At one point in time, many businesses viewed the world of social media as a playing ground for teens. Those days are long gone. In today’s society, social media sites provide a valuable tool for marketing and branding any business. With such a level of importance placed on these sites, it is equally important to make your social media marketing plan an effective one. New to social media for business? In this article, I will give you 7 tips for starting out on the right foot.

1.  How to Get More Likes, Fans & Followers

Near the top of your blog or website, add a Facebook “like” box. People will find it easier to like your page directly from your website, which will give you more of a fan base. When you have this box visible on your website, it makes it easy for your visitors to show their appreciation without leaving your page and visiting another website. This makes it simple for people and helps expose your presence more.

Would you rather gain more Twitter followers? Twitter has a similar “follow” button that you can add directly to your website as well. All it takes for both buttons is a simple piece of code that will auto-generate from either Facebook or Twitter. Place the code anywhere on your website, where you want the buttons to appear.

Please note: you may need your web developer to do this if you are not familiar with web coding. Grab the Facebook Like Button here and the Twitter Follow Button here.

2.  Attract More Visitors from Niche Social Sites

To help you attract more visitors, you should promote your site through niche social media sites, preferably ones that relate to your products or services. What’s great about niche social media sites is that they can send you a lot of targeted traffic. Even if the niche site is small, it can still send you quality visitors who are more likely to purchase something from your site because they already have an interest in your product. Click here for a list of 60+ niche social networks for marketers.

3.  Create Great, Attention-Grabbing Headlines

To create social media marketing materials that get noticed, learn how to write attention-grabbing headlines. It does not matter how good your products or services are unless the headline is good enough to draw a reader in. Facebook fans and Twitter followers are skimming over many posts within their news feed. Make your posts stand out—make it worthy of a closer look. Keep them short, sweet, funny, interesting and to the point.

4.  Capture Email Addresses

Provide a way for people to sign up for email alerts when you post new blog posts, or capture their email to send them updates regularly. Whether you’re just putting up a post rehashing a previous topic or you are writing about a new product, giving followers a way to stay connected with you and your business works, even if this type of social media marketing is more recognized as older way to utilize Internet marketing. It is still an effective way of communicating with your followers.

5.  Have Patience for Growth

Patience is necessary when creating a network through social media. It is extremely unlikely that you will have thousands of followers on your first days (or even months). It has happened in rare occurrences, but it is unlikely that you will receive viral following in just one night. Patience is key. Provide good content, frequently update your page and interact with your visitors and in good time you will gain a substantial following.

6.  Be and Stay Active, Consistently

When dealing with social media marketing, make sure you are remaining active. You need to be seen if you want anyone to follow your profile. If you don’t have any activity, then your social media campaign is not going to succeed. Being active can spark the interest of your followers and help you be more successful. I suggest posting 1-2x/day on Facebook and posting several times a day on Twitter. This will keep your activity feed fresh and relevant.

7.  Create Great Content

You will be more successful if you can come up with new and interesting content to share. People will share something they believe is worth their time or provokes a pleasant or emotional reaction. Look at successful campaigns and identify the type of content that people will want to share with their friends on social networks. I’ve personally found that emotional or motivational images work wonders for sharing and engagement.

Long story short, the great thing about social media is that it is an immediate way to disseminate information globally. It can be used to effectively market and brand your unique product or service, and it can provide you with exposure to millions of potential customers. If you are new to social media marketing, take a few of the tips above and try experience with them. If nothing else, it will get your brand out there and will introduce your business to a new group of people. Happy sharing!