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It’s no secret that a strong social media presence gives your business infinitely more opportunities to grow.

Whether it’s by acquiring new clients or building better relationships with your current ones, social media gives you the power to stay connected with your audience and engage with them consistently, so your business stays top of mind. Social media is the place to be to make and build connections.

But, how do you build your social media presence from nothing if you’re just getting started in the online space and stand out from your competition?

Here are ten proven tips to grow your social media presence:

1. Optimize your social media profiles

A well-optimized social media profile conveys the who, what, and why to your audience. If you’re a local service business, you’ll also want to include the where.

To optimize your profile: Make sure that your profile picture is of your face and that it is clear. Your bio must clearly state what you do or provide context for what type of content your connections can expect to see on your profile. If you have any relevant links, include them here but be selective. 

Make sure that your intro section only contains information that is relevant to your ideal client. Extra information like your gender, relationship status, and hometown can still show up in the About Me section of your profile, but aren’t relevant information to include on your front page.

For example, a landing page link is more effective than your website’s homepage. Do not mask the link! You can also take advantage of your cover photo or featured image section to include a call to action on your profile.

2. Make your profile and content public

This doesn’t mean every photo of your kids, dog, or breakfast needs to be seen by the entire world. The purpose of a public profile is to allow your ideal audience who are not connected with you to get a taste for your content and be able to send you a friend request. You can create separate friend lists on Facebook to share some content with only your close friends and family.

3. Create a lead magnet for your audience

A lead magnet is a great way to give your audience something of value to them while collecting their contact information so you can either add them to your email list or follow up personally to see if your business can solve their problems. Lead magnets are free resources that are specific and relevant to your audience and the service your business provides. Examples of lead magnets include step-by-step guides, checklists, e-books, and worksheets. Your lead magnet can also be to have them join a free relevant group that you host.

4. Engage in high visibility places

The easiest way to connect with your ideal clients on social media is by showing up where they spend their time. Get involved with groups that they are a part of and seek out the profiles of people they engage with. The goal of these interactions is visibility and value, not to spam or sell your service. As you engage, share information, answer questions, and show support. This shows your expertise, builds an emotional connection, and incentivizes your ideal clients to want to connect with you.

5. Ask your audience questions

Asking engaging and relevant questions is a great way to get your new audience to participate in your social media interactions. The more comfortable they become engaging with your content, the more comfortable they will feel about reaching out to you when they need the type of service you offer. Social media is all about building relationships and asking questions is a great way to segment your connections so you know which relationships to spend time focusing on.

6. Share in relevant groups

Networking in social media groups on Facebook and LinkedIn is a great way to stir up new connections and build interest in your business. But there is a trick to doing this effectively. Before copy and pasting the same content to every group you belong to, make a minor tweak to the first three lines for every group you publish in. This will prevent content stacking and appearing as spam. Most groups do not allow outright lead generation so it is important to make sure to use a soft call to action such as asking a simple question or for the audience’s perspective on a related topic. As you get comments and engagement on your posts, start interacting in the public thread with those people. Build connections before sending requests to connect so they appear more genuine and personal.

7. Vary the types of content you create

Social media platforms are engineered for versatility. Your content can be text, video, photos, graphics, live streams, or any other number of media options to convey your message. It is important to vary your content to make the most of your content marketing. This helps you show up in more newsfeeds more often and get more engagement on your content. If you only create one type of content, you risk boring your audience or the algorithm not prioritizing your content.

8. Consistency is key to success

The lifespan of social media content is extremely short. Once your content has graced your audience’s newsfeeds, it is effectively dead. In order to get the most from your social media marketing, it is important to stay consistent so that every time your audience checks their newsfeeds, you show up. Consistency is the best way to stay present and top of mind while growing your social media presence.

9. Make sure your content is relevant

Content that is irrelevant to your audience won’t get the results you’re looking for. It is important that you have a clear understanding of your audience and their goals so your content is timely and informational. Relevance doesn’t have to do with what’s going on in the world as a whole. It has to do with your target market and the things that are important to them. Tell stories, educate your audience, and stay on top of trends to grow your social media presence with your content.

10. Know your ideal clients inside and out

To build connections with your audience, you need to know exactly who they are, what they think they need, and what they actually need. You can break this down either by stage of awareness or by their position in the consumer journey. Create content that touches on where your audience is most likely to be stuck to build their trust and therefore, engagement and loyalty. Know your audience inside and out so your content speaks directly to them instead of being a general outlook.

Social media provides endless marketing and growth opportunities for businesses and people who are willing to put in the effort to build their brand and make genuine connections. Growing your social media presence allows you to expand your reach and introduce your business to more of your ideal clients. Hard work and a commitment to quality will make or break your growth on any social media platform.