This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.

Social media takes hard work and effort if you are a company trying to connect with new customers or stand out from the competition. Some companies think that if they set up social media accounts with their name and brand on it then everything else will fall into place. Followers will flock to their profiles, ratings will be great, feedback will be awesome. The problem is all that works…in an ideal world…and we are far from in an ideal world.

Here are five things you can do for both companies who are established on the scene and for companies looking to break through which can help you up your social media game.

1. Target Your Content

On your own Twitter profile you have the freedom to share whatever you like from any source you like, it is supreme flexibility to share anything you find interesting. However, for a brand there is no room for such flexibility and it is important to keep to targeted content. Think basic marketing, who is your target audience? Share relevant content to your brand that will catch the attention of that target audience. However while you need to target content that does not mean you need to keep everything boring predictable and linear.

For example, an airline company could share a story like this every once in a while –

The article is relevant to flight in general which is the market they are in but at the same time it is unexpected, it is out of the ordinary scope of their industry and as a result is catches peoples attention in their timeline instead of the usual tweets about service and industry news. Catch the attention of people with something out of the ordinary but still relevant in some way to your market.

2. Stop Worrying About The Follower Count

People view follower accounts as some kind of supreme social media status, don’t get me wrong, having loads of followers would be great because it means you have much further reach than others may have in terms of an audience. However businesses, particularly at the start, can get hung up on the amount of followers they have. This may be a hard concept to grasp however trust me, the followers will come. If you share great content, content that is engaging and is targeted to a certain market then you will get followers coming to your account.

I post a lot of social media news and social media related content so typically my followers for the most part at the moment are from social media backgrounds or the SME scene. Followers come and go every day, some people follow you and then find that your content is just not for them and there is no problem with that. You will build a steady stream of connections over time but keep an eye on your follower to follower ratio. Are you following way more people who are following you in return? This has to be reversed, you don’t want your profile to look like you are following 2,000 people but there are only 200 following you in return. It does not look good, reversing that ratio will encourage more followers to come.

3. Original Content To Shared Content Ratio

Speaking of ratios, think of the amount of original content you are sharing in relation to shared content from other sources. Sharing other users content is great and is part of the key to success however try to ensure that you are sharing your own content slightly more than that of others. If you share more content from other sources then your own content can become buried in your feed and that is not what you want. You need your content to stand out on your profile so make sure you are sharing it. Personally I am a fan of 55% content being my own and 45% being that of others.

Find out what works for you but keep in mind that sharing 95% of your own content and 5% other content does not look all that great either. Tweet you thoughts and opinions on articles you post about to build an online reputation of leadership in the field you are in. This can take time so don’t expect a miracle overnight.

4. Don’t Be A One Man Band

Do you engage with others or start up conversations with others? This can be crucial, particularly for SME’s as you need to become an intriguing contact, someone that people want to engage with. This will also increase your reach and improve your follower count which improves the audience you are engaging with. Going through the motions and posting all about what you are doing while engaging with nobody will get you nowhere.

5. #Stop #Hashtagging #Everything

An early mistake of mine, avoid the temptation of hash tagging everything you can in the thought that it will be seen by more people. That is not how it works, hashtags are simply clickable links now that take you to a search on that topic so while they are handy they do not necessarily improve your scope as much as you think. Twitter’s search is more sophisticated now that when you search a term it will bring in results regardless of whether they are hashtagged or not. Too many hashtags can also be confusing to read, they can clutter posts and make them hard to decipher. Less is more!

There you have it, five things you can do which will up your Twitter game if you are an SME or even a larger company. Give it a go, you may be surprised at the results you get.

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]

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