When most businesses start with their social media marketing journey, one of the main reasons for venturing on this medium is to build more brand awareness and to stand out from the crowd. Social media is a great way to increase the visibility of your business, expanding your brand name, and building relationships with your customers by engaging with them online. If you are doing it right, it’s also a great way to market your services and products.

While it’s super easy to create your profile on the top social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn, if you are not sure on what you want to achieve and how you are going to engage with your target audience, you will get frustrated because no one will notice you. Here’s a couple of tips that I always give my new clients on the rules of engagement on the social web.

Social media engagement

Social media is all about engagement: Rule number one with any social media campaign is to be social and engage. You can’t join the social web and then just post updates about you, your products or services. If you do this, you will be ignored. People buy from people and companies that they know and trust. It takes time to development lasting relationships. With social media, it’s important that you take the time to add value to the people you are targeting before you start selling.

What do you know? With social media it’s important to establish yourself as the leader and expert in your niche and area. It’s a good idea to mix it up here and there to get extra followers, but don’t confuse your network by engaging into a topic that is way outside of your core business focus.

Be consistent: It’s not that easy to maintain a steady pace on social media, but remember the importance of always staying consistent with your audience. Your absence over long periods of time will have a negative impact on your social media campaign and it can cost you dearly. Create a social media editorial calendar for your campaign so that you know when and what to publish to your audience. Stay consistent with your strategy.

Patience is key: Patience is a virtue and plays a big role in social media. Even though social media is real time and content travels at the speed of light on this medium, don’t expect instant results.

It takes time: Social media is really time consuming. I know. To get the best out of your campaign, it’s important that you put in the hours. Where does your audience spend there time online? Choose the right channels and create a schedule so that you can keep up.

Listening: You must have heard this a thousand times before, but it’s true. Listen to the current conversation going on so that you can also join in. Share things that are relevant and that your target audience will find interesting. Listen first and speak later. It really does wonders in the world of social media.

Be courteous: When others are responding to your comments you have to remember it takes a piece out of their time, so do the right thing and respond back. It’s always nice to be acknowledged, but return the favour because social media is all about building lasting relationships.

Search for people: The easiest way to build relationships on the social web with your target audience is to go out and search for them. Look for the people that you would like to have a conversation with and follow them. Use the same offline method of creating relationships by being friendly, helpful, and asking questions that will interest them.

Do you have a voice? Everyone online including any size of business has a personality. It’s important that you determine how you want to represent your brand online and by finding the voice that your target audience would like to hear, you will have an easy time engaging with them directly.

Don’t forget sales: While selling shouldn’t be the first thing your tackle with your social media campaign, in the end, you are using social media for a reason. Being social is the first step with your campaign, but don’t forget your business goals and the milestones you would like to achieve with your social media campaign,

The tips above doesn’t guarantee instant success with your social media campaign, they will at least give you a very good indication on engaging with your target audience. Your campaign should focus on conversations with your target audience, providing them with interesting and relevant information, and creating a valuable resource for them to come back to again and again. Social media can really add a huge benefit to your business, but only if you use it correctly.

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