Sometimes things are complex, sometimes they are basic.

While there are many complex aspects of digital marketing, there are a couple very simple concepts that, when followed, can immediately help business owners improve their social media efforts.

Social media has opened up an entirely new world for its users. Never before in history have we been able to connect with an unlimited number of people, instantly receive news from around the globe, share pictures of kids and pets with distant relatives, and watch funny videos posted by strangers.

But using social media for business purposes requires some forethought and strategy.  Start with these two components:

Step One: Provide valuable content to your audience.

Re-read the first paragraph of this article, and consider why most people surf social media sites. They want to connect with others, interact with family, make new friends, and entertain themselves. In other words, social media is meant to be fun and useful. Most of us anticipate seeing advertisements when we watch TV, but we expect a different experience on social media.

Therefore, if you want to capture your target audience’s attention, you should post content that appeals to them. Ask yourself what questions or problems they might have, and provide answers (without sounding self-promotional). Generally we do this by providing blogs on a topic of concern, updates on relevant news, and informative pictures or videos.

Look at social media as a give-and-take situation. You need to be giving something of value before you can expect anything in return.

So, resist the urge to “sell yourself”, and simply interact with your target audience. Offer them information that is relevant to their interests and needs, and you will have their attention.

Step Two: Now that you have their attention, respond to your audience.

Imagine you’re at a party, and a newcomer tells an interesting story. Afterward, you approach him to ask a question about the story he shared. But instead of answering you, he just walks away without a backward glance. Not only does this behavior strike you as bizarre; you’ve both missed an opportunity to make a new friend. And isn’t that the point of a party?

And yet for some reason, many companies are behaving this way on social media. Check out a few Facebook business pages, and you might notice comment after comment that never received replies. These are valuable opportunities that those companies are missing!

After you post content that will draw attention from your target audience, your next step is to follow up by interacting with that audience. Keep in mind that most people prefer to do business with someone they know. The beauty of social media is that you can use it to reach out and create new relationships. So answer their questions, reply to remarks, and trade a few witty jokes with your audience. Show them the person behind the business name, and you will find social media to be a richly rewarding experience.

For more information on starting your social media campaign, or tweaking the one that you’ve already begun, shoot us an email or give us a call. The above two steps provide a terrific starting point for any business, but we can also help you analyze your target audience and provide more specific recommendations geared toward your needs.