By now, successful professionals understand that social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are more than just places to share photos of their latest meal. If you’re not among these individuals then it’s time to take advantage of these popular platforms and embrace the power of social media marketing.

    Here are a few steps you can take to increase engagement with your customers and quite possibly boost your profits.

    Represent your business with a smile

    Establishing one or more social media pages allows you to go one step beyond your company’s website. Whether you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you can expect feedback of all kinds from current and future customers. To make these online visitors feel at home on your page, you want to stay positive.

    Entrepreneur compares a company’s social network to the living room of a home. A page on a site like Facebook should be pleasing on the eyes and feel welcoming. Be a good host and make sure the content you’re sharing is fresh, engaging and relevant. Never forgetting what your company is all about, as well as the needs of your audience, will ensure that what you post never veers too far off topic.

    “Act the same way in the online community environment as you do in real life, and your authenticity will shine through and win out,” wrote marketing expert Al Lautenslager, in the Entrepreneur article.

    Of course, it’s a given that engaging in online arguments with fellow social media users is never good for business. Always stay civil, even if customers don’t.

    Make sure your content’s easy on the eyes

    Simply posting online isn’t always enough to attract the attention you seek. To see the best results, you want to think about the ways in which you’re delivering information to the masses.

    Put yourself in a customer’s shoes. Let’s say you’re perusing your newsfeed and you saw a giant block of text or a link alone. Would you stop or keep scrolling?

    According to the blog Kissmetrics, photos that are posted on Facebook do a lot better than text, links and even videos. Overall, images receive 104 percent more comments, 84 percent more click-throughs and 53 percent more likes.

    So if you’ve got something to say to your audience, consider pairing it with a picture, or even delivering it through a specially designed infographic.

    Don’t become a nuisance

    If you’ve got a sizable network on your personal social media page, it’s likely you have at least one friend who’s always making you roll your eyes. To prevent your company updates from being ignored, don’t become too pushy.

    According to a blog featured on The Huffington Post, it’s crucial to engage your audience without selling to them. That means promotional content, such as news regarding special sales and products, should be kept to a minimum. More precisely, the source says that content should be delivered in an 80/20 ratio, with the lesser amount dedicated to all things promotional.

    Meanwhile, 80 percent of what you’re posting should be anything that could appeal to your audience and, as a result, increase engagement. Is there breaking news in your industry? Maybe you saw an article that talks about your company’s field. If you think it would be of interest to current or future customers, consider sharing it.

    By following these tips you should be able to kick your social media marketing campaign up a notch. Who knows, applying this advice to your personal social networks may even make you a hit with your friends and family.



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