Social media today is synonymous with community. It describes a gathering of followers as close as next door to as far away as a continent, discussing the issues that mean the most to them, promoting what they believe in, and from time to time, sharing a humorous GIF with the people they think deserve it.

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Social media today is synonymous with community. It describes a gathering of followers as close as next door to as far away as a continent, discussing the issues that mean the most to them, promoting what they believe in, and from time to time, sharing a humorous GIF with the people they think deserve it.

In an increasingly digital, community-oriented world, it is important for brands to engage in social media practices. Getting started on social media as a business can be challenging, but the rewards are well worth the struggles, provided you go about them in the correct way.

Here are ten suggestions that can help to build your community of followers and promote your brand. Each of these suggestions show real-world implementation created by companies within Aventi’s client base.

1) Make it Personal (Share your Stories and Listen to Theirs)
LinkedIn may be the only social media site that is capable of providing much needed information regarding not just its employees, but also its executives. HP’s page gives visitors an opportunity to view the profiles of HP’s most successful employees, most notably Mirjana Spasojevic. Her profile delves into her educational background, a fully-composed resumé, and links to content on LinkedIn she has liked. This allows professionals to come into contact with the executive persona as well as the person behind it.

2) Communicate with Your Followers
Symantec, the biggest cyber-security firm in the world, has set up a Facebook page which is regularly updated with company news briefs, event promotions, and blog posts from experts in the field. The page acts as an interactive edition of the content displayed on their website. Page followers are able to post questions and comments below each post, which members of Symantec’s communications team are able to respond to. Symantec has established a presence on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Each platform is capable of extending the same outreach to followers as Facebook’s.

3) Keep It Simple
LinkedIn pages are especially effective social media tools to use if there is need to keep formatting as simple and as clean as possible. Qlik’s page on LinkedIn limits the use of flashy imagery and information overload; preferring instead to rely on an “About Us” section which runs at a reasonable length of one hundred words, collapsible sections designed for those who want to learn more upon initial viewing, and a news feed visible only to the third to last post.

4) Use Social Analytics for Better Audience Understanding
SAP may be a company based in Baden-Wüttemberg, Germany, but their social media page is directly in contact with the American technology industry. With the use of social analytics, SAP were able to target an audience dedicated to progressive work practices. Lately, SAP has been praised for their groundbreaking work program catered to employees who are on the autism spectrum. Through the use of social media, they are able to share news regarding the program to followers, who may then re-direct content to non-profits dedicated to autism research or to users who may be on the spectrum themselves.

5) Maintain Information Transparency
You can market your image all day every day, but if there’s no solid information to present to your social media community, then the image means nothing. LogMeIn understands this; they have used their social media platforms, including LinkedIn, to provide a comprehensive profile of their quarterly earnings. In addition, there are predictions made within that profile that provides hints as to where the company is going and what the company intends to do next. From there, professionals and investors alike can determine the best course of option for them.

6) Promote Secondary Concerns
Social media pages often stagnate, because the primary concerns of the entity behind the page don’t think of discussing other things that are a part of their identity on a secondary level. Absolute addresses this in a subtle way on social media. On LinkedIn, there is a secondary page connected to their profile which focuses on the life surrounding the company. There are photos of the corporate offices, employee portraits, but most importantly, there is a section of the page dedicated to the charitable programs employees invest either monetary donations or volunteer time into. The charities associated with Absolute run the gamut from animal rights groups to children’s hospitals.

7) Incentives
Community engagement on social media can only get your company so far. Sometimes it’s necessary to reach out with a large-scale event with plenty of opportunities to get cool stuff and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Okta is hosting a massive convention in May called Oktane18, where attendees can wake up early and enjoy free yoga lessons, listen to keynote speeches made by celebrities, and stay up late at the convention after-party. These major conferences do a significantly good job in increasing audience traffic, participation, and education.

8) Solve Problems for Your People
Fortinet has established a fearsome reputation when it comes to exposing the inner workings of cyber-crime to anyone interested enough to know. In regards to their LinkedIn account, Fortinet was keen enough to keep a video on high visibility concerning a new form of fraud within the world of crypto-currency: Crypto-jacking. In an industry when security is the foremost of concerns, information must be up to date in order to best serve not only the consumers who may be at risk, but also professionals who interact with technological systems as their livelihood. Fortinet has proved consistently that they have been able to do this.

9) Tag Fellow Members of the Community
Bamboo HR has placed their Marketplace on high visibility on their LinkedIn account as a way to promote tech startups and applications they think are useful. The Marketplace provides links to additional information surrounding any particular app featured on it, which includes product overviews, PDFs and videos, even contact information for tech support lines. Bamboo HR’s Marketplace acts as a complimentary section to the right hand column on LinkedIn, where companies are tagged as being associated with them. Unfortunately, LinkedIn can only display so many companies tagged on their page, so Bamboo HR took it a step further by providing their own platform for promoting other companies and applications.

10) Let Your Passion Show
Adobe has an Instagram feed where digital artists can host their work that had been created using Adobe’s programs. The idea is to let people know that for all the praise they receive for their programs like Adobe Acrobat – a viewer and editor for PDF files – the company is very invested in the vast amount of artistic expression realized by programs like Photoshop. By presenting to potential followers landscapes, portraits, and animations filled with striking imagery and beauty, Adobe is able to express its own passion when it comes to providing the tools that can make such works of art a possibility.