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Building and Developing Your Social Media Network

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When it comes to social media, networking is a vital aspect to continually develop your brand’s online presence whilst growing your following. Influencing a diverse range of users that may be interested in the products or services you offer is a necessity if your brand is going to be noticed in the congested world of social media.
Whilst every piece of content that you post is important for growing your business online, the ability to like, share and re-post this information on to larger, more established social media pages is where a business will really start to notice a new level of interaction, growth and reach. Gone is the day when merely creating page and posting quality content was enough to get noticed. Marketers on social networks have become increasingly savy by using a variety of complimentary techniques.
Curating content to best represent your company takes time, effort and a real passion for your product. It is vital to realise from the start that few people organically see content on social networks, regardless of if they are a follower or not. Facebook is limiting organic post reach to less than just 6% of your existing audience Injecting a budget into paid advertising is tempting, and certainly this method is great when focusing on a specific demographic, but it can become costly very quickly. The other isuue with paif advertising on social media is that it can alienate your brand from the very consumers you are targeting, they key word is ‘social’. These are networks where brands are more effective when disseminating content in a social forum, rather than jst a paid ad. In other words, the soft sell is more effective than the obvious hard sell.
Organic networking is therefore now integral as brands seek to find new ways to reach larger audiences. One approach is to partner with a reputable agency. For example, specialists such as ‘Social Network Solutions’ provide an impressive network of over 3.5 million followers on Facebook, with a viral weekly reach of up to 9 million users. Connecting with these pre-developed agency networks is one approach. Another lower budget option is to curate, develop or source community pages yourself if that cover the categories and keywords your brand is looking to optimize, just bear in mind this takes time and a concerted effort. From community pages you can drive traffic to your social media page and in-turn increase your number of website visitors.
The most effective technique is essentially like a conveyor belt. Firstly, you attract followers from community pages to interact with your content, land on your social media page and ultimately join the party. Followers will see regular updates from your business and will continue to interact and build engagement over time. Once engagement is built you can drive traffic from your social media to your own web page.

Organic networking also involves building relationships with online magazines, blogging platforms, forums and other large-scale social media communities. Shareable content with embeded links works on a wide variety of social networks. The continent of Asia has particularly embraced the QR code which is now embedded into imagery to link users back to your page, I also see this to be a key growth area in the west.

Source: 3dissue.com

When it comes to creating posts, always keep in mind what will network and share successfully, the content must encourage the most positive reactions. Content should be relatable and engaging, asking questions to evoke a response and incorporating imagery that is relevant, aspirational and eye-catching. Humour and video can be used  to great effect. Keep in mind also that all content should be optimized for mobile.

Avoid making posts too sales focused, users won’t appreciate this approach and will respond better to content that reflects the brand values without feeling like you have a strong agenda. No one wants to be force-fed before they buy; get users interested, involved, and they’ll come to you of their own accord. Users are strongly influenced by the opinions of other users in social forums, your efforts can snowball if genuine positive sentiment about the brand spreads, specifically within this social setting.

evolvebd

Source: evolvebd.co.uk

Encourage celebrity or well-known figures on social media (anyone that has built up a substantial following) to share and mention your brand in their posts. These figures can be very influential and their support elicited by building up a connection over time. Organic posts spreading positive sentiment about your product are both very sharable and influential as other sources are speaking positively about you. This increases the weight and legitimacy of the content as you are not just promoting yourself.
Another aspect to bear in mind when networking content is the time in which you post, or indeed share. Key times include evenings and mornings, think about all those users on their phones during their daily commute or online after work. It’s really important to maximise your reach and posting at the optimum time will have a huge impact on the level of user interaction.
Overall, organic networking provides a great opportunity to reach out to new audiences and potential new customers. Recent stats have shown that over 1.3 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook every minute of every day. China’s flagship social network ”WeChat” currently boasts 3 million content shares per minute.  This trend depicts the way in which people are using social platforms and proves it is vital to ensure your content is both attractive to a wide audience and leveraged on the right social media pages to produce the most effective shared response.
About the Author

Benji lamb is a digital marketing specialist based in Shanghai, China. For more information see his blog and website here.

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