Social media has continued to grow as a vital part of online marketing plans and as a valuable lead generation tool for businesses worldwide. Developing and maintaining a social media plan for your business not only helps capture new prospects but also nurtures current clients or customers, builds brand awareness, and helps educate internet users on your business’s value.

Develop a strategic social media schedule

Where companies choose to post their social media content is important, but considering what time of day they actually post makes a notable difference in the number of leads reached as well as their likelihood of interacting. A Track Maven study discovered the number of posts published during various windows of time and the number of interactions that the posts received during their respective time periods. The study broke the data down even further to highlight which specific times of day to post on certain days of the week. All of this data is related to posting characteristics of Facebook, but the information must be considered across other social media platforms. Analyzing data about each medium’s respective posting schedule is vital to ensuring that leads see corporate posts and that leads will more likely interact.

Build trust with prominent employees

Building trust in a company is one of the most vital aspects of a business model. Without trust, potential prospects will not believe the informative content being shared across social media platforms and will be far less likely to convert. Developing trust will also encourage prospects to share their positive experiences with their friends and family, which can further promote business from both them and their referrals. Instilling brand loyalty and trust with prospects can give companies a chance to perform highly even when economic times are tough. Companies can promote trust by implementing a social media strategy that utilizes the wisdom and expertise of executives. Buyers have an 82% higher sense of trust in companies who give their senior leadership a chance to post on corporate social media accounts. Giving executives a chance to share their voice on company social media accounts will boost lead generation efforts and build sales-inducing trust.

Encourage and get involved with conversations

Prospects are 92% more likely to trust recommendations and advice that comes from their family and friends. The conversational aspect of social media makes it the ideal outlet for companies to take advantage of this fact. Many social media outlets have options to comment, share, and more. All of these opportunities are great ways for prospects to interact with their favorite posts, tweets, and images. Encouraging conversations is a great way to get prospects to interact and share company content with their followers while boosting the amount of traffic that comes to the company’s site. Social media interactions can be taken a step further by actually getting involved with online conversations. Whether it is a question or an interesting post, if prospects notice that a company is addressing consumer needs and interacting with their followers professionally, they will be encouraged to trust the company and, therefore, be closer to conversion.

Social media practices are more important than ever to ensure that your brand speaks to its customer base and has a set of guidelines that keep your social content fit and relevant for all readers. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a start-up– developing strategic schedules, sharing informative posts, and interacting with those seeking information on your brand is key to a prosperous and ROI-driven social media campaign.