At this point, if you don’t know that social media plays an integral role for increasing brand awareness and customer engagement, you’re living under a rock. Every business, regardless of vertical, should be leveraging social media in order to:

  • Increase thought leadership by promoting educational offerings/resources/blogs
  • Engage with followers by doing such things as asking questions, posting quotes and sharing polls
  • Follow leading brands and influencers in their industry; draw content marketing inspiration from them, and keep a finger on the pulse of what these heavy hitters are doing.

In my experience as a content marketer, consultant and brand strategist, I’ve come across many companies that haven’t the slightest clue how to get started with their social strategies (and that’s okay). As long as you have the desire to learn, you can take your social strategy from nonexistent to innovative and consistent in no time.

Allow me to help you if you’re struggling. Here are three things businesses can do right now to begin increasing their social presence (even if they live under a rock):

1. Create a thought leader chart: Create a chart outlining thought leaders and influencers in your industry that you can begin following on social media. For example, let’s say you’re in the hospitality industry. Below are some examples of market leaders and influencers that you may want to follow on Twitter and eventually begin engaging with.

Thought leader/Influencer Twitter Username Area of Expertise
Jason Q. Freed @Freedtotravel Cutting-edge hotel technology, revenue strategy, industry trends & changes
Hospitality Lawyer @hospitality_law Hospitality legal, risk, safety and security information
Josiah Mackenzie @JosiahMackenzie Big data/analytics for hoteling
Social Hospitality @SocHospitality Social media, marketing, branding, customer service and engagement for hospitality
Daniel Edward Craig @dcraig Evolution of hospitality industry and how new tech affects customer service


2. Invest in a great social media management tool: Below are two great resources for social media management, scheduling and analytics:

Buffer: The tool allows you to schedule social media posts in advance as well as determine the best times of day to post. Buffer also provides some analytics within its base offering. You can also upgrade to Buffer’s premium plan (called the “Awesome Plan”) which allows you to connect 15 RSS feeds to each of your social profiles as well as share content directly from Buffer. You can also add up to 100 posts to Buffer, verses just 10 in its free plan. Buffer’s “Awesome Plan” is $10/mo. or $102/yr. when paid in full—representing a 15% discount.

Hootsuite for Enterprise: Similarly, Hootsuite for Enterprise comes with both a free package as well as paid packages. Its free package allows you to manage three social profiles (for example, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn); provides basic analytics reports; and allows you to schedule social media posting. Its Pro package (which costs $120/yr.) allows you to manage up to 50 social profiles; provides you with one enhanced analytics report; and gives you access to premium apps. You can start a free 30-day trial of Hootsuite for Enterprise Pro here, but remember that if you at any point wish to upgrade, you can first try the free trial and then determine what’s best for your business.

3. Diversify your social content: Overall, you want your social media presence to be a professional mix of work and play—showcasing both your knowledge of and passion for your products, solutions, industry, etc.

Here’s a suggestion: On Twitter, try posting one personal opinion about an external piece of content, one personal tweet meant to engage and start a conversation, and one re-tweet from another thought leader in the industry per week.

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