Your brand is on social media. Your organization has a Twitter account and a LinkedIn Company Page. Maybe you even signed up for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Vine.

You did this because you knew it was important to establish your brand identity in places where your audience hangs out. Or maybe because you heard social improves SEO.

At the beginning, it was exciting when you gained a few followers—more exciting still when you discovered they weren’t bots or only hoping for a follow back—and you began communicating with them. It started with sharing a few product pages, a company update or two, and a recent press release.

But then the uptick in activity stalled. Maybe you even shed a follower or two. This happens. Things plateau.

But don’t lose heart. If anything, now is the time to really dig in, expand your exposure and engage with prospects, customers and influencers. Now’s the time to show that you know what’s what in your industry.

When we work with clients, we want to make sure they are getting the most out of their social media investment. That means engagement via click-throughs, likes, comments and sharing.

We’ve narrowed it down to four ways that you should be using social media to have a maximum impact.

  1. Event promotion

    You attend tradeshows; you speak at events; and you host webinars. But are you telling your social media followers? Tradeshows and events increasingly have active social engagement built into their programming, which makes it easier to connect with other attendees, speakers and sponsors.

    One of the easiest ways to join this conversation and monitor it is to find out if the event has a unique hashtag. You can do this by checking the event’s official Twitter or Facebook or promotional websites. Then it’s a matter of monitoring this hashtag to retweet or comment on the good stuff.

    If you want to go a step further, you can create a series of relevant posts leading up to the event. They can promote your presence, and point to relevant collateral on your websites. Just remember to include the event hashtag. People searching for news about the event will find your posts—and will hopefully see you at the show and/or read your content.

    At an event, sending out live updates from the speaker’s auditorium or tradeshow floor can lend excitement to your social feed. And it has the added bonus of keeping followers who AREN’T at the event in-person informed and involved in what’s happening at the conference.

    Websites, platforms and publications often make social sharing easy. They may have traceable links you can share on social media. If you have a webinar coming up, make sure to tell people about it. Give them the details and link to register.

  2. Share relevant industry news

    We’ve mentioned it before, but your followers don’t always want to hear about your company.

    If they are considering working with you, they want to know you have a handle on key drivers in their industry. You know best what innovations will be coming down the pipeline or what government policy may make ripples within your customers’ industry. Start by seeking out stories in trade magazines, blogs, and influential individuals within your industry on social platforms. Sharing some of their news can help establish you know what you are talking about.

    To keep on track of what’s going on it may help to set up news alerts on relevant topics and use a news aggregator that will allow you to import RSS feeds to view all your news in one handy spot.

  3. Promote content

    Your blogs, your videos, whitepapers and e-books should be shared on your social media profiles. We’ve tried to talk about what content marketing is, but it is not enough to produce these pieces if no one knows about them or sees them.

    Social profiles are a great conduit for getting your message out. Social sharing can coincide with, and support, integrated email marketing and paid media campaigns. You can get sales people and company professionals involved by helping them learn how to effectively share company updates.

  4. Customer outreach, feedback and support

    In addition to following your customers who are active on social media, you can actually start conversations with them. Did they post something about a problem or issue they are having in a group on LinkedIn? Answer it. You know your product area, so prove it.

    If you are looking for feedback from a webinar, a campaign or a new product or service offering, social media platforms are a great place to engage your prospects. The only caution? Make sure you monitor regularly via alerts. It’s important that you respond as quickly and effectively as possible to all relevant comments. And you need to make sure you know how to hide or delete overly negative or derogatory public posts.

    Remember, people connect with other people–not companies—and sometimes all it takes to move a prospect closer to making a buying decision is a real person reaching out to answer their questions.

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