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Social Strategy: 4 Simple Keys for Boosting Your Brand Clout Online

With its nearly universal reach and seemingly unlimited potential, social networking is heralded by modern marketers as the holy grail of digital promotion. Building brand clout and fostering customer loyalty is no simple undertaking, however. In order to maximize the value of a business' social media presence, the marketing team must establish a s ocial strategy. From connecting with the right followers to publishing optimized content, business owners possess a bevy of impressive tools for making a powerful impact online. If you're ready to supercharge your digital marketing efforts, use the following simple keys to get started.

1. Establish a Cohesive Brand Message

Nothing confuses consumers more than an incoherent message. It's important to set the tone for your business and stick to your guns. Re-purpose the same material across all of your social accounts, paying close attention to graphic elements and status updates alike.

If you're feeling stuck, refer to the lessons of Marketing 101, starting with market analysis. A deep understanding of your ideal customer should serve to direct your social energy. Without a clearly defined image of your target customer, your efforts will flounder.

2. Create a Space for Conversation

Striking the right balance between self-promotion and friendly chatter challenges even the most established of marketing gurus. While networks such as Twitter and Facebook are a direct conduit to consumers, using your social accounts exclusively for promotional purposes will likely leave your marketing strategy dead on arrival.

Instead, strive to encourage conversation with thoughtful updates that go beyond simple advertising. Many brands capitalize on current events when updating their social profiles, as general interest in these topics can help foster interactions. You might also consider parlaying pop culture references into your updates, as long as you ensure the message remains faithful to your brand.

Regardless of which approach you take, steer clear of such polarizing topics as politics and religion. Generating thoughtful conversation from the crowd is one thing, but alienating a portion of your customer base is rarely beneficial.

3. Aim for Consistency

In social marketing, it takes time to generate measurable results. Many marketers become discouraged with lackluster performance in the short term, giving up altogether. Don't allow yourself to fall into this trap. Instead, make a commitment to continually update your profiles for the long haul. As you build on your previous successes, you're bound to see the full impact of your investment take shape.

If you're not already using custom content as part of your overall digital marketing plan, consider exploring this growth avenue to further boost your social reach. Sharing blog posts, images, and videos revolving around your brand message can grow your follower count and contribute to overall consumer engagement.

4. Meet Your Audience Where They Gather

It's not uncommon for brands to overstretch themselves online, with profiles scattered across a huge array of different social platforms. Instead of trying to juggle numerous social accounts, take time to research where your target audience congregates online. This will help you better direct your energy and resources.

Much research has been conducted into consumer behavior on social media. For example, Pinterest's largest user base is females 25 to 34 years old, while adolescents and millennials overwhelmingly flock to Instagram. If you're limited in time and budget, consider narrowing your social focus to a few select networks to best harness the power of your marketing efforts.

Establishing a clear game plan for your digital marketing strategy is the simplest way to ensure your efforts don't go to waste. By taking these simple keys into consideration, you can better optimize the time you spend monitoring your social accounts. With hard work and a bit of luck, you should see noticeable results in due time.