As digital marketers, we believe that the key to a successful online presence is a well-planned social media strategy. It is important to recognize that your company is unique. There is no cookie-cutter solution that works for all. A carefully considered understanding of who your clients are, and what your goals are in reaching out to them, will make all the difference in determining three key decisions in any social media campaign.

1. Which sites will my customers find me on?

By employing buyer personas, you'll have a clearer idea of which social media outlets will bring you a greater return on your efforts. After all, part of the purpose of establishing a buyer persona is to see how they socialize. So you will know how they use social media. Are you trying to reach a more business oriented, professional client? LinkedIn is likely to serve you better than, say, Facebook. Are they more outgoing and interactive? Google+ attracts more followers like that.

2. What type of postings, or content, are they most likely to respond to?

Facebook is excellent for sharing a variety of visual content, including links, photos, and vid

Social Networking

eos. Don't forget that Like button! Infographics propel engagement on Pinterest, getting more shares, and therefore more attention back to you. Links to all sorts of written content, as well as trending subjects, is what Twitter is all about. Don't forget to RT and draw attention to your followers, which will be reciprocated. Like-minded group interaction, particularly related to business related interests, is the heart and soul of LinkedIn. Engage in discussions within your groups. Google+ will augment your SEO through multiple postings, links, and comments. Add to your circles, and don't forget to +1 anything that you like.

3. Will direct advertising on these sites optimize my ROI?

Content marketing is still the predominant method for getting the word out about your business on the internet, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Nevertheless, direct advertising on social media sites has gained momentum. Facebook and YouTube lead the way in social sites which create revenue through advertising. This often results in ads similar to those of traditional advertising, or outbound marketing. Still, if social media marketing is intended to make your targeted customers come to you, you have to be assured that these ads are being seen by your clients as a way to bring about brand awareness, and not an intrusion on their social time. You would be right to be skeptical.

Not every social network is for every business, so take the time to determine where you will get the best results. Put your marketing energies into a strategy that wisely uses social media as your customers use it.

Gary Locke
By Gary Locke

A semi-professional hyphenate and the Content Editor for CommonPlaces. He has enjoyed a long career in theater and multimedia, and still hopes to one day drive the Batmobile.

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