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Maintaining a strong social media presence is one of the most effective ways to market your business or service online. Unlike other forms of advertising, social marketing is free and allows for personal interaction between you and your customers or followers. However, like any marketing campaign, a successful social media strategy requires extensive planning and continuous attention to maintain the strongest online presence possible.

Create a Content Strategy

PresenceFirst, determine what type of content will work best for your business or service. For example, if you are creating an online presence for a local business, a blog with relevant location-focused articles can be invaluable to attracting new customers. In contrast, if you are a photographer or videographer, social media sites such as YouTube, Instagram, and Flickr will allow you to focus your content stream on photo/video media.

Diversify with Multiple Social Media Outlets

No matter what your business or service offers, you will see better results from your marketing campaign by diversifying your content between numerous social media channels. Choose several different sites that are well-suited to your content strategy, then regularly post content to each profile. Since most major social media sites offer integrative features such as automatic cross-posting between networks, its relatively simple to maintain multiple social networks at once.

Develop a Persona for Each Social Media Profile

Simply having a social media presence isnt enough to guarantee a successful marketing campaign. For example, if you simply post links to your Facebook or Twitter profile, your content isnt likely to be shared by other users, which extensively limits the audience of your posts.
Instead, develop an effective voice or persona for each social network, and use this persona to engage your audience. For example, when posting a link to Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus+, include a relevant picture that is likely to grab the attention of users. This not only makes it more likely that users will take the time to view your links, it also will increase the number of likes and shares that your content receives on the network. This drastically helps increase your page views and followers, especially if you can create content that goes viral.

Use Analytic Tools to Determine What Works Best

To help you develop a successful social network strategy and persona, use the built-in analytic tools to determine the number of impressions, views, likes and shares that each of your posts receives. This helps you develop an effective voice and content for each channel to ensure your social networks continue to engage users and grow. For example, Facebook Pages are best-suited for simple, visually-oriented posts, as users tend to scroll past posts that are long-winded or bland. In contrast, blogs are well-suited for longer posts and more extensive content, while sites like Twitter and Reddit are good for sharing links to your blog or personal site
A List of Popular Social Media Networks You Should Be Utilizing

• Facebook Use Facebook to create a public Page for your business or service. Facebook allows you to post status updates, links, and media to your followers. Facebook users can then interact with and share your updates to their own followers, creating the potential for viral marketing. Use Facebooks Page Insights to see how many views and shares each of your posts receives. This will help you develop an effective persona for interacting with Facebook users. As your audience grows, try to focus on the types of posts and media that receive the most views and shares.
• Twitter Use Twitter to give your business or service a public voice. Like Facebook, Twitter lets you publish status updates, links, and media to your followers, who can then repost your updates to their own followers. You can analyze your posts directly on Twitter to determine which ones receive the most interaction. Use this information to hone an effective Twitter persona just as you did with Facebook.

The more Replies and Retweets you receive, the more your profile is marketed to other Twitter users, and thus you will receive more followers. Also, utilize the hashtag system in your updates. When you place a hashtag (#) in front of a word, Twitter automatically categorizes the post along with other posts containing the same hashtag. This allows you to incorporate popular keyword trends into your posts, which in turn helps you gain Retweets and Followers.

• LinkedIn LinkedIn is a good social media site for individuals offering a professional service such as web design, writing, photography, etc. On your LinkedIn profile you can showcase your industry experience by posting a résumé, work samples, and professional qualifications. LinkedIn will help you connect with other users who work in the same industry as you, helping you market your service while making vaulable industry contacts.

• Google Plus+ Google Plus+ works similarly to Facebook in that you can create a public profile for your business or service and then post status and media updates to your followers. This makes it easy to maintain a similar persona on both Google Plus+ and Facebook, allowing you to cross-post updates between the two sites. Additionally, Google Plus+ allows users to recommend websites by +ing them to their profile, making it a valuable tool to promote your personal website.

• StumbleUpon Like the other social network sites listed, StumbleUpon allows you to create a public profile and interact with other users through comments and messages. However, the main function of StumbleUpon is web browsing. StumbleUpon randomly directs users to new sites that fit their past preferences and interests. While maintaining a StumbleUpon profile and liking other sites similar to yours, add links to pages on your personal site into the mix. Other users who like the same websites as you will then be directed to your personal website at random, drastically increasing your page views.

Presence2• Reddit In contrast to the other social networks, Reddit focuses on content by allowing for user anonymity. By creating a Reddit profile, you can add links to your personal website in the appropriate Reddit categories. The more that Reddit users upvote your content, the more it will be seen by other users, allowing for drastic increases in page views. Reddit also has an extensive comment section, allowing you to interact with users regarding your content.

• Blogs In addition to social media profiles, you should also regularly maintain a blog for your business or service. Blogs allow for longer, more extensive updates and media which can then be marketed through your social media profiles. Some of the most popular blog services include Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress.

• New social media outlets New social media websites are popping up all the time. In addition to maintaining your current social media networks, stay up-to-date on the newest sites and trends to insure that you have the strongest social media presence possible.

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