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How to build a strong social media presence for your business

Beginning a new social media account can be a scary prospect, particularly if your competitors have already established a strong presence within your industry.

The pressure of playing catch-up could put you off, yet there’s a strategic approach that can ensure you start a dialogue with your desired target market.

Follow these simple steps to meet your consumers and increase your audience on social media.

Complete your profile

Regardless of the platform you opt for, it’s vital that you fill each informational section out as comprehensively as possible. Pay particular attention to your contact details and the key phrases that your customers might use to find you when browsing the platform.

This will make it easy for people to locate you and ensures that they have all the information they need to transition from browser, to follower to customer.

Look the part

Take the time to perfect the aesthetics on your social media page. Naturally, you need to work within the framework of the medium; however, using high resolution images and a strong brand image you can ensure that any visitors you gain will have a great first impression. Consistency with the colours and font that you use will create a sense of familiarity, leaving a lasting memory with the consumer.

Sourcing strong images can be time-consuming; however, at sites such as Unsplash and Pixabay you can find great photographs that are cheap, if not free to use.

Redirect existing traffic

Once your account is up and running it’s time to begin directing your existing customers to the page. This should allow you to engage with your consumer base as well as prospective customers on a regular basis.

Place fan/follow pages on your company website or on any other platforms that your business is present on to lead traffic to your new page, and be sure to mention it to any customers you come into contact with.

Join the conversation

Be sure to interact with other users, which may lead them to follow you in return and will also help you to better visualise your customers’ behaviour.

The aim of this activity is to present yourself as a knowledgeable and entertaining source of insight amongst your peers.

Maintain your profile

You may find that once you’ve acquired a following, maintaining and nurturing social media profiles closely can become excessively time-consuming. Fortunately, there are a vast number of effective tools available, such as Mention, which tracks when and where on the web people are talking about you – and Sprout Social, a reporting and publishing suite that indicates in detail any trends and performance affecting your domain.

These are just two examples of the many great tools that can potentially help you to use your time as efficiently as possible.

Whilst it’s important to stay topical, it’s also a good idea to begin stockpiling potential pieces of content conversation starters to post on slow news days. This content should consist of evergreen ideas that don’t relate to current affairs but to items that are significant to your business - start archiving photographs so that you always have a back catalogue to draw from.

Utilising social media can create a huge boost for your business both in terms of exposure and loyalty and, for every single user it is a process of trial and error as they find their place on the network. So don’t be afraid to experiment with your online identity and the ideas that you present to the public.

Jane Carroll is head of corporate development at integrated marketing communications agency Peppermint Soda.