When each business jumps into social media, we all come with different social media goals. I think one thing we can all agree on is that Social Reach is one of the top metrics we are trying to influence, if not the top metric. Social Reach is the number of people who see each message. The way that I like to think of this is “awareness times engagement.” The number of followers you have on a particular social channel and the algorithm that determines how that channel delivers your content to them influences awareness. Engagement is when those followers (or others) comment on or share your social messages. When your followers engage with your content, then their followers will see your content as well, thus amplifying your Social Reach.
There are other ways to create a greater reach by being active within the social media community. These strategies can help you find potential followers and make them aware of and engaged with you on social media. Let’s go through a few ways that you can increase your social media awareness and engagement, thus influencing your social reach.
1. Participate in webinars
When you participate in webinars, you can discuss topics within your industry and communicate with other business professionals with common interests. This may lead to further opportunities for them to utilize your content and share it with their social community. This also may spur a collaboration or partnership between your company and theirs. Maintaining active participation in the discussions throughout these live events is a great way to create these new relationships, since you never know where they will lead.
2. Participate in Twitter chats
Twitter chats are a little more involved and can at times be overwhelming because the only communication is happening on Twitter. I would not recommend this for beginners to Twitter, but if you have been using Twitter for a while and have properly set up your account and the platform you use (such as Tweetdeck), it is possible to keep up with the conversation throughout a Twitter chat and maintain engagement with others who are participating as well.
Participating in a Twitter chat is also a good way to test your real-time Twitter skills. I've found that Twitter chats prepared me for tweeting on the fly during live events such as webinars and holiday parties. Practicing this skill as an attendee is also helpful, because if you become overwhelmed, you can take a step back and re-gather your thoughts without losing too much value.
Connecting with other Twitter members during a Twitter chat is a great way to discuss industry topics and have the chance to connect in real-time with other thought leaders. Additionally, participating in webinars and Twitter chats has proven to be educational for me in the past. You get to learn and find more followers all at the same time. Depending on the topic, they may even be qualified leads.
3. Join groups
Many social media channels have groups that are specific to industry topics. Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great platforms for joining groups. This is a great way to connect with other social media users who are interested in the same topics as you, but you’ll want to make sure you are participating in the conversations on these channels and not simply joining and forgetting about them. Other members of these groups may start following you or your company based on your insights, and they may even eventually become a customer, but the great thing is that you can connect on a personal level and not on a sales level. Remember, people don’t like to buy from companies; they like to buy from people. It’s important to make that connection on a personal level and not scare them off with a sales pitch. Make sure not to push your content on other members, but only share your content when it is relevant to a discussion you are already involved in.
4. Connect with others in your industry
Supporting your fellow cohorts in your industry can help build a community of people who have similar interests. I have often found that when you help support others on social media, they are eager to help support you as well. Make sure to keep involved with the other companies in your industry who are active on social media channels. They may find your content useful for their followers, and you may find that their content covers topics that pertain to your audience as well. This can be the start to a great partnership, even if it’s limited to back-and-forth communication on social media.
5. Follow your clients and partners
Speaking of partnerships, do you follow all of your partners on social media? You should make sure to do so, since they are definitely talking about things that relate to your business, and you don’t want to miss any opportunities to join in on the conversation. Another important group of people -- possibly the most important -- to follow on social media would be your current clients! If your clients are using social media, you absolutely want to connect with them. You can help answer their questions faster and connect with them on that personal level we discussed earlier. This can make it easier for them to share how much they enjoy your services or products with their friends. Make sure you seek out these important conversations that are happening on social media channels.
Being involved in the conversation on social media can help you grow your Social Reach. Have you had success in meeting new people on social media for your business? Tell us about it in the comments.