How to... increase your reach on social media

Facebook: check; Twitter: check; Google+: check. If your brand has a presence on all these social media networks and more, but you aren't seeing the benefits, it's time to raise your game.

Tweet often. You won't get many (or any) followers if you tweet less than once a week. If this sounds like you, you shouldn't be using Twitter. To build followers, tweet as often as you can; keep the content relevant and interesting.

Think outside the box (or platform). Don't rush to join every new social-media site. Pay attention to those with a good reputation and the ones popular with your target audience.

Who's tweeting who? Ignore those who tweet your brand at your peril, particularly if they're having a moan about your product or service. HMV anyone? Taking the time to tweet in a timely manner can make all the difference to your brand's reputation.

Ask, don't beg, to be liked on Facebook. Don't overdo it: requests for "likes" should be light-hearted and to the point. No one "likes" a brand that is trying too hard to be "liked".

Integration is the name of the game. Don't rely on your team to do the social networking or generate content: include all divisions of the company in your social-media plans. You might just learn something new, too.

Talk like a friend, not a brand. So said Mark Zuckerberg, and with his track record, it's hard to argue. "Humanise" your team by introducing them on your Facebook page, for example, or using team blogs.

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