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Create a Social Media Presence​.

Creating a Social Media Presence

Absence does not make the heart grow fonder in the world of social media

Creating a Facebook account for yourself or your business, jumping in on the conversation on Twitter or following a famous chef on Instagram is not considered “having a social media presence,” sadly. Social media marketing can seem simple on the surface, but it isn’t butterflies and rainbows

While it does come with a mix of confidence, charm, witty communication skills and the ability to provide value on a variety of platforms, social media marketing is, knowing when to post and what type of content to post. The value of the content you post is the key to engaging consumers and interacting with current and potential customers. Think about your goals. Whether it’s for your personal brand or your business, you want to increase brand exposure, build an audience that is engaged and convert leads into sales. By having a social media presence, it will establish your credibility in your career field. Soon enough, users around the globe will want to hear about you and what skills you have to offer.

Social media marketing can be extremely overwhelming to some, but with the right strategy and effort, your presence can grow tremendously and your audience will be engaged. Follow these four tips to build a social media presence:

1) Create a strategy and plan - Take some time to truly think about what you want to gain from having an online presence. Many rush into creating profiles on social media platforms, only to find out they are extremely overwhelmed with utilizing them correctly. Create a strategy and make a list of your goals. Do you want to tell people about your personal brand or business? Do you want to build an engaging online community? How can you drive traffic to your website? Once you establish your goals and have a solid strategy in place, pick one or two (maximum three) platforms to focus on. Research and understand where your audience is the most present, which platforms you like and feel most comfortable using. Also, ask yourself which platforms support the content you are looking to post. Get organized and create an editorial calendar (there are several free downloads online or you can create one yourself). This will help you plan out your week – or month – in advance. Take advantage of smartphone, iPad and tablet apps that will help you stay organized and can remind you when you want to post or when to engage throughout the day.

2) Publish timely, relevant content - Be mindful and tasteful when sharing content from other sources. The content should be relevant to your personal brand whether it is a blog post, videos or photos. If you find yourself struggling to find the time to create content, it is okay to repost and reshare an old blog post.

3) Be consistent - Consistency is extremely important for social media. You should be consistent when posting your brands voice and messages. Posts can be scheduled directly through Facebook or Twitter, or you can use Sprout Social, Hootsuite or Everypost to schedule your posts in advance. These programs also allow you to schedule posts on other platforms, including Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr. Daily posts on all of the platforms you choose to work with will engage your audience and help to grow your presence. These posts can include blog posts, photos, videos that you created or curated content that relates to your personal brand.

4) Develop relationships and invite conversation - Having a presence on social media can build relationships with other users around the globe. Look to other users and businesses that you value and are relevant to your brand when responding or engaging in conversation. Take part in Twitter chats from accounts you follow – and are relevant to your brand. The use of a common hashtag will allow other users who are engaged in that specific chat to follow along with your tweets and respond. Participate in LinkedIn groups. Ask your audience what kind of content they would like to see on your social media platforms or website. Let them know that you want their feedback. By sharing or retweeting content that is not yours, you are building visibility. Your engagement will get noticed.

Create an irresistible voice, take advantage of relevant hashtags, host contests and giveaways, advertise, capitalize your traffic and don’t forget to cross promote.

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