Now more than ever, small and big businesses place a huge amount of effort into their social media presence.
Out of 17 social media platforms, 6 of them claim more than a billion active users per month. Facebook takes the top spot with its 2.8 billion users worldwide.
Next to Facebook comes YouTube with 2.56 billion users, Instagram with 1.78 billion, and TikTok with 1 billion monthly active users (MAU).
With 300 million active social media platform users in January 2022, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to be seen and to market your business there.
To prove our point, let’s take into account how Facebook has become an excellent social media platform for many businesses.
Have you asked yourself what the majority of Facebook users do on the platform? On top of clicking likes on posts, Oberlo states Facebook users click on an average of 12 ads per month.
In addition, 90 million small businesses use Facebook Groups, Pages, and Messenger. A whopping 66 percent of small businesses said they advertise on Facebook.
But here’s the dilemma: 93 percent of small businesses struggle with their social media presence.
According to Visual Objects, almost all small businesses struggle to generate more leads and get more followers with their social media accounts.
Other notable social media challenges faced by small businesses include increasing engagement, especially among their new followers. Many businesses find it hard to be consistent in creating and posting their content as well.
If businesses struggle (and some fail) in their social media efforts, what are the odds that you can still build your social media presence? Do you still have the chance to put in the time and effort so you can grow your presence?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Go through and apply these 12 steps to build up your social media visibility:
Note: This post was originally published in January 2017, and updated in February 2022 to include new tips and data.
1. Make SMART, doable goals
It all boils down to the question of why.
Why does your business need to grow its social media presence?
If you want to be visible on social media simply because most businesses are already there, you might exhaust yourself from maintaining your presence in the process.
Write down specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals so you can avoid burnout from aimless content posts and creation.
Some goals you might want to accomplish include growing your community or audience, generating more leads, providing real-time customer service, increasing your website traffic, or getting valuable insights from your customers.
Once you’ve identified your goal, work on creating your social media strategy next.
Any successful brand knows the value of structure in businesses. Once you’ve set up your SMART goals, creating steps or a strategy will get you to the finish line.
Don’t throw your lot in luck wishing your random posts will get you likes and engagement from your target audience. Know that setting up a social media strategy can overwhelm anyone, so it’s best that you designate a team that will help you outline a strategy suited to your business goals.
A social media content calendar is your lifesaver. This is where you put and plan all your posts. If you’re unsure what to include in your content calendar, you can check out Hubspot’s social media calendar templates and tools here.
If you want to know and be effective in developing a social media strategy, there are social media and marketing courses out there you can sign up for. Skillshare and Hubspot offer free social media marketing courses you can take any time of the day.
If you don’t have a team who can do the social media management for you yet, SEO Hacker offers social media marketing services. SEO Hacker’s comprehensive approach to social media marketing entails having a presence in major social media platforms, paying close attention to important metrics, and analyzing gathered data to improve social media strategies that were already employed.
3. Know who your target audience is
Once you have your goals and strategy in place, know and outline who your audience is.
Take note: not everyone is your audience. Find out who your target audience is from the get-go so you won’t have a hard time figuring out what kind of content you will create when you post on any social media platforms.
Take the time to look at your audiences’ personas by answering these questions:
What keeps them awake at night?
What are their dreams and their aspirations?
Which brands do they love and support?
4. Build relationships with your audience
Social media exists to digitally connect with friends, families, and like-minded people who couldn’t meet in person. With that in mind, your brand has to reach your audience on a personal level.
With huge social media noise dealt with by marketers and businesses these days, it’s important that you know how to rise above it.
Curate exciting and entertaining content to grow engagement among your audience. Build and foster relationships with your audience by answering their concerns and helping them solve their challenges.
Share tips relevant to your product or offer. A little bit of humorous content won’t hurt as well.
Share or retweet a positive review of your product from your audience. This lets them know that you appreciate their loyalty and support.
If you received a complaint or criticism from your customers, appreciate them for taking the time to let you know about the issue. Address it in a constructive and respectful manner. Put your efforts to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.
Don’t be afraid to show your human side. Nurture your relationship with your audience.
5. Use the right tools to schedule and automate your posts
Staying active and online on social media platforms is no easy feat. That said, your content calendar is an ideal brain dump tool. Ideas come when we least expect them so a content calendar will always come in handy.
Now that you have all your ideas tucked away, how and when should you post them? This is where scheduling and automating your posts come into play.
Fortunately, there are tons of scheduling and automating tools out there to choose from. Social Media Examiner lists down these 5 social media management tools to help you save time.
Over time, our social media managers significantly improved their productivity. Hootsuite did a great job in helping us schedule our social posts, giving us more time to interact with our audience. Hootsuite also helped us manage and monitor whether our strategy is good or requires changes.
6. Connect with influencers
Another way to build your social media presence is to connect with influencers.
Sujan Patel believes in the power of connecting with influencers. According to Patel, “connecting with influencers has been key with increasing my personal and company’s social media presence. The main tool I use for connecting with influencers is the Voila Norbert email finding tool. The chrome extension can find just about any influencer’s email you’re trying to connect with on social.”
Here are simple steps you can make to connect with influencers:
Build a spreadsheet
Start with names you have in mind and expand it from there. Include the following details in your spreadsheet:
Last contacted time
Search for entrepreneurs, bloggers, or marketers that are one step ahead of you on the following platforms:
Youtube tutorials video creators
Google search (last but effective resort)
Include them in your guest blog
It’s good to include influencers relevant to your guest blog content by mentioning their name or business. Let them know they’re at the top of your mind.
Leave helpful comments on the influencer’s content
Refrain from making worthless comments like “awesome post”. When someone creates content, they usually put their heart and soul into it. They’ll appreciate it more if you mention which part of their content you liked the most. Leave relevant comments that will get meaningful discussions from other audiences.
Once you’ve engaged with influencers via tweets and messages, work the extra mile and give value. If you are a web designer, offer a free consultation on their website’s/blog’s design. Facilitate worthwhile connections among like-minded influencers. Introduce them to influencers you know who can be of value to them.
7. Find the sweet spot between storytelling and selling
People hate being sold to, especially on any social media channels.
If you want to make the most of your social media presence, put your efforts into promoting your product without sounding (or reading) like one.
Take a look at some popular social media posts from brands. More often than not, these posts trigger an emotional response to their audience, making their campaigns effective.
You can promote your brand and at the same time connect with your audience with storytelling. Create content that knows how to tug at your audience’s heartstrings.
8. Create eye-catching visuals
Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. TikTok. These social media channels showed us the power of high-quality image and video content in driving social media engagement.
In a 2021 visual content marketing statistics done by Venngage, the report showed that 32.5% of businesses use original infographics and illustrations, 29.5% use stock photos, 15.1% use charts and data visualizations, and 12.7% use videos and presentations.
Facebook lives get six times the engagement versus other types of content, while graphics and video content on Twitter gets more shares than text-based content.
If you’re serious about growing your presence on Facebook or Twitter but clueless on where to begin creating eye-catching visuals, don’t fret. Piktochart and Canva are the best tools to start creating your social media visuals.
9. Keep your content fresh and consistent
If you want your business to stand strong, don’t let social media forget you. In any social media platform, the proverb “out of sight, out of mind” holds true.
One foolproof way to build customer loyalty is to keep your brand consistent and your content fresh. Experiment and analyze which among your content gets the most engagement, likes, and comments.
You can jump in on what’s trending, or incorporate breaking news into your content to give your brand a personality. Never stop experimenting and testing until you get the right strategy that will build and connect with your audience.
When you look back at the statistics I showed earlier, the urge to be visible on every social media platform with a huge number of users is strong. I can’t blame you for that.
Here’s the thing: being visible on every social media platform will overwhelm you through time. Not only it is daunting, but it’s also pointless. Why?
Not all of your audiences live on every platform. This is why before you start working on your content, it’s best that you know who your target audience is.
This way, you won’t have a hard time creating accounts on several social media platforms and efficiently monitor and listen to your audience.
11. Monitor and listen to your audience
Growing your visibility on social media entails more than just posting content and keeping up with the trends. If you want to grow your brand and increase loyal customers, you need to be customer-centric.
You need to look at the lens and see what your customers say about your brand. Because social media provides real-time interaction, your brand should do the same.
Furthermore, your brand should make the most of every interaction with your audience. This includes every feedback, commonly asked questions, or comments your audience has about your brand. Gather every helpful data on hand so you can map out the right social media strategy for your business. Social media strategies like social monitoring and social listening will help you gain a better understanding of your audience.
12. Focus on building sustainable presence
Just because social media platforms provide real-time interactions it doesn’t mean it will generate quick results for your business, too.
Growth takes time. As with any business, you need patience and perseverance to sustain your presence on social media organically.
Try not to give in to the temptation of paying views or buying more followers. These shady tactics might give you quick results, but it will hurt your social media engagement, your conversion rates and reputation at the same time.
Focus on building sustainable online presence to help you find the right approach to serve your audience better.
There’s no one size fits all approach to growing your presence on social media. Businesses have different sizes and different needs. As most of the steps we shared here are practical and relevant to every business, the only way to grow and sustain your presence is to keep in tune with your target audience.
Thank you to Anupam Rajey of Air Solutions and Get Me Rank for inspiring this post.