Jul252012

5 Ways to Build Your Social Media Presence without Using Social Media

Entrepreneur Matt Winn
Matt Winn
Volusion
Social Media Manager

written by MO.com Subject Matter Resource Matt Winn

No matter how big or small your brand, you’re trying to find new and inexpensive ways to grow your social media presence. And why not? The larger the community, the more potential you have to reach these users to boost brand affinity and sales.

But far too often, when trying to garner new fans and followers, we find ourselves stuck in a rut of depending on social media channels themselves. To get out of this mindset, look to other opportunities that have little to do with social media. You’ll soon see that incorporating these offline channels serves as a solid way to provide consistent social media growth over the long term.

Check out these five ideas to get started:

1. Leverage email campaigns: Email and social media go together like peas and carrots. To help these communication outlets help each other, send email requests for subscribers to follow your social channels. For example, you can include mentions in monthly newsletters or even send a dedicated email to new customers asking them to like or follow you. Afraid to overtly ask for new community members? Don’t be. 75% of Facebook users liked a brand because they were directly invited.

2. Utilize “transactional” communications: Transactional communications include casual, non-marketing messages, such as general email responses, receipts, invoices, packing slips, etc. To promote your social channels with each email you send, include links to your social profiles within your email signatures. For your receipts and invoices, add a small blurb of text that calls out your social channels – and as a bonus tip, include an incentive for users to follow you socially, such as special discounts and exclusive announcements.

3. Install social plug-ins where you can: When users interact with your brand online, they’re literally just one click away from joining your social communities. To help people make the leap from casual observer to social follower, make things easy by adding social plug-ins on your website and blog. These plug-ins are free, quick to find and painless to install. Utilizing plug-ins helps expand your social presence, helping entice visitors to join your network.

4. Get social with your print material: Even when you’re offline, you can promote your social properties with print pieces. For example, you can include links to your Facebook store and Twitter page on business cards. Or, if you’re running a campaign specifically on social media, leverage flyers or brochures to announce and explain the campaign. Something as simple as adding social media icons to print pieces lets people know about your social presence, which is the first step in getting them to follow you.

5. Don’t forget about SEO: When users enter a branded search into Google or another search engine, many of your social properties will appear in search results. To help boost the rankings for your social properties (while pushing down results for competitors) leverage basic best practices for combining SEO and social media, such as including links back to your website on your social channels and consistently posting high quality content. For more tips on doing so, check out this article, “The Beginner’s Guide to Integrating SEO and Social Media.”

Implementing these tactics now will prime your brand for continuous social media growth in the near and disant future. Keep in mind that each time your audience sees a mention of your social profiles, they’re more likely to join the conversation. After all, that’s what our job as social media managers is all about.

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