7. Join groups – and group conversations. “Join groups that are in [your] industry and [post] and comment on posts,” says Mary Cochran, director of marketing, Sleep Easily. “Post articles your company is featured in,” and share articles written by or of interest to others in the group.
8. Give people an incentive to follow you, such as a discount code or free giveaway. “Provide compelling incentives that are available only via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn,” says Tim Lavelle, director of SEO & social media, U.S. Interactive Media. “Exclusive offers could include coupons, discounts, freebies, limited editions or other things of interest to your targeted audience. When your audience can only acquire a desired discount, deal or exclusive product/service via social media, they’re far more motivated to connect.”
“A great way to generate buzz about your business, as well as increase your social following, is to run a contest,” says Tracy Willis, content strategist, N2Q Consulting, a creative marketing agency. “Think of a quick and simple contest that encourages fans to share information about your business, and reward the winner with a gift card or tickets to an event.”
9. Ask people to follow you. “Use calls to action (CTAs) to directly request that visitors friend, follow, like, etc. your social media profiles,” says Lavelle. “Numerous studies have shown that telling people to do something (or asking them) makes them far more likely to actually do it.”
10. Include easy-to-find links to your social media accounts on your website and/or blog. “You [may be] missing out on followers by not including a link to [your] Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages” on your website and/or blog, says Jennifer Matthews, a marketing specialist at Igniting Business, which provides web design, marketing and technical services to small businesses.
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11. Time your posts. “Post content at times when [it is] most likely to get shared [on] each platform,” says Matthews. People look at “Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter [at different times], making it crucial to test which days and times get the most attention for each platform. Finding your ideal audience is all about testing, and you want to post to social media when your target market is active on each platform,” she explains. Also, “make sure to keep track of which posts get the most interaction for each platform, and keep all that data in an organized document that you can refer to easily.”
12. Don’t try to be everywhere for everyone. “Being active and engaged on a few social networks will get you more followers in the long run than posting infrequently across many networks,” says Welch.
13. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. “Do not get hung up on trying to reach as many people as possible,” says Williams. “It can be more valuable to focus on a [smaller] community that is more likely to convert into customers in the long run.”