Social Media Marketing – How to Create the Ideal Social Marketing Strategy
Why should I include social media in my online marketing strategy? It’s a common question we get from our Toronto clients daily. Sure, most businesses understand that they should be somewhat active on social media, but is it worth the time and money to stay prominent on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and all the other social media platforms. Time and time again, we’re asked by business owners such as yourself, how can I measure my return on investment (ROI) on social media.
We understand, regardless of the size of your marketing budget, you need to know that your spending money in a way that’s going to increase customers and sales. Budgets are tight and you need to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your marketing buck.
Here’s the truth, it’s not always easy to see an exact ROI generated by social media marketing. People who interact with your brand on social media will most likely not purchase your products or sign up for your services directly from Facebook or any other social platform. Does that mean you should ignore social media, we would argue no. Here’s the thing, ROI is probably not the best metric to look at when you’re analyzing the benefits of social media marketing. The goal of social media should be to keep your audience engaged and allow your brand to stay top of mind with your customers.
Social media marketing is generally about building an online brand and keeping your audience engaged. Posting interesting content on social media allows your business the ability to instantly connect with your customers, it’s really about maintaining long-term relationships with existing customers and to pave a path to new ones. More and more people are viewing their social media on their mobile device, this gives your brand the ability to instantly connect with people from anywhere in the world. There is no other marketing platform out there that provides this high-level of connectivity and personal communication.
We know that today’s shopper is not afraid to look around before they offer their credit card number. People are literally going to local stores, looking at items on the shelf and price shopping on big sites such as Amazon from their phone. We also know that modern shoppers are turning to social media as part of their shopping process. Actively engaging with your customer base via social media gives you a high-level of authority, allowing you the ability to compete with both competitors a few streets away and even against website giants such as Amazon. Authority has a lot of value online and a good social media marketing strategy will make you stand out.
Transparency is another important element when people are shopping around, especially for younger customers. Social media provides your Toronto business with a very affordable way to build an online brand and share your company values to a wide range of people. It can be a great way to put a face to your business. Spend the time and educate people about your brand and create a strong sense of loyalty. The general rule of thumb is simple. Only post content that you would want to actually read yourself, otherwise, don’t bother posting it.
Let’s face it, a lot of marketing involves you just talking to customers (sometimes yelling), but social media provides an opportunity for a back-and-forth conversation to take place. Good content will encourage discussion on social media, this is an excellent opportunity for your brand to learn from your customers and to have an excellent public platform to share ideas. Likes and followers are great, but the key to having a successful social media marketing strategy is discourse and engagement. We live in a world where online reviews carry a lot of weight and Facebook can be an amazing platform for your customers to share the positive experiences they have had with your company.
Social media also provides some really exciting advertising opportunities. The cost to advertise on social media is very affordable when compared to traditional media and even Google AdWords. Tools such as Facebook collect a lot of information about their users and they share this data with their advertisers. You can tailor your ads to a very specific group of people, you can filter your audience using a wide range of filters including age, gender, location, interests and countless other metrics. This can open the door to some really exciting and profitable marketing opportunities. Remarketing ads are another exciting marketing tool offered by social media. You can have your advertisements follow your audience through various stages of their buying process. Again, social media marketing can be very affordable when it’s set up correctly.
Social media marketing isn’t about posting for the sake of posting. It’s about understanding your audience and building a relationship with them. This can make measuring ROI difficult, but a strong social media marketing campaign is bigger than just converting people, it’s about building your brand for the long haul by adding a new dimension to your marketing plan. The real value of social media is providing valuable and engaging information on a platform that people are using as part of their day-to-day life. Good social media will eventually lead to more business, it just might not be instant.
Looking for help with your social media marketing? At Insiteful Solutions, we’ve been offering social marketing consultation services to Toronto and area clients since 2002. We look talking about social media and our team is here to take your online brand to the next level. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business.