Social media users have increased by 176 million in the last year. That means if you get your campaigns right, you could potentially reach a total of 2.078 billion active users.

Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic through social media sites. In this instance, marketing efforts translate into creating content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share this across their social networks. Word of mouth marketing is very profitable as it spreads from user to user and because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, it inevitably looks credible.

It is essential to know how to correctly engage with your audience so that you are able to maximize your online presence. Without any previous experience, this could be challenging, although not impossible. The following tips discuss ways to use social media effectively in order to deliver relevant and useful knowledge which will get people sharing, liking or retweeting your content to gain maximum coverage.

Do your research. Look at successful competitors and take note of the content that they are sharing and research relevant statistics. It’s also a good idea to sign up to Google Alerts, specific to your industry, as this will notify you of any news or information that you may want to share or that could be of interest to your audience.

Remember to engage with your audience. Social media isn't just a running commentary of your content, you also need to use it to engage with your following. Joining in with discussions, sharing, liking content and getting involved with hashtag hours will inevitably increase your profile coverage. Remember it’s better to add value rather than clutter your audiences’ lives as this will often result in an unfollow.

Two or three.
Instead of signing up to all available social media platforms, focus on two or three. It’s better to have quality content and a good following on two platforms, than have several platforms, no followers and little content. Remember, there will be platforms specific to your organisation so think carefully about your audience. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that serves all platforms.

Quality not quantity.
It’s more profitable to have 500 online connections who read, share and talk about your content, rather than 5,000 irrelevant connections. Often businesses may be tempted to purchase followers for a small price as it may appear more credible if they have a larger following, however social media marketing takes time. Also, remember to keep a balance between the people you are following and your followers.

Patience please.
You have to be patient with your following. You may feel your following isn't growing at the rate you want it to but it does take time. Although tempting, try not to result in purchasing followers. You will find they are often irrelevant or redundant accounts and they will start to slowly disappear.

Invest in quality content.
Invest time in researching, creating and publishing amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience. Your audience will share this with their own audience and therefore you will increase your exposure. Twitter also gives you the option to analyse your Tweet activity which is also very handy!

Remember, the sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find you in keyword searches. Those key entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.

Spend the time to find the online influencers in your market and connect with the businesses that you have worked with previously or the ones you would like to. Those who are likely to be interested in your products, services and businesses may share your content if it is authoritative and interesting - it could potentially put you and your business in front of a new audience.

Less of the sales talk.
It’s tempting to shout about what products and services your business can offer and how great they are but don’t do this a lot on social media. For example, on Twitter, 1 in 7 of your Tweets should be a sales tweet. Focus less on sales talk and more on creating quality content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful tool for word of mouth marketing.

Don’t ignore!
You wouldn't ignore someone who speaks to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Ensure that you acknowledge every person who messages or comments. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of your social media marketing success. If you aren't using certain accounts then think about deleting them or pin a post to the top of the feed to redirect traffic to the account you want users to visit.

Don't just disappear. 
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. Large businesses deliver excellent customer service throughout the day via their social media accounts and it allows them to stand out from the rest. If your account appears redundant or you haven’t updated the content in a while, followers won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for months or even weeks.

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07 December

January 2016
20th Social Media Marketing
20th & 21st Coaching for High Performance

February 2016
11th Handling Difficult People and Situations
18th & 19th Coaching and Mentoring
24th & 25th Coaching and Mentoring

March 2016
7th Communication Skills
17th Improving your Personal Impact and Interpersonal Relationships
23rd & 24th Coaching and Mentoring

April 2016
5th Creating a Lean Enviroment
6th Project Management
13th & 14th Coaching and Mentoring
18th APMP Project Management Qualification
20th Social Media Marketing
21st Emotional Intelligence
26th Presentation Skills

May 2016
5th Influencing and Persuading
16th Estimating and Forecasting
17th Time Management

June 2016
16th HR Essentials for Managers
16th Handling Difficult People and Situations

July 2016
12th Sales and Marketing Strategy
14th Communication Skills
20th Social Media Marketing

Follow @RHThinking for regular course updates!

From time to time, we all have to manage a difficult employee, colleague or client. Sometimes it’s a personality clash, other times it’s a more complex issue. Often, a problem is easy to solve as long as you don’t shy away from it and when issues arise, face them head on.

Prepare for emotion.

In the work place, often emotion isn’t considered, however emotion is only natural. Many people find it difficult to approach general emotions such as crying and anger so ensure you have a strategy in place for each. It may be also worth considering developing your emotional intelligence too. Expecting emotions is often better than dealing with them when they have taken you by surprise.

It’s not you, it’s the situation.

Difficult situations at work are rarely about you personally and instead, they are about the situation. Remember, people deal with situations very differently. What may cause angst and stress with one person, may not affect the other. Don’t take things personally, there is always a practical solution.

Listen – it’s important

It’s important to understand what the other person is saying. Exercise an active listening approach. By acknowledging their concerns, you are able to see their perspective. Take a conservative approach and try not to let opinions and false information get in the way. Remember, you are looking for a resolution and to banish negativity. Be calm and assertive at all times and if you are unsure, speak to someone trusted for advice.

Leave your door open.

We can all say things by mistake or in the heat of the moment, therefore ensure that if a colleague does change their mind they can do this with their dignity intact. Showing people up in front of others isn’t good practice and this will only lead to long-term negativity. Giving people the opportunity to calm down, apologise or explain is good, yet don’t let this be a regular occurrence. Remember to be vigilant as you may get taken for granted.

Think about others.

If you feel that your own manager is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with, try to understand what stresses they may have. Managing your own time effectively will show your manager that you are capable and they don’t have to watch over you, therefore reliving stress. You can also take an interest in what is going on within work and whether they require any additional help.

Break time.

When a situation becomes heated, it is important to take a break. A break allows you to regain control before things become too heated or emotional. Suggest getting a coffee, taking a walk and return to discussing the situation in a calmer manner.

Responsibility of a manager.

You need to ensure that you have handled things in a positive, calm and rational manner. Remember, a manager is judged not only on their own performance, but also on how they interact and get the best out others.

Follow @RHThinking for more helpful tips!