Social media marketing is incredibly popular but how do you ensure it actually works for your firm?

Time is a finite resource. Social media can be a hugely time-consuming undertaking and if it isn’t employed effectively it can be a waste of time.

In order to determine whether your firm should invest time, effort and budget into social media marketing, you need to take a step back and look at your target customers and their typical buying habits.

Do your customers use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? If not, then why would you focus on marketing your business on these platforms?

Do your research and make a list of the ways your customers engage with firms such as yours – do they engage online, on the phone or in person? Is there an opportunity to engage with them in a more effective way using social media? Could you and your business create a new and innovative marketing strategy by connecting with customers in different markets?

Social media can be an effective marketing tool for businesses but only if you do it right. Start by thinking about the purpose of your social media strategy. Why should your business be on social media, who else in your industry sector uses it effectively and how could you create brand awareness or win new potential customers from social media platforms?

Businesses can use social media to connect with customers online. However, the key to a successful social media strategy is to engage with people, not sell to them. Create value for your potential customers by providing useful content, illustrating how your products or services are useful to your customers and by avoiding the “hard sell.”

Focus on helping your customers to buy, rather than selling to them. Share case studies, information on key market trends and top tips that are relevant to your target market.

Whether social media marketing works for your business will largely be determined by your target customer base. However, it isn’t the only solution out there and you could potentially differentiate your firm by finding other ways to engage with potential customers in a more meaningful or personal way.