There are literally hundreds of different social media platforms that are currently available online. Some are more prominent than others, but if you’re new to social media it can still be a lot of information to weed through. In order to use social media to increase your client base, you should at least consider having a presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Reddit is also starting to grow in importance, so if you want to get ahead of the curb, you can also utilize that platform. It can be a bit overwhelming to think about, but once you get the initial setup taken care of and out of the way there are plenty of apps available for you to schedule posts and even help you generate content. If you have a larger company, it might be wise to consider hiring someone to manage your social media pages.

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Understand The Differences

The main thing to take away from all of the options is that each social media platform has a different purpose, a different audience and a different way of navigating. Facebook is great for people of all ages and for posting videos, content and pictures. You can also integrate the new ‘Facebook Shop’ and sell products or services directly from your page. Instagram is a great way to post pictures that will grab the attention of your audience and pull them in. Using hashtags, geotags and visually compelling content, you have the ability to reach clients you may have thought were previously out of your reach. Twitter, on the other hand, allows you to continually engage with your client base, post content and also respond to what’s going on in the world. Know the differences between your social media platforms and use each of them in their respective ways in order to have the biggest impact on your client base.

Take Advantage of Live Streaming

One of the most popular upgrades on social media in recent years has been the ability to live stream. Live streaming essentially allows you to show your followers exactly what you are doing in that moment and even notifies them when the camera starts rolling.

Since videos have dominated the market in effective marketing, live streaming is the perfect way to connect with your followers on a more intimate level. On most platforms, you can see what your viewers have to say during your stream so you have a chance to answer questions and respond to comments or concerns. This allows users a way to interact with you in real time and makes them feel appreciated heard.

In order to truly take advantage of this social media feature consider scheduling regular Q&A sessions or live stream a tutorial that aligns with a new product launch. When your followers notice that you acknowledge them, they’re more likely to refer their friends and continue coming back to you for more business.

If you’re unsure about whether or not live streaming is for you, take a look at some of these compelling statistics.

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Connect, Network and Grow

It should be obvious, but social media platforms need to be treated with a heavy emphasis on the ‘social’ aspect. A lot of people use them solely to publish information about themselves, however that isn’t the way to handle business. You’ll see the biggest increase in your client base when you connect, engage and acknowledge the people that you’re connected to. Take an interest in a few of the leading influencers of your field and follow them. Make comments, share their posts and try to regularly engage with their audience. If it seems natural, include relevant links back to your content or to an article that discusses what the topic of the post is about. Doing this will grab the attention of prospective clients. If they head to your social media platform and like what they see, then you’ve done something right.

Think of social media platforms as networking opportunities. Cross-reference your sites, befriend active prospects and continue to build your network. The more people you have following you, the wider your audience. It may seem difficult to build up your network at first, but as you become more and more successful you have the ability to grow exponentially.

The main takeaway for this is to always stay engaged. If people start commenting and posting on your page, respond in a timely fashion. People love it when they actually hear back from businesses. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even on your own website, responding to comments helps you stand apart from the crowd. In the future, customers are likely to return to your business over your competitors if they know that you genuinely value their feedback.

Post Click-Worthy Content Consistently

A lot of the reason that you don’t see businesses succeed on social media is because of the content they’re posting. The trick is that you need to post things that are both visually appealing as well as intellectually stimulating and relevant. Pictures, videos and catchy titles can draw people in, but if the content that follows isn’t up to par then you will loose more people than you gain. Things need to be compelling, accurate and absolutely free of grammatical errors in order to resonate with potential clients.

Use Geotags and Hashtags

If you’re new to social media, these words probably have little to no meaning to you. A geotag is when your location is tagged and a hashtag is something you can add to your posts so that they are grouped with like items and can be searched by the general population. For instance, if you search #panda, it’s likely that you’ll find posts, videos and articles related to pandas. It’s as simple as that. When you create your own hashtag for your business, you’re also able to create a sort of mini-portfolio that anyone can add to. You can also tag related content so that your post can be found across a myriad of topics.

Geotags are beneficial because they help connect you with local businesses and clients. Surprisingly, geotags also help to increase your company’s SEO rankings. There are so many things that you can do with these features, but both essentially make it easier for you to be found and give your customers a chance to add to your tags. Everybody on social media uses them, so you should too.

Keep Your Stories Up to Date

Similar to live streaming, most social media platforms now have an option for you to create a “story.” This is a feed of videos that usually last for about 24-hours after you post them. Story telling is a great way to captivate your audience and connect with them on a more personal level than posts alone. It has also been known to be a successful advertising strategy.

Posting a social media story falls in line with live streaming and shows your audience that you too, are human. The main thing to remember is to have a purpose with your story. A lot of people on social media simply use it to broadcast their day, but as a business you can use story telling with a purpose. Make sure you know what you story line will be before starting posts and always take advantage of the built in features like hashtags and geotags. When you make your content visually appealing, people are more likely to be drawn in and keep their focus. Some great ideas for stories are before and after pictures, product launches, hints at an upcoming reveal or anything that you think will get the attention of your audience. Don’t be afraid to find your unique voice and use it.

Promote, Giveaway and Celebrate

Another way that you can both promote your business and the products or services you offer is by using social media in order to host giveaways and other contests. All you need to do is post a set of rules for your audience to follow and set a time line for determining a winner. These types of promotions have the ability to increase followers, promote new goods or services and show that you appreciate your customers and want to reward them.

For example, if you want to grow your followers, have the rules include liking, sharing and tagging friends in a post. You can have them do this with either old or new products, or even a teaser video to build anticipation for an upcoming launch.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new or a pro, utilizing social media to increase your client base works if you approach it the right way. All you need to do is activate profiles for each platform and then make sure that you consistently post attention grabbing content that is relevant to your field. Take things a step further with giveaways, contests, geotags, live streaming and building stories. Never forget that engaging with your clientele is a great way to turn followers into loyal customers and leads into sales. If it seems a bit daunting, consider giving us a call. We’d be glad to help build our social media presence and generate a stronger brand awareness and online customer base. All of our services are customized to fit your needs. Operation Technology is recognized as a top Social Media Marketing Company on DesignRush.

About the Author: Brad Fogel

Bradley Fogel is a professional web designer and SEO consultant. Bradley has been working in the digital marketing field for over 20 years and is the CEO of Operation Technology, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago, IL. Starting his own company was something he had always wanted to do. It has been very rewarding to him seeing the team at Operation Technology helping small local businesses to large national clients with their digital marketing needs. His passion is developing strong online strategies for clients while making new connections within the industry. Brad’s background also includes a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. Learn more about Brad Fogel.