Last week we held our advanced social media webinar, From Just Using Social Media to Getting Real Results.

Attendees at the webinar had a lot of great questions on how to get the most out of their social media efforts.

We thought that attendees and non-attendees of the webinar could find our answers useful.

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

How do I reach beyond the people who already follow us on social media? How do I get the right kind of followers?

Start with your current followers. When you share content that’s interested to them, they will be more likely to engage with you. When people interact with your content — whether that’s through likes, shares, comments, retweets, repins, or +1s — their network can see it. Any action they take helps to endorse your business and helps you to reach new customers.

Don’t forget to promote all of your networks anywhere you’re communicating with your audience online. Link to them from your website and in your regular email communications, and list them in the about sections of your business’ social profiles. It’s ok every once in a while to cross-promote — for example, sharing a link to your Pinterest boards on Facebook reminds your fans that there are other social channels they can follow to find more information about your business.

Find more tips on growing your audience in our post, How to Use Social Media to Build an Audience for Your Business.

I don’t have time to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. How do I manage all of these networks?

You don’t have to be on every social network! It’s better to focus on the channels where you’re getting the most engagement from your audience.

Not sure what networks your audience is using? Ask them.

You can create a survey, include it in your regular newsletter, post it on your website, and share it through whatever social media networks you’re already using.

It’s also a good idea to do some industry research. What are businesses or nonprofits like yours already using? What do experts in your field recommend? Audience feedback and industry trends can help guide you in the right direction.

Once you’ve decided what social media networks to use, make it easy on yourself by creating a social media posting schedule filled with content that’s appropriate for each one, and using tools and features to schedule your social posts.

Reach on Facebook has decreased recently for brand pages. Is Facebook trying to encourage people to pay to boost posts and purchase ads?

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm looks at its users’ behavior to determine what content to show them, based on their previous interactions. In recent months, changes to the algorithm have resulted in a decrease in organic reach for brands on Facebook, and has made it increasingly difficult to have your content show up.

As a business or nonprofit on Facebook, this means that you need to focus on providing interesting, useful, and relevant content for your fans to engage with. You can also get directly in front of a targeted audience by promoting your posts or purchasing Facebook ads.

As fans interact with your content, the News Feed Algorithm recognizes that they want to see more of your posts and will make your content visible in their News Feeds.

How do you create this content and form a strategy to help you be more visible on Facebook? Check out our recent post, 15 Resources to Improve Your Organic Reach on Facebook.

Is Twitter really useful for all businesses? I’m not sure if a business in my industry can market itself with Twitter.

Any business can find success with Twitter as long as they consider two points: business goals and audience interests.

For business goals, if you want to create one-to-one relationships with people, drive them to your other properties (like your website, other social channels, and your blog), and provide customer service —Twitter is a tool that can help.

The second point is your audience. Is your audience using Twitter? Ask them. Survey them to see what social media networks they spend time on. If they’re not on Twitter, they won’t see the content you’re sharing there.

Our business is not a retail business, so what kind of content should we be sharing on Pinterest?

Pinterest is not only about finding and pinning products. There’s a lot of content on Pinterest that’s about tips, how-to instructions, and lifestyle information around various topics.

The key to sharing great Pinterest content is to tap into your audience’s interests. If you’ve been doing any marketing at all, you’ve gotten a sense of what information your audience is interested in. Share those same things on Pinterest — blog posts, infographics, inspirational quotes, facts and stats, and humor. If that content doesn’t already have a great image to pin, make one yourself by using tools like Canva or PicMonkey.

There are more suggestions for Pinterest content in our blog post How to Decide What to Pin on Pinterest.

Did you miss our advanced social media webinar?

You can purchase the recording and slides for From Just Using Social Media to Getting Real Results. For more social media best practices, check out our events listings for live webinars and in-person seminars on social media marketing.

Have other social media questions? Post them in the comments below.