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We all write content that we hope is going to be seen by a wide audience. We expect everyone to be really engaged, reading every last bit. Being shared on numerous platforms for all to see and admire.

But self-promotion on social media is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. The fact is, unless you’re some kind of genius, or a huge brand, admired and well recognised by many, this is unlikely to occur.

So, what can you do about this?

Step 1: Start with your audience – Who are they and what do you know about them?
Every business has an audience they wish to attract. But how much do you actually know about them? It’s all about the demographics. By understanding exactly who your audience are, you can then leverage a plan to attract them effectively.

Social media and web analytics tools are a great way to achieve this. Information such as location, age, interests, and gender are all aspects which allow you to understand your audience and better market to them. A strategy can then be created to further suit their preferences. This may entail changing the language of your content, the time you share your content to suit their time zones, changing the topics you talk about or perhaps even changing the channels you use to market your brand through.

Step 2: (don’t forget this step) Check what your competitors are doing!
If you are stuck for ideas of where you should be focussing your attention, I would highly recommend conducting some competitor research. Analyse your competitors twitter account; it is highly likely they use this channel to broadcast their other marketing activities. See if these ideas could work for you.

Once you have conducted these 2 initial steps, and by conducting a full analysis into your brand, you will be able to determine what marketing channels will be the most suitable to your audience. This may entail perhaps favouring two social networks, selecting a few targeted blog sites to share your content, communicating in certain forums and appearing in magazines your audience reads. These are all great ways to increase your exposure.

Step 3: Increase your exposure by leveraging the social power of your brand advocates
To increase your brand exposure, go beyond your own social channels. Make sure you leverage the social presence of all of your brand advocates – employees, sales/ channel partners, sponsors, etc. To do this simply, I would highly recommend you put in place an advocacy program and purchase social media collaboration/ syndication software such as our own socialondemand.

How does this help? Social media collaboration software helps brands share content/ posts with their employees, partners and other advocates and makes it easy for these third parties to publish this content as their own. It takes away the complexity and time required for social sharing, making advocates more inclined to share the brands’ content, increasing their own exposure to their brand. It gives them content and broadens your own social media reach, albeit indirectly. It’s a win, win situation for all.

Step 4 (and part of 1, 2 and 3!): Track your results
How do you perform on social media? Make sure you know the answer to this question (there’s really no point in doing social media at all if you don’t know). Many social networks now have analytics tools available to all business profiles. They have varying levels of sophistication, and mainly allow you to track how well each post has performed, and which has received the best engagement. They provide you with a basic overview, but a true comparison comparing results from one month to another, or even annually would not be possible.

Furthermore, whilst your social networks may seem to be performing pretty well, how many clicks are your posts generating? What is the click-through-rate to your website, how many resultant sales? These are all key elements that need to be measured in order to receive a clear overall picture. I’m sure you’re already aware but tools like Google Analytics are great for determining the level of traffic your website is receiving from each social network.

Once you have completed these steps (and do them continuously), you will be able to let your killer content attract the attention it deserves and let the social selling commence!

This article was originally published on purechannelapps website, and can be seen here.