Reaching Your Audience with Social Media

  •    Barney runs a digital marketing consultancy and writes about technology, startups, music, movies and business, as well as his hometown in the UK.

People are spending more and more time on social media, so building a presence on relevant social platforms is a great way to communicate with your audience and attract new visitors to your website.

Here are five ways you can reach more people, improve the quality of your social media posts, and maximize what you share.

1. Plan with an Online Editorial Calendar

![Trifold of people on surfboards](/content/images/2017/09/Trifold-of-people-on-surfboards.png) Paiwen Stand Up Paddleboards celebrates New Years on Facebook.

Set up an online editorial calendar with all of the events and important dates throughout the year for your business. Schedule content for upcoming holidays or local events that resonate with a large audience such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. With this strategy, you can quickly create reminders that can spark interaction on social media. Planning ahead gives you the perfect starting point to join conversations targeted to your audience. Learn more about tools for creating and maintaining an editorial calendar here.

2. Get Inspired by the Competition

Your competitors will have the same challenges as you, work in the same market, and often be using social media already. Make sure you follow all of their social media accounts, look at what they post and share, and see what you can learn. Take inspiration from the good and avoid the bad.

Pick out the themes from what you see in your own niche or market and make note of relevant news sources. As you spend more time on social media, you will also discover key influencers that you can learn from (and whose updates you may choose to share with your followers).

​3. Brainstorm Content Ideas

![Drawing Sketch of Pencils and Erasers](/content/images/2017/09/Drawing-Sketch-of-Pencils-and-Erasers.png) The nested Turtle shows behind the scenes at its business on Twitter.

It's never fun to sit at your laptop wondering what your next post should be, or waiting for creativity to strike. Take a step back and brainstorm content ideas with colleagues or friends and family. You'll find that there are easily ten types of social posts you could write down. Often, you can create a series of posts that give you material for weeks to come. Keep up the variety, but have these different content ideas to fall back on when nothing spontaneous or time-sensitive has come your way.

If have limited or a set time to spend on social media, then take advantage of scheduling and management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. These tools will help you schedule a number of posts at different times throughout the week. While regular posting is important, you should always favor quality over quantity. This will lead your social followers to trust you for your consistent presence.

4. Share and Respond

![Download-the-AHWW-Cookbook](/content/images/2017/09/Download-the-AHWW-Cookbook.png)

Tune Up Health and Fitness share resources from an Australian Government program.

Social is about having a conversation, sharing and responding to people. If you sell something made by another company, go to their social media and share their best posts. They will have great relevant content and resources, which you can use to bring valuable information to your social media followers.

Share posts from related, but non-competitive firms or respected organizations in your field. Don't make it just about you and don't try to sell your products with every post. If every single post is a sales pitch, your audience will quickly switch off. Don't forget that customer service is part of social media too, so always be polite, get back to questions and requests quickly and deal with complaints professionally.

​5. Analyze your Post Relentlessly

![Analytics-Snapshot](/content/images/2017/09/Analytics-Snapshot.png)Facebook Insights will show you how many people your posts are reaching and engaging.

Each social platform has an analytics area, where you can see the data behind your account. Facebook Insights, Twitter and LinkedIn Analytics are examples. Delve into these gold mines of information to see the real outcomes of your social media strategy. Are your posts reaching the right people? Are they getting comments, shares, likes or retweets? Are you reaching the people you think you are reaching? Are there gaps in your audience profile?

Create more of the posts that have the greatest reach, likes and shares, and steer away from less engaging content. Don't forget, there's power in numbers. Data can help you make your social media better and get you closer to your business goals.

If you have fun on social media, stay authentic to your brand and values, have a conversation with your customers and plan ahead with great content ideas, your social channels will reach your target audience — and keep them engaged.

Lead image from www.travellerchris.com