In today’s world, social media is the name of the game. Successful strategies and operations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube are the key for established businesses to become booming businesses; start-ups to become established; or even for individuals to become marketed, targeted, employed, and successful. Without a successful social media presence, it is nearly impossible to flourish as a business or as an individual in the current economy. As a result, if you care about your professional success, it is imperative that you build a strong and successful social media voice. Thankfully, building a voice doesn’t have to be hard with these simple steps.
Develop Yourself Across all Platforms
In order to build a social media presence, you need to be, well, present. That means developing yourself across different social media platforms. Research shows that different social networks have different audiences (nearly 84 percent of Pinterest users are women, for instance), meaning you’ll have to establish a voice on a couple different platforms depending on your target audience. If you aren’t sure of where to start, you can begin by making sure you are active on Facebook–the largest social media platform. Creating profiles on several platforms will not make you appear redundant–you’re simply being inclusive, and reaching a larger base than you would have otherwise.
Once you are up and running on several platforms, be sure to link them to one another. If you have a great picture you want to share, do so on Instagram, and link to it from your other social media pages. Social media caters to short attention spans, so the more prevalent you are, the more successful you are.
Avoid Vagueness and Confusion
While this is especially the case if you’re a small business, you have to embrace the fact that there will be people who see your pages and posts who don’t already know who you are. The power of social media is that your group of followers can share your posts and information, thus inviting a much larger base of people to witness what you are doing as well. Those people, however, don’t have the knowledge of who you are and what you do. Thus it’s imperative that in all your posts, statuses, advertisements, pictures, endorsements, etc., you make very clear who is posting it, and what they stand for. Social confusion kills businesses, because users will not take the time out to actively search your brand to clarify who you are.
The social media world loves to be visual. It’s pretty simple: a picture tells a thousand words, but takes a fraction of the time to read. From feel good images advertising your brand, to hilarious internet memes, your social media presence will boom with the use of visual aids. The average Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vine user only spends a second or two on each post they see, so the more you convey in a short amount of time, the better chance you have of getting through to them, and having them spread your message on to their respective friends and followers.
Building a social media presence and following can take a pretty long time; the thing you need to avoid is disappearing. Be persistent with your social media usage; re-post important images and statements, frequently change statuses and information, and, when you can, interact with your followers, friends, and users. Social media success is about forcing yourself on other people until they realize that they’re actually invested in what you have to say (http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/09/03/7-ps-of-social-media-marketing-that-drive-results/).
Know your audience
For the best social media success, you want to dig deep into the habits of your audience. If your social media presence is specific to a certain region, you need to study the online habits of that group of people. Are they most active at 12:30, when they’re on their lunch break? Or are they more active right before bed, when they’re winding down? Discovering and studying the social presence and habits of your followers will result in you reaching them much more effectively.
Momentum is key
The biggest key to success in building a social media presence is to build on momentum. The internet world is one of rapidly changing dominance and hierarchies; the most prevalent users are the royalty. When you build social media momentum is when you want to push even harder. Capitalize on the amount of people that are currently interested in, and invested in what you have to say. Ride their captivation, and your circle and following will expand exponentially.
Advertise your social media
Finally, if you are already an established business or individual, then advertise your social media. On your website, have links to your Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. On your business cards have your Twitter handle. Every opportunity you get, find ways to tell your clientele to join you on social media. You cannot put yourself out there enough.
With these tips, you should be able to build a successful social media following. It takes time, so be patient; but whatever you do, don’t let up. In this age of technology, stagnancy is suicide, and those who put themselves out there are the winners.