If content is king, social media is your vehicle. Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, businesses have more ways to interact with their audiences than they ever did before. But how do you get them to engage — and stay engaged — when a sea of online channels are also begging for their attention? As the holidays roll around, it’s crucial now more than ever to build a strong following and keep your audience charmed and cared for. Below are some best practice tips to create and maintain a signature social media presence while garnering new followers along the way.

1 Keep a clean, consistent tone

Does your business exercise a playful model, or a more professional one? A casual or serious style? The tone and copy on your pages should match that of your overarching mission. This will help your readers recognize your flair and understand your presence. Be it an amusing tone like American Repertory Theatre’s or a more informative one like Ernest and Young, what’s key is understanding your company’s identity and delivering its message in a way that invites, delights, and enlightens your audience.

2 Know when too much content is enough

Content garners followers, simple as that. Viewers want to see quippy tweets on Twitter, videos of how your products are made on Snapchat, photos of your staff hard at work on Facebook, and everything in between. But when is too much content diluting, rather than strengthening, your message? We’ve explored this complex topic before, and the key is to post frequently enough to catch eyes but not so often that people scroll past your posts thinking none are significant. Companies like Hootsuite and Forbes have wise input on how to space out your posts, but one idea remains constant: tell stories. Current and future customers want to know more about what you do, what makes you passionate, and what makes your company unique!

3 Like others’ pages

Spread the love around: Get others to notice you by showing you notice them. Follow other businesses on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat and like their page on Facebook. They may follow you back, resulting in a hopeful domino effect of others engaging with you, and — at the very least — you can see and study how other businesses conduct themselves online to find what strategies succeed and don’t.

4 Remind your existing audience of your social media presence

Don’t forget you already have an audience waiting to follow you via your steadfast e-list. Whenever you send out an email, include a quick message saying, “Follow us at X, Y, and Z.” Emails are a wonderful method to engage your customers, but social media offers a fresh way to keep them in your pool while also showing them an additional perspective on your brand. Once they’ve liked you, try posts that lead with a question, inviting your followers to respond, comment, and share.

5 Offer incentives

It’s not uncommon for businesses to incentivize an Instagram follow or Facebook check-in. People like perks, and a social media follow is a low-investment way for customers to get involved. Boutique stores may say “Check in on Facebook and receive 10% off your purchase,” or other small companies might say “Show us you follow our company on Instagram and receive X.” When people check in or follow, their friends see this action and — voila — you’ve made a new impression. Keep those building and soon your page will be overflowing with retweets, comments, and likes.

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