1. Picking platforms.

Social media marketing consists of advertising to consumers who are interested in your products using online platforms. This concept seems simple enough, but social media is rapidly evolving – Facebook and Twitter remain relevant, but audiences are steadily shifting their attention to the increasingly relevant platforms of Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine, with newcomers emerging every day.

With so many platforms to choose from, picking the ones that garner the most attention from your target customers can feel like a guessing game. Pick the wrong platform, and no matter how much time you spend creating an eye-catching advertisement, your message can go entirely unnoticed. Try to capitalize on all of these platforms at once, and you can end up stretched thin, creating ineffectual advertisements that fall short when it comes to attracting customers. Either way, marketing on social media can end up being a massive waste of your time that yields unsatisfactory results.

Social media platforms are not all equally effective, especially if you’re trying to market predominantly to specific demographics determined by age, education level, income, or location. One of the most important factors that you might use to streamline your social media usage is age — attempting to market a product for established businesses on a platform like Snapchat, which is primarily made up of 18-24 year old users, will not yield favorable results.

Social Media Age Demographics

If you are interested in learning more about social demographics and how they can best be used to your benefit, check out this article.

  1. Image & video.

The wide range of social media platforms, as well as the predominant use of mobile phones to consume media, creates a consumer atmosphere where attention shifts in a matter of seconds. In order for your advertisement to get noticed in a stream of content moving this quickly, it must be able to immediately catch your audience’s attention. This has resulted in social media that is predominantly image-based.

Pictures and short videos get your message across even faster than a blog post or a tweet. This strategy is so effective that tweets with images were shown to receive 150% more retweets than those with text alone!

  1. Mastering Mobile.

The use of mobile phones for social media consumption has skyrocketed with the development and widespread use of smartphones. Because of this, ensuring that your material is compatible on all devices is of the utmost importance. But if your advertisement or website won’t load properly on a customer’s phone or tablet, within a few seconds they will have moved on to the next tweet or Instagram photo in their feed.

  1. Purchasing at the Push of a Button.

More and more, companies are prioritizing the convenience factor, and the reasons for this are clear if you look at the ways social media has influenced consumer behavior in recent years. Consumers not only research products online, browsing reviews and webpages to find the most suitable product before making a purchase, but tend to purchase products online as well. In fact, strategic social media marketing increases both online purchases and in-store purchases, and 40% of users purchase the products of companies they have liked or followed on social media, according to this article from Forbes.

Making sure that it is as easy as possible for consumers to transition from seeing your advertisement to buying your product can have an enormous payoff for your company. Platforms like Facebook are now enabling customers to purchase directly from advertisements with the use of a “Buy” button.

  1. Realize the Importance of Interaction

There are two ways that interaction can be immensely profitable for your company: interacting with social media influencers, and interacting directly with customers.

Influencers have a certain amount of followers on various social media platforms, which in turn gives them varying degrees of influence among the online consumer community. You can begin to establish relationships with these influencers by consistently liking and commenting on their posts, mentioning their company or products in your own posts, or sending personal emails. Relationships built over time with influential companies can increase the likelihood that they will in turn start sharing your information with their base of consumers.

Interacting with consumers of your product directly is vital to maintaining your relationship with your consumer base. It’s important that people know how much you value their business, and you can show this by responding to tweets and posts about your company or product. When a consumer posts a question, comment, or complaint on social media, responding amiably to it in a timely manner proves to customers that you do genuinely care about their satisfaction, which will increase customer loyalty.

Maintaining a consistent and positive presence on social media, and creating advertisements that are accessible and eye-catching on the most effective platforms, are vital for the success of a business in today’s consumer environment.