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Over the course of the past few years, social media has become more and more popular. What once started out as something that popped up here and there has now become one of the biggest focal points in society today. Businesses have now jumped on board with the social media trend to take advantage of this new marketing mechanism. This blog covers how companies can start to use social media to grow audiences, increase brand awareness, generate more sales leads, and increase earnings.

Establish Goals

Every business development process should include goal-setting. Social media goals should align with an organization’s marketing strategy, be specific, and focus on short- and long-term achievement. For instance, “get Twitter followers” is too vague, and doesn’t establish any deadlines or urgency. On the other hand, “earn 1,000 Twitter followers during Q1” specifies what exactly you hope to achieve, and how much time you expect this goal to take. Note the use of “Q1” as part of the goal. This goal merges traditional business goals with updated social media goals. By weaving old and new strategy together, businesses can fully integrate social media marketing into their overall strategy. 

Engage with Audiences

Think about the term “social media” for a moment. The word “social” isn’t just there for fun. Organic audience engagement in social media marketing is crucial, because without it, your company will seem stiff and unapproachable. Take time to learn about your web audience—their wants, needs, and expectations—and align your social media strategy accordingly. There are many ways to get a better understanding of this, including surveys, demographic research, or even direct audience conversations. Contests and giveaways are another example of an audience engagement method. 

Utilize Multimedia

Social media is equal parts “social” and “media.” That means that hundreds of tweets and Facebook posts without any graphics or interactive parts are going to get dull. Pictures, web graphics, infographics, videos, and links catch the eye and communicate information in fun and unique ways. Multimedia is especially important when you consider that web readers don’t actually read—they scan pages and glean information from headings, bold and colorful text, and graphics. Take advantage of this by creating web content that offers digestible information in eye-catching formats.