4 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Prowess

People tend to think of social media as one-and-done efforts, posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn accounts because someone may enjoy it or find it useful. But, when you’re promoting a business, your social media should be more than that. It’s a way to reinforce your brand, as well as its relationship with your base of avid supporters. And it doesn’t happen by accident, which is why a robust social media strategy is important to help optimize your efforts.

Facebook Insights pageFacebook Insights page

Study Your Follower-base

Getting to know your friends and followers – your biggest advocates on social media – can start with the internal analytics dashboards for your social platforms (e.g., Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Analytics, etc). Social media platforms provide these tools to give power-users basic data on interactions: reshares, likes, clicks, top posts, reach, views, and more. Study this information and find out how your followers react to different styles of posts. Are they sharing them with their friends? What types of posts are most popular? Who really loves your products and why?

Google Analytics Social Engagement pageGoogle Analytics Social Engagement page

Another layer of insights is available through Google. Google Analytics can show you how your fan base links to your web site, what pages they land on, and how this is affecting engagement on your website (i.e. increase in form submissions, or quiz completions). From there, you can ask and answer important questions: Why are more people finding you through LinkedIn than Facebook? Or are StumbleUpon or Google+ where your fans hang out? And why do you get more hits through Instagram than Twitter?

Engage with Your Influencers

Each social media platform has different strengths, and certain people on each one can improve your business’s popularity. While some organizations employ pop celebrities on social media, you should also consider bloggers, YouTube users, and Insta-stars to be important influencers for your brand. Find your biggest fans. Invite them to do more business with you. Offer them a discount for posting a shout-out. And use tools like BuzzSumo, Traackr, Upfluence and Hootsuite to identify and maintain relationships with your most influential followers. These tools can provide extremely robust information for evaluating demographics of fans and followers, and for analyzing their engagement (basic date, buzzwords, competitors, content types, trends, etc).

Don’t Forget Your Own Employees

Your employees make a difference in your social media efforts, too. Make sure they are part of your fan base, and encourage them to post about everything from improvements you’re making to expansion efforts and special promotions. Our client, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, distributes a bi-weekly, internal e-newsletter that shares public posts related to product advancements and key achievements. The newsletter encourages employees to like and share these posts within their social networks, enabling a publicly visible, highly engaged employee culture.

Your employees can also help you promote a positive employer brand by publicly sharing some of the good times they have at work. However, a well-defined social media policy should clarify and guide choices about what kinds of posts are and are not appropriate. Generally speaking, the rule should be to air grievances privately and share joys publicly. And of course, special tools like DynamicSignal and sprinklr can help you track and manage employee engagement on social media.

Follow the Money

The true test of your business’s social media popularity often comes down to sales. You may have hundreds of thousands of followers who wish your business well, but that won’t affect your bottom line. So, track your posts with an eye toward answering more important questions: Who is sharing, what are they sharing, where are they sharing and why? Which posts increased traffic to your web site? Which ones correlated with increased sales? And how can you replicate positive results?

Your ability to know your friends and followers, to demonstrate that you care about what they want, and to connect with them is as essential to your business relationships as it is to your personal relationships. Develop ways to engage followers, pay attention to which social media outlets are most useful to your business and focus on them. If you follow these best practices, you will do more than just strengthen your social media policy. You will improve brand recognition, engage employees, strengthen relationships with customers and ultimately, improve business results.

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