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Business Beat: Social Media is a Powerful Tool to Reach Prospects, Customers

Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. It can also be a painful and time-consuming monster you don’t have the capacity to understand it, let alone master it. In order to understand social media, we must understand digital marketing first. So, what is digital marketing? In a nutshell, it can be defined as a method to create awareness and promote a brand or product by using all available digital channels.

There are two major components of digital marketing:

Internet Marketing – Website, SEM (search engine marketing – includes SEO and pay-per-click advertising), smartphones, mobile markets (i.e. Google Play, Apple Store), email marketing, online banner advertising and social media.

Non-Internet digital channels – Television, Radio, SMS, digital billboards (indoor and outdoor).

The difference between digital marketing and social media is that social media is just one of the available channels of digital marketing. Many people believe that by engaging on social media they are doing digital marketing but this is not 100-percent true, as there are many more components that make up a digital marketing campaign.

Ready to get started with marketing on social media? And if you’ve already begun, how can you maximize your time and energy you put into your social media marketing?

Here are five social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns.

1. Social Media Content Planning – Building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and competitive research to help brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience. What are other businesses in your industry doing to drive engagement on social media?

2. Great Social Content – Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.

3. A Consistent Brand Image – Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’s core identity, whether it’s friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.

4. Sharing Curated Links – While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.

5. Measuring Success with Analytics – You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.

Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, create devoted brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.

If you need guidance or want more information with your digital marketing goals, contact me at Community Futures Entre-Corp.

APEX, the Regional Innovation Network (RIN) collaborates to put their collective resources together to support and improve the development of innovation and technology among small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in our region.

For more information about this event, or how our programs can help your business, please call me at 403-528-2824.

Katie Taylor is the Marketing Advisor for APEX Alberta. APEX Alberta supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta. APEX Alberta is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates.

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