With the popularity of social media drastically on the rise, it appears that, within recent years, various social platforms have begun to establish themselves as a viable method of online marketing, helping numerous businesses to reach a wider number of potential customers. However, social media marketing, much like other popular methods of online marketing, is not as straight forward as it may initially appear; a strong and effective strategy will likely consist of a little more than creating a Facebook page and publishing a status every so often. So, how do businesses market to their target audience successfully through social media, and how can social platforms be used to drive an increase in traffic and conversions to your company website? Below, we have compiled a list of the steps that you should take when considering the setup of a social marketing strategy for your business, helping you to decide whether the development of a social presence is the right step you and your company’s goals.

Much like any other method of marketing, a social media campaign should be approached from a strategic perspective and there are many varying factors that should be taken into consideration when your social marketing plan is in development…

Will Social Media help you to reach your audience?

When considering a social media marketing strategy to increase the return on investment seen by your business, you must first ask whether an active social campaign will actually help you to reach a wider margin of your target audience. Are the majority of your potential customers likely to be active on social media and, even if they are, will they be looking for your products and services on these types of platforms? To know this, you must first know your target market. Both the age and location of your potential customers can play a huge role in whether they are likely to be regular social media users, helping to determine how effective a social campaign would be for your company. If your plan was to publish promotional content to Facebook to market your products or services to potential customers within China, this would likely not be effective; the social media platform is banned within this particular location.

What Social Media Platforms are best suited to your Business?

Not all social platforms will cater to the same audience, so it’s important to determine the sites that are best suited to both your brand and your target audience, ensuring you’re reaching the users most likely to become active and converting customers in the future. For example, companies that operate business to business, such as digital marketing agencies or commercial interior designers, should opt for the use of a social platform that takes on more of a professional approach, such as LinkedIn. This could prove a great choice for predominantly business-facing companies as they are more likely to reach individuals interested in their brand and the products or services that they have to offer as opposed to if they tried to gain a following on a less professionally focused platform such as Instagram. While a more visually focused social site like Instagram or Pinterest may not be particularly suited to businesses that aren’t particular consumer-facing, tending to instead market their services toward other companies, these platform types could offer the perfect stage to e-commerce companies; especially with the recent introduction of shoppable images across Instagram, which implement links to the photographs that you upload, taking potential customers straight to the products you have on offer. This approach could be particularly successful for clothing or furniture brands, as posting high-quality images of your products may encourage users to visit your website; especially if doing so is as simple as clicking a link!

While there are many factors that go into determining whether marketing upon social media would be the right step forward for your business, it is crucial to first find whether your audience can be reached this way and how active they are likely to be across the social platforms. Once deciding whether social media marketing will be beneficial for your company, and the best sites to utilise to reach your potential customers, an effective strategy must be created to ensure your business is active regularly, ideally posting at least once per day, and that the content you provide will work to engage your following and encourage them to become converting customers in the future.

To learn more about social media marketing and how our digital marketing agency can help you to create an engaging and effective strategy and increase your return on investment, visit our dedicated social media advertising page.