Simple strategies to improve your business’ social reach / 5 tips for better social engagement

What’s the biggest social media dilemma faced by any online business? It’s making sure your message or content gets seen by the widest possible audience. Why is this a dilemma? Well, a business may have fantastic content, great ideas or incredibly valuable insights to share, but if it fails to connect with its audience and get its message across then all its efforts will be wasted. Of course businesses can guarantee that their message will get seen if they are prepared to pay to promote their message on networks like Facebook and Twitter, but for most businesses that idea is a non- starter. So what can you do to increase the likelihood of your valuable content reaching the right people? Well, you could try these 5 ideas for starters.

Get to know your audience and target the right people

The most important thing you can ever do with social media is to make sure your content is reaching the right people. So you have to target your audience carefully. There’s no point targeting the service sector if your message is about manufacturing. If you want to ensure you are targeting the right audience, you’ll need insight: if you know about demographics, interests and buying habits you’ll have a much better idea who is engaging with your content. Armed with this knowledge you can then reposition your message so that it resonates better with the people you really want to reach out to.

Build relationships with the biggest influencers on the networks

Influencers are the people who have real impact on social media networks. They are the big movers in the arena, with opinions that users truly value. So get to know them, and try to build a relationship with them. You’ll benefit in the long run from the reflected glory. Like their messages and share their insights with your audience. Ask them in turn to promote your message with their audience. An endorsement or a tweet from one of the network’s big players will grow your audience much faster than you could alone.

Target your efforts at creating brand advocacy

If you can turn satisfied customers into brand advocates, they can easily be encouraged to share your content with their peer group. If your customers have had happy experiences and have been pleased with your standards of customer service, they will happily tell others about this and share their love of your brand. Encourage them to take action. Re-enforce your marketing efforts by creating loyalty programmes or offering rewards if they ‘Like’, tweet or share during specific campaigns.

Leverage Twitter lists

Learn to use Twitter lists more effectively. Create lists which include advocates and influencers, and engage with the members. By doing this you’ll be able to interact and form positive relationships with each of them. Cultivate contacts with movers and shakers on the networks, so that they can increase your reach and spread your message when your business has news to share. Look at competitor lists and see how they are using them to increase their reach. See what they are doing and use the information to inform your own content strategy.

Incentivise your readers

People like nothing better than incentives. Offer something of value in exchange for a social share. Think about running Twitter and Facebook contests where followers can win prizes if they retweet or share a comment. If you don’t want to offer prizes, thank followers for retweeting or sharing. If you’re responsive and appreciative to them, they’ll be much more likely to continue to sharing your content in the future. People really like to be appreciated.

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