platforms such as TikTok are a smart move to reach your younger audience.
- If you’re an office furniture company: focusing on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook will allow you to target the decision-makers in businesses and get your products in front of the most relevant audiences.
By matching your ideal customers to the demographics of each social media platform, you can boost your chances of seeing tangible results for your social media marketing efforts.
2. Build a goal-focused social media strategy
The best way to drive results from your social media presence is to have a plan and strategy in place from the beginning. With a clear social media strategy, you can ensure every post you share and decision you make is driving your business closer towards a tangible goal.
The foundation of your social media plan should be goals that are SMART (a.k.a. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound).
Think about what objectives you want to achieve by showing up on social media, whether that’s boosting website traffic, increasing sales, reducing customer response times or growing your mailing list ahead of a big launch.
With these goals in mind, you can flesh out a powerful, goal-driven social media strategy that:
- Identifies the right social media channels for your business
- Explains the key topics and content pillars that will anchor your social media content
- Reveals the best types of content to communicate your key messages
- Spells out how often you’ll be posting to social media and why
- Sets KPIs and milestones to help you measure your success
3. Design a memorable visual identity
When it comes to boosting your social media presence, simply posting content isn’t enough to cut through the clutter. In fact, you need to make sure your content is instantly recognizable to current and potential customers with a memorable brand identity.
Your businesses’ social media content should capture the same look and feel as the rest of your branding. That means the colors, fonts, graphics and logos used should be identifiable across every marketing touchpoint.
In practical terms, the best ways to design a memorable visual identity on social media include:
- Curating (and sticking to) brand guidelines that explains your brand’s fonts, colours, logos and how to bring these to life in a range of settings
- Developing graphic templates that ensure your visual identity is applied consistently across social platforms
- Avoiding generic stock imagery and investing in bespoke high-quality photography that is totally unique to your brand
4. Craft a unique tone of voice
In a similar vein, the way your brand speaks on social media is just as important as how it looks. So, you should also take some time to develop a unique tone of voice that is consistent across your website, email newsletters, and social media content.
When we talk about tone of voice, we mean the language, phrases and tone your brand uses when communicating online and offline.
To help you craft a voice that accurately reflects (and attracts your ideals customers), think about:
- How do my customers speak? What kind of phrases and words do they use?
- How formal or casual do I want my brand to sound?
- What adjectives best describe the way I want my brand to sound?
- What kind of feeling do I want my customers to have when reading my copy?
- What phrases or words definitely sound like my brand (and which ones do I want to avoid)?
With a clear list of descriptors, example phrases and writer’s rules, your team will have the framework they need to accurately capture your brand’s tone of voice.
5. Be proactive (not reactive) with community management
Building an engaged social media community doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it requires a plan and consistent effort from your team to win trust and loyalty from social media users.
That’s why being proactive about managing and engaging with your community is one of the best things you can do to grow your social media presence.
So, what does proactive community management look like on social media? Here’s a few tactics you can use to bring this tip to life:
- Checking who has started following your brand and leaving a comment on their most recent post
- Dedicating a few hours each week to research, find and follow relevant accounts to your business (such as potential customers, influencers or collaborators)
- Asking open-ended questions to users who have left comments on your social posts
The key to being proactive with community management is to stay on the front foot and connect with new followers, even before they’ve engaged with your brand.
Not only will this boost your engagement rate, but also help you target and reach the right users on social media.
6. Create a consistent posting schedule
Finding success on social media sites means being consistent and sticking at it for the long-term. There’s no quick fixes or secrets to overnight success. In fact, the best way to grow your social media presence is to create a content posting scheduling that’s regular and sustainable.
Start by considering how many hours you or your team can dedicate to social media marketing on a weekly basis. This will help you figure out how many channels and posts per week are an achievable amount for your business.
Next, it’s time to dive into your social media analytics to see when your followers are most active. By finding the hours and days of the week when your audience is most likely to be online, you can schedule posts (using a social media management platform like Sked Social) when it’s going ot have the maximum impact.
By sticking to a regular posting rhythm using a content calendar, your audience will come to expect and anticipate posts from you on certain days of the week. This will help you drive reach, engagement and traction from every single post you share on social media.
7. Keep an eye on your competitors
The best social media content looks and feels one-of-a-kind. While copying your competitors isn’t a wise move, it can be helpful to scope out what other businesses in your industry are doing on social media to spark new ideas.
By keeping your finger on the pulse of what your competitors are doing and sharing on their social channels, you may be able to find unique ways to tackle the same topics in your own way.
Plus, you may be able to find gaps in your competitor’s social media strategy that you can fill with your own authentic content.
8. Harness the principles of social SEO to boost organic reach
Are you crafting click-worthy blog content? What about optimizing your web pages to appear in the first page of Google search results?
Whether you’re harnessing the power of search engine optimization (SEO) already or not, it’s time to nail the basics and inject this in all social media profiles.
In a nutshell, social SEO is all about helping your brand’s profile and content appear in the search results on social media. There are a few ways to boost your visibility in the social media algorithms, both on your social media profiles and within every single post you share.
To raise the profile of your business and grow your social media presence, it’s worth adding social SEO to your agenda. That means:
- Ensuring your account name is easily identifiable and contains a keyword related to your business, product, service or industry
- Craft a social media bio that is filled with keywords and terms that your audience are searching for.
- Add strategic hashtags to your profile and social media posts that have good search volume and are tailored to your niche.
9. Set KPIs and measure your success on social media
As we mentioned, the best social media presences are driven by goals and objectives. So, the best way to track your performance and growth is to set key performance indicators (KPIs) that are specific, measurable and time-bound.
Ideally, you should be tracking your social media results on a monthly basis using a social media report. In this report, you should use your KPIs to track your progress month-on-month.
When it comes to tracking the growth of your social media presence, there are a few key metrics to have on your radar, including:
- Follower growth will show the number of new users who are taking action to stay engaged with your brand.
- Engagement rate indicates how well your valuable content is resonating with your followers.
- Reach is how many users are being served your content. It’s worth breaking this metric down further and tracking how many followers vs non-followers are being served to your content.
Take some time to set benchmarks and KPIs for all the social media metrics that are relevant to your brand, and commit to tracking your results and progress on a monthly basis.
If you notice trends in your analytics and results, use these to inform and refine your social media strategy moving forward to grow your social media presence.
10. Promote your social networks in your online and offline marketing
Your social media presence isn’t just defined by what you do on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and LinkedIn apps. In fact, one of the best ways to grow your presence is to cross-promote your social channels on other marketing platforms.
What does this look like in practical terms? Here are some handy ways to promote your social platforms online and offline:
- Add your social media links to your email signature and website footer
- Incorporate links to your social media channels into your email newsletters
- Embed links to your social channels in your next blog post
- Add dynamic QR codes or your social media handles to your product packaging
- Add your social media handles or branded hashtags to your physical store signage
The wider you promote your social media channels, the more likely you’ll be to drive your growth and build social presence.
And that’s a wrap! When it comes to building and growing your social media presence, having clear goals and a social media marketing strategy in place will help give your content purpose and impact. By optimizing your content, developing a unique brand identity and cross-promoting your channels using social media tools, you’ll be able to build an engaged follower base that will make a meaningful impact on your business.