There are innumerable benefits of using social media to promote a business online, such as communicating with your target audience, increasing brand exposure, and increasing inbound traffic to your website. The problem is that many business owners encounter don’t know how to use social media effectively. To create the best strategy for your business needs, you must utilize the following two steps.
Pick the Most Relevant Platforms
There are a multitude of social media platforms: Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc. Most business owners don’t have the time or the resources to utilize all of them effectively; as such, they do a subpar job trying to market on all the channels rather than concentrate their efforts on the most relevant platforms for their business.
The way to determine which social media platforms are best suited for your brand is to assess which site gives you the best access to target your ideal audience. For example, 81 percent of Pinterest users are female; while the median age is 40, most of the users are under 40. This is a great channel to contact younger women. Also, as Pinterest allows users to upload high-quality images and videos and organize them on virtual pinboards, the brands that would most benefit from using this platform would be ones that have good visual imagery, such as travel companies or fashion brands.
Companies that want to target professionals should focus on LinkedIn, a networking site for working individuals. Businesses that offer services for professionals, such as accounting and marketing groups, can join the online conversation by establishing themselves as experts in the groups and discussions on LinkedIn.
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Measure the Return on Your Investment
Social media provides plenty of opportunities for users to invest in marketing their products or services. However, measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social media is not something all business owners know how to do. In fact, one study found that 41 percent of businesses did not know whether they were getting a good ROI on their social media strategies.
How do you analyze whether your social media tactics are effective? Follow these steps:
- Track how much you invest in social media; this doesn’t just include the fees of marketing, but also the time you spend utilizing these channels.
- Pinpoint your goals; different companies will have different aims for using social media – some will want to lead users to their websites, while others will want to generate newsletter signups; obviously, the ultimate goal of any action will be to generate sales.
- Create campaigns; instead of expecting various results from your combined social media actions, create individual campaigns for each goal. This way, you can track the precise result of each campaign, measure the resources and time you put into it and how much you earned as a result.
- Track the results; every single social media platform has a system that tracks activity and provides results. You can also connect most platforms to Google Analytics, which will provide detailed information for each campaign.
- Calculate results against the amount spent (money and time) to analyze whether the campaign was successful.