Determining A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing plays one of the most important roles in small business marketing today. Indeed, one poll suggested that 90% of all small business owners felt that social media helped their business in some shape or form.[1] It has revolutionized the way small businesses build brand recognition and engage with their target audience. At a base level, local businesses seem more inviting to consumers if they have an adequate social media presence. In fact, nearly 70% of consumers in one survey suggested that they would be more likely to visit a local business if that business had solid information on their social media profiles.[2] Clearly, social media is important, but it’s not guaranteed to work. Your small business needs to develop a social media marketing strategy that works well for you. But, how can you go about doing that?

Social media plays one of the most important roles in small business marketing today.

Know Your Audience and Their Platforms

According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 74% of all adults are on social media platforms of some kind. In most cases, adults are going to be your target demographic no matter what products or services you offer. Based on the fact that nearly three-quarters of all adults have social media profiles, you may think that you can just toss content on any social media platform. The truth is that not all social media platforms are created equal. The same Pew Research Center study indicated that 71% of online adults use Facebook. Fewer than 30% of online adults use Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn each.[3] Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid every platform except Facebook, but it does indicate where your target audience may be congregating. Pinterest is a great example of how to pinpoint your target audience. It is the third-largest social media platform, but its user base is 80% women.[4] If you’re looking to market to women, then a campaign on Pinterest could be extremely valuable. Women, in general, are an extremely potent part of the social media fabric. A full 91% of mothers use social media on a regular basis.[5] That comes with a lot of attendant purchasing power.

Ecommerce Facilitation on Social Media

While it’s always important to know your audience, it’s also vital to understand the platforms you’re using. Which platforms are best for ecommerce? Is there really a difference between one platform and the next? The short answer is yes.

As you might expect, Facebook again sits at the top of the list when it comes to driving ecommerce traffic. One study indicated that 85% of all ecommerce orders that originate from social media platforms come from Facebook.[6] In 2013, sales from Facebook grew a whopping 129%.[7]

Again, these statistics should not be the only ones you look at. Interestingly, image-based sites topped the list for average order value. Polyvore and Instagram each had average order values of above $65 while Pinterest hovered just below $60. The conversion rate statistics were topped by Facebook (1.85%), but both Vimeo and YouTube came in second with conversion rates of 1.16% each.[8]

The question here is “How do you use social media marketing?” Do you offer products whose sales could be enhanced using a series of pictures? If yes, you may want to focus more closely on Instagram, Pinterest, or Polyvore. It’s also true that certain industries thrive on different platforms. Indeed, 31% of all social media-driven electronics sales originate from Reddit while Twitter leads the way in home and garden, furnishings, gifts, and specialty items.[9]

Social media marketing is a science that you have to manipulate in your favor. While it’s often a good idea to cast a wide net, it may be more beneficial to narrow down your strategy to the audience and platforms that are most likely to provide sales conversions.

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