Tips for Developing an Effective Social Media Presence
Love it or hate it, social media is a great way to differentiate yourself and connect with clients and prospects. You no longer have to rely solely on phone calls and in-person meetings to connect. Now, you have the option of simply writing something that has the potential to make an impact on many people at once. Think of the possibilities!
Whether you’re just testing the waters of social media or use it frequently, the tips I’ve compiled here will help you in developing an effective social media presence across platforms. Before diving in, let’s take a look at just who is using social media today.
According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of all American adults use some form of social media, mostly on their mobile devices. Among those with an income greater than $75,000, usage has jumped significantly from 7 percent in 2005 to 78 percent in 2016. The chart below breaks down popularity according to demographics and social media site.
With nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults using it, Facebook is the most popular social media platform. Given this large audience, consider these tips on what to post:
- Visual and interactive content has the highest engagement (e.g., photos and videos).
- Third-party links help share interesting and informative articles and blogs that your audience may not know about.
- Posts about community events and giving back programs can help build relationships with people locally.
To encourage engagement, write posts that answer questions you’ve received, create polls asking your own questions, or showcase a more personal side with “behind-the-scenes” scenarios at work. Perhaps most important, respond to comments personally—use names, show empathy, and connect with your followers directly.
Measure your results. Be sure to pay attention to the number of likes and shares you receive to keep a pulse on your activity. The tone of comments and topics can shed light on what type of content is succeeding.
Although only 25 percent of U.S. adults use it, this platform provides a professional environment where users share their work experiences and expertise, and the site encourages networking. To present your best professional self on LinkedIn, here are some tips you might try:
- Publish your own articles directly on LinkedIn.
- Distribute informative pieces for your target audience that demonstrate your expertise.
- Showcase professional highlights, changes in your business, and awards you’ve received. LinkedIn makes it very easy to share images, preapproved videos, and presentations, and then save them to your profile.
Measure your results. You can gauge what content people liked best by the number of likes, comments, and shares you receive. You also have access to page views, which speaks to a heightened awareness. Remember, the number of connections you have on LinkedIn indicates the size of your network—and your influence.
Twitter lets you deliver news and information instantly, allowing users to interact with their audience in real time. It’s also a great way to reach potential millennial clients, as the site is more popular with younger Americans than it is for people older than 30. Another useful way to use Twitter is to follow local companies to learn what's happening with them and to take advantage of opportunities when they have events or changes to their business.
When it comes to making connections on Twitter, keep the following tips in mind:
- The best content is concise and includes relevant hashtags.
- Sharing links to original articles with a short caption works well, as does asking questions and posting polls.