When social media is used properly it is a fantastic marketing tool, however there seems to be a misconception that it is a 'quick-fix' solution for building up new business. In reality, social media needs time invested into it to notice a return. Don't let this put you off - the results can be very worthwhile.
The key to using social media successfully is that you need to keep communicating - it's meant to be 'social' after all! The more you share, tweet, post, pin; the more content there is for your followers to see and share with their online community. There is a balance here though - you don't want to be regarded as a 'spammer'. Try and keep all of your content valuable, relevant and interesting. It's also important to remember that you're using social media as a means of marketing and communicating your company or product. It's easy to forget this and to stray away from your key messages when it's critical to keep to them.
As more people share your content and acknowledge your username, the more followers you will attain. To sustain and increase this number, you need to engage with your online community by replying to questions posted, sharing and re-tweeting comments posted about you (particularly if they're positive!) and including usernames if you're directing a post to someone else.
Another simple way to increase awareness of your social media presence, and in turn increase your followers, is to add your social media details to both print and online marketing materials, your business cards and your email signature. Also, make sure that all of your profiles have links to others on them, you frequently refer to your other profiles and your website has buttons to all of them.
Using these methods will ensure that you have a 'quality' following - people who are already within online and offline communities you're part of and therefore who have a genuine interest in what you're offering. They will be more likely to engage with your posts and to participate in the conversation.
Above all, use this engagement to guide people back to your website and/or blog. It's unlikely that you will achieve direct sales through social media, but it's one of the most straightforward ways to improve SEO by creating links and generally building web presence, which will increase web traffic, awareness and in turn, sales.
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