Expanding your social media reach

Anyone who has used social networking can attest to the sheer amount of information that is available. As of this writing, Facebook users post something on the order of over one billion things every day. That’s quite a bit!

As a professional exploring social media as an avenue for growing your business, it can be daunting to think of competing for views in this environment. Thankfully, there are some tactics you can use to make your posts stand out from the crowd.

Use multimedia

As statistics suggest, the single most important thing you can do to enhance your readership is to include multimedia in your posts. This typically means pictures, but anything that entices your audience and is relevant will help immensely.

If you’re sharing something that is heavy on statistics or other numerical information, consider sourcing or constructing an infographic to go along with it. Humans are very visual and infographics are powerful tools that allow people to easily digest a lot of information in a fun way.

Don’t be direct

While the practice of social media marketing is booming, not everyone does it successfully; it’s important to adopt the right approach. One mistake I think we’ve all seen far too often is a company that posts in overtly direct language that feels too much like advertising. The days of this kind of marketing are long gone (when’s the last time you were ordered by a billboard to “buy Coke”?).

Instead, you should write posts that relate to your audience. Find a creative way to work your product or service into a less specific message that people will care about. As an example, an accounting firm may offer helpful tips on saving money or reminders that tax time is coming up.

While these kinds of short posts don’t mention your business agenda, they are genuinely helpful and interesting to the people who would be interested in your services and will yield conversion. As long as your online presence is set up correctly, you can safely leave it up to your readers to connect the dots and find you online.

It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that social media is a personal, two-way medium that’s supposed to present a comfortable environment in which people can hold something like a conversation. As a business, this kind of interaction with your customers may be a foreign concept, but as plenty of others have discovered, it’s also a powerful marketing tool. Interacting with and responding to your customers shows that you care about what they have to say and builds a positive impression of your business as a whole.

Service specifics

To round out my general tips, I’d also like to share some wisdom on the specifics of the two largest social networks. As a business, you will be an alien to Twitter and Facebook, which are heavily geared toward individuals.

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On Twitter, your options for reaching out are fairly limited. The best thing you can do is to make your posts interesting and use hashtags. Hashtags relate your post to other posts, places, people, current events or anything. The most popular hashtags are said to be “trending” and are highly visible. If you can do it in a relevant manner, relating your post to a trending topic can bring lots of attention.

Facebook is somewhat more friendly for businesses. The idea of Pages was created specifically to accommodate you as a company and you should have one. They’re visible to everyone and can “trend” in much the same fashion as a popular hashtag on Twitter, unlike a personal profile. That is, the more people “like” or re-share your post, the more people will see it in their feeds. Of course, if you want to take a shortcut, Facebook is always willing to give your posts a little boost in exchange for some compensation!

The following video also contains some great advice on how a business can benefit from encouraging social media use, especially with regard to accounting firms!

I hope you’ll find these tips to be helpful. Good luck!

Monica De Armas is a student at the University of South Florida studying accounting and finance. She hopes to become a Certified Public Accountant.

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