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Nurturing Your Social Media Presence: Tips for Authentic Engagement

Social media is the darndest thing. You have to keep it real and wade through the cynicism of your audience in order to get a message across ... and hopefully do so in a personal and meaningful way.

For advanced students of online marketing, there is always the option to engage in social media several times each day. And for businesses, while this definitely helps establish a clear voice and presence, it also represents quite a few opportunities to get it all wrong.

In order to avoid trouble, first make sure you know who your social media followers are. You don't have to know them all personally, but you should have a general idea of what the average follower is like.

Remember, if you're engaging on behalf of a business, you're trying to accomplish something. While it's good to be active and have a lot to say, you don't want to run on at the mouth for no reason because that will have the opposite of your desired effect.

Critically, don't let your presence exist in a vacuum. Pay attention to what is happening throughout the feeds of your followers and within your overall community. If you have something interesting to contribute to others, then that goes a long way in developing follower trust.

To be certain, if you have to be clever to command attention from your friends as an individual, it goes double or triple for business profiles. So sharpen your wit, get creative, share quality photos, and don't be afraid to take a few chances on style and vocabulary.

Social media is best served with sincere fun and glimpses into how your world really works.