Four Steps To Building A Successful Social Media Presence

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When you build a social media profile, that doesn't mean people will automatically find it and follow. Just like all good things, it takes time. And before you start putting your social strategy together, you first need to figure out what social platforms your customers are currently using. This will give you a better idea of where you should be posting and where you can attract look-alike customers. Follow these four steps to building a successful social media presence.

Step 1: Analyze the social media habits of your top 20 customers.

  • Explore where they are most active on the internet. Check places like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Check out the content they are liking, sharing and commenting on
Social media icons

Step 2: Learn more about the platforms that your customers are using.

Social Media Platform Comparison Chart

(Data source:

  Facebook LinkedIn Instagram Twitter
Main Focus Everything! Articles/Sharing information Pictures/Videos Words
Age Demographic Ages 18-64 (audience generally skews older) Ages 30-49 Ages 13-50(audience generally skews younger) Ages 18-29
Percent of U.S. Adults Using Platform 69% 27% 37% 22%
Target Audiences family, friends, businesses, other industry professionals Businesses, customers, prospects, employees, other industry professionals Customers, prospects Other industry professionals
Industry specific uses Anything goes on Facebook! Videos, articles, photos, etc. It’s OK to get more personal on Facebook … but not too personal. Pictures of YOU and those you work with get more engagement. People like to see the story of your brand, get a behind-the-scenes look. Include a call-to-action and link to your site when it makes sense. Balance out “salesy” posts and “fun” posts. Be professional. Share articles relevant to your industry. Share new and innovative product offerings. Share company news. Instagram should be very visual. Keep text on graphics to a minimum. Great place to show off product samples or products you’ve helped create (with permission of course). Twitter could be a difficult place to grow your business/brand if you are not constantly monitoring it. Twitter should be used to join in the promotional products conversation through sharing articles and talking to industry leaders through opportunities like #PromoChat.


Step 3: Create your profiles (if you don’t have them) and start populating with content.

Not sure what to post? Here are some best practices: 

  • Follow industry experts and share their posts.
  • Share posts from your top customers (congratulate them if they post accomplishments).
  • Follow hashtags and share posts from them.
  • You don’t HAVE to write a lead-in sentence when sharing, but it is encouraged.
  • Good lead-in sentences should paraphrase/summarize the post you’re sharing so people will be interested enough to read what you shared. It’s OK to say: “wow look at this!” It may not be as effective but it’s better than nothing.
  • Share product photos/flyers with a caption and call-to-action with a link to your site.
  • Pay attention to the hashtags in the posts you are sharing and add those to yours. Research which hashtags your customers use and follow - use those in your posts to gain their attention. 

Step 4: Expand your social following.

Send an email and/or direct mail campaign to encourage people to follow you on social media, and don’t be afraid to reach out yourself to make connections.

Building your social media presence is an important step in your overall approach to marketing and selling. Read more on setting yourself up for success with AIA’s Marketing 101: Setting Your Promotional Products Business Up for Success e-book, which can be downloaded from here.