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Social media can be a powerful tool in your online marketing efforts. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be big parts of your Internet marketing strategy, but the fact remains that these networks must be used correctly if you’re going to leverage full value from them. One of the most important things to understand is the need for engagement. Social media is not a one-way street. It’s a two-way conversation, which means that you need to engage your friends and followers and make them part of that conversation. How do you do that? Here are a few best practices to follow to improve your results.

  1. Know Your Audience and Share Content That Interests THEM

You might be under the impression that your social media accounts are about your company. That’s only partially true. They’re really about your followers and fans. It’s all about keeping them interested and engaged, so make sure you’re sharing content that interests them, and that does not necessarily tie directly to your own products or services. With that being said, you can do a great deal that does tie directly to your company without making it a sales pitch that will interest your followers.

  1. Know about Adjacent Content

Adjacent content is a confusing term that really means nothing more than content that is somehow related to your audience and will be of interest to them, that doesn’t originate from your company. You don’t need to share a competitor’s post, but you can share news stories of interest, community events, industry trend information and the like. This will give you quite a bit of content to post that doesn’t fall into the realm of being promotional.

  1. Responding to Followers

You can’t expect your audience to be engaged if you’re not willing to engage with them. This means that you need to reply to comments, respond to mentions and the like. You need to be involved. If you’re not, you really can’t expect your audience to be, as your lack of interaction proves that you really don’t care about them. It implies that you’re only on social media for your own benefit. While there’s nothing wrong with a company pursuing profitability (that’s sort of the point), you should never be blatant about it. Build relationships, and sales will follow.

  1. Don’t Over-Post

Striking the right posting frequency on social networks can be a huge challenge. It varies a lot from one network to another, as well. For instance, a tweet is generally only viable for about 18 minutes after you tweet it (although it technically lives forever and inappropriate tweets can come back to bite you long down the road). However, you shouldn’t tweet ever 30 minutes to make up for that fact. You need to post often enough that your audience is engaged, but not put off. After all, too much of a good thing is still too much. This applies to all of your social networks, from SnapChat to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.

  1. Add Value

While sharing humorous pictures, posts or videos can be great, as can new product announcements, community event posts and the like, don’t neglect the ability to share tips and tricks with your audience. These can involve your products or services, or a related area of your customers’ lives where you can provide additional benefits. For instance, a gutter company might post tips about roof care and maintenance.

Social media engagement doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge. Follow these tips to see better results, and get in touch with Words You Want for professional help.

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