5 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Presence

Social Media Tips for ArtistsDavid Bakke is a part of the Money Crashers team, where he contributes tips related to money management and finance, and helps run social media marketing efforts.

Many small business owners already understand the power of social media marketing. In fact, according to Zoomerang, close to half of small businesses have some sort of social media presence. However, simply opening up an account on Facebook or Twitter is not enough if you want to get the most out of your social media efforts.

Here are five tips to help you take full advantage of the opportunities this huge – and free – marketing avenue offers:

1. Skip Automation

What looks good on a Twitter page may not come off as effectively on your Facebook business page or even on LinkedIn. Also, if your responses are automated, you run the risk of alienating your followers and damaging your brand. A better option is to fine-tune your strategy and focus on the two or three social media platforms that are most successful for you. Then, manually submit your posts to each platform, each tailored to fit that individual audience.

2. Track Your Results

By utilizing a website such as HootSuite, you can track your social media mentions via each individual platform, and can more easily manage your account. While a free version is available, you may want to invest in the “Pro Plan,” which costs only $10 per month.

3. Entice Reader with Freebies

Another way to get the most out of your social media efforts is to offer freebies and giveaways. Offer a modestly priced Amazon gift card to anyone who responds to your question or poll, or consider writing and giving away a free e-book. Social media enthusiasts love giveaways, and as long as you remain cost-conscious, you can improve your presence without breaking the bank.

4. Post Actionable Content

While it’s true that the Internet as a whole is over-saturated, you must draw on your industry experience and provide tips to your readers that they wouldn’t find anywhere else. It’s a challenge, but it can be done if you put on your thinking cap and identify what your target market could truly benefit from.

5. Consider Hiring a Professional

If you’re not entirely comfortable utilizing social media, or you just do not have a firm grasp on marketing (and many small business owners don’t), consider outsourcing and enlisting a professional. Even though this increases your expenses, the potential benefits presented by social media marketing are great, and may help you to build your business more successfully. Your own ineffective marketing efforts may save you money, but it will not help you to grow your brand.

Final Thoughts

Once you set up your social media accounts, you must consistently and effectively monitor them and interact with followers and commenters. No comment or question should go unanswered, as responding to inquiries demonstrates that you truly care about your customers. This can help improve your reputation and generate new followers and, eventually, new clients.

What are you doing to improve your social media marketing strategy?

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[Picture of social network from Shutterstock.]