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Social media outlets provide customers with an efficient way to move material items (think Facebook buy/sell groups), connect with each other on a daily basis and share information about what services, products and businesses benefit their lives and - possibly even more importantly - which ones don’t.

Developing a social media content strategy that works, however, takes more effort than simply opening Facebook and Twitter accounts. There are specific strategies that successful businesses use in order to help their social media outlets create an engaging community that grows not only their online presence, but their business as well. Social media outlets, when managed effectively, give businesses the opportunity to have a worldwide customer base, no matter where they’re located. Here are 5 tips that can help you develop a social media strategy that will give your business its best chance at being a successful one.

Determine Your Target Audience and Connect Accordingly

At the top of the list for a successful social media strategy is determining your target audience. If, for instance, your business’ primary service is to provide child-rearing information to parents and parents-to-be, your best bet is to look for keywords such as mom, dad, father, etc. as you search for whom to follow on Twitter and other social media accounts. The people who will join your social media groups and who will be the most interested in what you have to share (and who will be most willing to share your information with others) are those who have interests that are in line with what your business has to offer.  As you begin developing your social media strategy, start by making a list of what types of customers you want to attract and connect with, and then use that list as a map that will help you know how to create your content and grow your social media presence effectively.

Publish Valuable Content

It’s important not to post on social media accounts without a well-thought-out strategy. In order for people to want to be a part of a business’ social media accounts, business owners need to create content that provides value to the reader. Typically, social media account readers and followers are looking for information on social media accounts that will:

  • Teach them something they want to know
  • Save them something, be it time, money or convenience
  • Provide entertainment
  • Help them to feel like they’re a part of something

In addition, creating engaging photos to use with your posts, by using a plugin such as the Easy Media Gallery Pro Plugin, will help customers be more attracted to your site. By keeping these tips in mind when creating content for your social media outlets, and by writing content in a way that is engaging and entertaining to readers, you’ll keep followers coming back for more, you’ll encourage followers to share your content with others, and you’ll help ensure you are keeping your business close to the forefront of followers’ minds.

It’s also important for you to publish your valuable content on a regular basis. Don’t let more than a day or so go by without making sure you’re active on your social media accounts. The more time that passes between posts, the more time customers have to forget about your business and move onto other things.

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Create an Engaging Atmosphere with Followers

Successful social media strategy also involves creating an engaging atmosphere for followers. When readers feel like they’re a part of a group, and when they can identify or benefit from the content being published, they’re more likely to leave comments, share posts and encourage friends to follow as well. Working to form a relationship with your followers will keep them engaged and active in what your business is doing. Businesses can work to form relationships with followers on social media accounts by responding to comments, asking questions, getting opinions from followers and by sharing content that touches the heart. Work to implement these tips for engaging readers and watch as your social media outlets grow.

Commit to Providing Exemplary Service

All of the great content in the world will do you little good if your business has a reputation for providing less-than-stellar service. Providing a valuable product or service is important, however; treating your customers like royalty will leave an imprint on their hearts for years to come. In today’s up-to-the-minute, information-sharing world, customers no longer have to take the time to write a letter to a company CEO in order to share a story about how they received bad service.

“One complaining tweet can turn into a million reached customers and potential customers in just minutes.”

Don’t give your customers a reason to tweet or post negative experiences about their business with you. Instead, train your team to remember that top-notch customer service, along with your best product, is the surest way to success, and reward team members accordingly when they show a pattern of providing exemplary customer service to your clients.

Utilize Customer Feedback

Too many companies ignore customers who want to share a bad experience, and when that happens, clients are left with a sour view of that company. If the occasion should happen (and your primary goal should be to make sure that it doesn’t) that a customer has a bad experience with your company, it’s vital to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to resolve the issue and make the customer happy when possible.

Replacement products, free products, discounts and heartfelt apologies with a quick and above-and-beyond resolution are all ways in which you can turn a client’s bad experience back into a good one.

The same goes for customers who leave feedback on how to improve your product or service. It’s important when a client takes the time to share an idea or share suggestions about how to make your company better that you as the business owner or manager reply promptly with a positive response. By paying attention to customer feedback and utilizing that feedback to keep customers happy and sharing their great experiences about your company on social media, your business can continue to grow and prosper.

Social media marketing may be the “wave of the future” for some companies, but the fact of matter is that social media is one of today’s top forms of advertisement. Don’t let your company be left in the dust because competitors have a handle on how to effectively gain and keep clients through social media channels and you don’t. Instead, stay ahead of the game by learning to create social media content and connections that allow people to see your business for the gem that it truly is.

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