Social Media Speech BubbleSocial media has proven to be worthy of all the adulation. It has demonstrated its ability to connect people, enable conversation, and help small businesses build brand awareness quickly. By now, I hope you have an established and up-to-date presence on various social media websites. As these platforms have mushroomed over the last few years, they now share some ubiquitous feature that make them even easier to use.

You probably know you need to personalize your page, engage in dialogue or @ing, connect with leaders in your industry, and build a following organically i.e. don’t pay money for a list full of bots or fake profiles following you. You may have even tried using #hashtags where appropriate, consistent messaging (but not identical to avoid irritating users who follow you on multiple networks), and specialized links for each social network, so that you can measure the origin of your click-throughs.

Those are all fantastic strategies you can use across the board with social media, but I’d also like to give you a few pointers on site-specific ways you can promote your brand via the big six social media sites.

Twitter

  • Use multiple images and videos to capture attention. Twitter gives you the option to add images and video to every tweet, and they really do increase engagement. It is more effort, but use them whenever you can and see if those tweets do better.
  • Signal boost other accounts or websites that align with your brand. While you must link to your own content frequently, remember that networks are strengthened by connections, so also share relevant tweets and posts from other content creators.
  • Post frequently, but not too frequently. Twitter is a very immediate and ephemeral means of communication. It can be cumbersome to stay on top of it yourself, so make sure that every post has a nugget of gold. Use scheduling apps to stay in front of your audience.

Pinterest

  • Focus on visual marketing. Pinterest is a strongly visual terrain. Infographics that integrate strong visual elements work as well as beautiful images.
  • Integrate lifestyle tips. Communicate with your audience by sharing tips that resonate with their interests. Show how your brand supports wellness or social responsibility.
  • Create inspiration boards that reflect your brand. You can use more than just the images you create. Inspiration boards using others’ images visually communicate your brand’s mood or essence.

Instagram

  • Create contests using reposts. When you put substantial effort into capturing a moment, it may be heartbreaking to see it only once on your timeline. Instead, ask your followers to repost images with a special hashtag in order to enter giveaways.
  • Crowdsource images. Ask your fans to create images that celebrate your brand or submit photos of places or objects that reflect your brand.
  • Tell a beautiful story. Share images of special happenings or sponsored events relevant to your brand. Document your team’s process or attendance at conferences.

Google+

  • Use Circles, join Communities or give +1s to expand connections. Social networks are all about communication, and while many an entrepreneur has a Gmail address or Google Voice number, not everyone has lavished care on their G+ accounts. These are low investment actions that have strong payouts.
  • Use a custom URL. Customization makes it easier to remember your URL for both you and your audience. It also is a small adjustment that allows you to deploy your profile more meaningfully in the future.
  • Share your videos. Out of all of the social networks, Youtube plays best with Google+. This is a great way to extend the value of those assets.

LinkedIn

  • Create a company page. It is chilling how many small businesses have not taken the time to create pages. It’s quick and easy and can help you increase sales.
  • Share content directly from your profile. You can tell story about a project or share a key insight to demonstrate your capacity. Your content can directly influence your audience into accepting your LinkedIn connection.
  • Make connections by joining groups. You may not have used the social aspects of LinkedIn beyond endorsements, but you can join relevant groups to further expand your reach.

Facebook

  • Keep your cover photo fresh. While you may want to keep your profile picture consistent, updating your cover photo brings freshness and novelty to your page and also shows up on your fans’ timelines as an update.
  • Comment on other pages as your brand. This may sound slightly obnoxious, but it is a good way to engage in conversation and glean new eyeballs without additional advertising.
  • Use the call to action button. It is easy to customize and drives traffic to whatever URL you select. Use it to get your audience to sign up for your newsletter or make a purchase.