Could your social media 2017 strategy use a kickstart? Sure, you’ve got the basics like a LinkedIn company page covered, but you haven’t seen a big bump in lead generation yet. Maybe Facebook’s algorithm change last summer has left your business struggling to connect with customers. As we look towards 2017, resolve to make this the year you really take your social media strategy to the next level. Here’s are four ways to get started:

If you’re already optimizing your LinkedIn company page…

Get serious about LinkedIn employee advocacy.

When it comes to LinkedIn, who shares content is just as important as what content is shared. Let’s face it: we’re all more likely to read an article from a business contact than a faceless company. That’s because we’re three times more likely to trust information that comes from an employee rather than an official communication channel like a company page. Plus, employees average approximately 10 times as many connections on LinkedIn as companies.

The takeaway: don’t rely on your official business page. Smart thought leadership and employee advocacy is key to driving brand awareness and ultimately leading to more business. Get the whole team involved in LinkedIn employee.

If you’re frustrated with a lack of reach on Facebook…

Start using Instagram for business.

Facebook’s organic reach has plummeted for businesses in part due to sheer overcrowding (too many posts, not enough space in users’ feeds) as well as the social media giant’s decision to prioritize posts from friends over brands and publishers. The result: brands need to either pay for prioritized distribution or accept a dramatic decline in Facebook engagement. But all is not lost for brands– Instagram offers an effective alternative for engagement.

Think Instagram is just for B2C lifestyle brands like clothing companies? Think again and take a closer look at B2B brands like GE, MailChimp, and FedEx that dominate the social media channel. Instagram has more monthly users than Twitter, offers 4% engagement rates for followers compared to Facebook’s anemic 0.1% engagement rate, and encourages up to 70% of users to look up particular brands on the platform.

Like Facebook, Instagram offers user-friendly tools for businesses including a business profile, the ability to look up data on how people are viewing and interacting with your images, and the ability to promote posts to a targeted audience. Learn more about why Instagram is a must for businesses in 2017.

If you’re ready to supercharge brand exposure on social media…

Reach out to social media influencers.

Social media influencers now rival friends when it comes to product recommendations. Nearly half of all consumers check with social media for purchasing guidance, according to HootSuite. Exposure to brand marketing and influencer tweets has a compounding impact on purchasing intent. Brand tweets alone increase purchasing intent by 2.7x. Add in exposure to influencer tweets, and purchasing intent increases by 5.2x.

Ready to reach out to influencers? First, take a moment to consider which time of influencer is best aligned with your brand’s needs. Social media strategist Jay Baer identified eight different types of social media influencers, like the “megaphone influencer” who is best equipped to spread the word about your business to their large audience and the “defender influencer” who supports your brand in times of crisis.

For influencer partnerships to be successful, this partnership all boils down to an alignment of needs and capabilities.

If you want to know what your customers are saying about your business on social media…

Prioritize social listening.

Don’t assume you know what folks are saying about your business since you track brand mentions. The majority of customers talking about brands on social media do not actively tag brands on social media or use company hashtags. There’s more to social media listening than tracking brand mentions and replying when prompted.

Social media is a conversation. Before you jump in to promote your business, take the time to really listen and to know what your customers are saying. You may be surprised to learn something new about what they love (or dislike) about your business. Look and listen before you converse.

Learn how to make your social media 2017 strategy all about the customer.

Social Media Copywriting Formulas (2 versions) use this link: