Social Media is all about Engagement but first establish your Embassies
Our first recommendation for any company establishing or looking to expand its social media presence is to create a great social media strategy. However, and this may seem obvious, to use Social Media you’ll need profiles on the various Social Media Platforms. We highly recommend creating these with consistent Brand Image, Brand Voice, and as appropriate NAP (name, address, phone number). Most people go for the Big Two: Twitter and Facebook; however to immediately expand your social media presence, we recommend several other platforms and some great social media tools for business.
Use Video Platforms to Enhance your Social Media Influence
Everyone’s heard of Youtube but have you heard of Tout? Tout is fast, easy, fun and simple. You are limited to 15 second videos which you create right on your phone. Tout publishes to it’s own site, however, you can publish to Facebook, Twitter, and your own Website. Tout’s can be made from your Webcam or a video camera as well. Videos are popular and can generate a high response rate. Adding Video to your social media platforms is a great way to expand your social media presence. Once you’ve mastered Tout you are well on your way to becoming a video producer! Pro Tip: unless you’re a Jedi master at video, shorter is better, aim for 30-90 second videos.
Photos hold attention and draw people into your content
Great web site content provides a strong foundation from which social media work can thrive. But words are not enough! There are many great ways to use photos in social media. You should always have at least one in a blog post. Studies have shown that use of photos helps to hold attention and draw people into your story. Photos are very popular on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, and that little thing called Pinterest. Like almost everything we discuss here, integrating photos is important. If you are going to use Pinterest, we recommend that you “pin” your photo from another platform such as your blog or a Storify or your Twylah page. This could potentially draw people back to other content that you have and help people “discover” you on those platforms. Pro Tip: Add text to a photo to “Meme” it ; these type of photos are very popular across all the social platforms.
Scoop.it, Twylah, List.y, Storify or the Art of Curation
There are many different curation tools which both serve as platforms in their own right and highly complement your main platforms. Our first great example of this is Twylah. Twylah curates your Tweet stream into categories of interest and Videos/Photos simply pop! When people come across your Twylah page they once again have the opportunity to discover you in other ways and perhaps be drawn back to your blog or main site. Scoop.it is a great tool to archive links which you find interesting. Say you come across an interesting infographic. You can save it in your Scoop.it, making it easy for you to find in the future, and then “pin” it to Pinterest from there. Pro Tip: A pro move is to sprinkle in posts from your own site. List.ly is a fun tool that build vote-able lists. It can be used stand alone and also embedded into your blog, Scooped, Pinned, Tweeted and saved to Twylah, and Storified as appropriate. Storify is one of our favorite tools. It can be used to curate many different type of content and this content can be drawn together from a wide variety of sources into one place. Say you are participating in a Twitter chat; well you can selectively curate that chat and enhance it with Photos, Videos, news articles, and other web based materials. You can then embed the Storify onto your blog, like we did with a recent blog post.
Own a #hashtag, or group!
Hashtags on Twitter and GooglePlus are very powerful. They are used to form flash groups of interest and also mark out regular communities or chats. Like the old expression bird of a feather people flock together using hashtags. By finding and joining such groups you can start to build relationships which over time will help to expand your social media presence. Do a group a favor, such as curate an interesting chat using Storify and you can immediately expand your social media presence! Groups on other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are also excellent ways to expand your social media presence. Remember to be social! Make friends, learn something about the group members, and ease your way in. Pro Tip: check out this list of Twitter chats.
Come on down! Or the art of Contests
Almost everyone likes a contest. Running contest and polls can quickly expand your social media footprint. These can be very informal such a posting an interesting photo to Facebook and asking people to nominate a caption. You can run official contest on several platforms and cross post to places like Twitter or LinkedIn to draw friends or followers from there back to your main site or Facebook page. Pro Tip: for some great tips on how to run social media contest see Mila Araujo’s post 12 Most Strategic Goals for Winning Social Media Contests.
Integrate but do not replicate!
Expanding your social media influence with other platforms and tools means integration not replication. True, you wrote a blog post and then curated it on Scoop.it, but, this is “curation”. What you do not want to do is cross post the exact same content to all of your platforms. Believe us, people can quickly glance at your Facebook wall or your LinkedIn status and see it’s all Tweets. Sometimes it happens, for example if you post an Instagram to FourSquare, Twitter and Facebook at the same time. However, make that an exception, not the rule. Also, as a friendly citizen you will be curating and sharing other people’s content too, right? Pro Tip: share and curate other people’s content! When you “scoop” someone else’s post and then share that they typically will reshare. This means that your page is getting viewed by their friends who now have the chance to discover you! Using video, photos, and curation tools will help you to expand your social media footprint. Participating in groups and sharing other people’s content amplifies this effect further.
What tips do you have? Want to share a favorite platform or tool? Talk to us in the comments!