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As you know, social media is a fantastic marketing tool, with many platforms to choose from, and the best part is that it’s mostly free to get started. If you have just started to get your organisation more involved with social media, one of your first objectives no doubt is is to start building a following.

Sharing your marketing / brands content is the easiest way to bring attention to your organisation, but first you have to make sure you have content that’s worth sharing. While blogs are easily a content marketing favourite, images are shared more than anything else on social media. This means that you should focus on taking great photos of your products and creating other visual content if you want to have the best chance of getting your posts out there.

First rule, is share first, receive later

One common reason why businesses and other organisations don’t get the level of traffic they expect to their website is because they don’t share enough. This is often because either they don’t have enough time to post consistently, or they are wary of coming across as spammy.

The truth is, sharing your content more than once is essential if you want to maximise your traffic. New posts move quickly down to the bottom of a news feed and unless they are online at the exact time you post, chances are many of your followers won’t see your first post. Posting multiple times will increase the likelihood that all your followers will see it.

The best formula for sharing your content will depend on your followers and you will probably need to play around with frequencies to find the sweet spot that works for you. As a general guideline I would suggest posting about 2-3 times a day on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn and up to five or six times a day on Twitter and Instagram.

Adding images to your social media post increases the impact of a post and because image content is shared more than standard text, you are more likely to get greater results from a post with images than one without.

Move your links to the start of the post

Although it may be more convenient to place your links at the end of a post, studies have shown that links placed at the beginning receive more click throughs. This is a good strategy to test out and see if you find you get better conversions from your social media posts.

Start a community

Depending your audience, Starting a Facebook Page for your blog or a LinkedIn group is a great way to add another dimension to your social media marketing. Blogger, Nicki Parkinson has been successful in this for her Styling You audience. People who weren’t originally following your brand may be keen to interact with your community and the rest of the group. These people may start off only interested in the blog and community aspect but then as time goes on they may realise you have more to offer.

Leverage video content

Videos are another way to increase engagement on social media and get you noticed. One way to use video content is to answer questions via a video. It has been shown that people are more likely to watch a video than read text so this is an avenue that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked, even if you are a bit camera shy. You could also create a customer story or do tutorials that relate to your products or services.

Be available

Most importantly, be online when your followers are. If you manage your organisations Facebook fan page, it has a free analytics tool you can use to see this data. In my experience people will usually be online in their lunch break or after work, but it really does depend on the habits of your target audience. By making yourself available at the right time you can engage more effectively with your target audience and get better results from your social media marketing.