• Patrick O'Gorman

Navigating the Digital Marketing Wilderness

Now more than ever, the business landscape worldwide is completely unrecognizable with consumer purchasing patterns continuing to undergo irreversible changes.

Retail stores that relied on customer visitations have seen their turnover obliterated by indefinite closure.

In a bid to adapt to severely difficult circumstances, countless businesses moved online by acquiring various grants to develop and promote an e-commerce website. Others significantly increased their social media activity to promote their click & collect, takeaway services etc.

The adaptation to these sudden changes has shown the great resilience and determination of business owners nationwide to ensure their survival within the torrential economic conditions. Becoming familiar with the ever changing complexities and trends of the online world also paints a daunting picture.

With these precarious economic conditions remaining an ever looming threat in the short to medium term, there has never been a better time to begin planning for the future in terms of a robust digital marketing strategy.

Whilst structuring your social media plans, it is highly worthwhile implementing the following guidelines.

1. Set measurable objectives

Managing a social media presence is only worthwhile if it is generating measurable returns in terms of increased sales potential, website traffic or brand awareness. If your objective is to improve either of the above areas, set a specific goal and structure your content to attain the objective.

2. Choose the correct platforms

With an increasing number of social media platforms, it can be difficult to decide which platforms to communicate your brand. Having a strong knowledge of your customer base and target audience is crucial in choosing the correct platforms. Having too many profiles to manage across sites can often result in social media management becoming a nuisance. Best practice is to choose a platform that matches your target audience and product/service offering.

3. Let your visuals do the talking

The phrase "a picture paints a thousand words" applies significantly in the social media world. Allowing your images to communicate your message rather than lengthy captions/descriptions can have a much powerful impact by increasing audience engagement. Many people scroll through their social media news feeds rapidly and unless something grabs their attention instantly, they could scroll past without hesitation. It is highly important to have a product image or a call to action as the focal point to grab a viewers attention. Be sure to avail of the graphic design apps available to download to help enhance your visuals .

4. Plan & schedule accordingly

Developing a robust social media plan for particular events or seasons can have very positive implications for sales growth. It is recommended to prepare your marketing content months in advance of any significant events throughout the year. This allows the flexibility to improve or re-structure a campaign prior to its launch. If your work schedule is busy, consider allocating an hour or two per week to create and schedule your posts using a social media scheduling app to post a number of updates on a weekly/monthly basis.

5. Quality over Quantity

Creating and posting a limited number of visually appealing images/videos can have a much powerful impact than several posts of poorer quality. Regular and consistent posting patterns are also recommended rather than posting intermittently. Be careful not too overwhelm your followers with a bombardment of posts aswell. The quality over quantity concept also applies to your follower base. Having thousands of followers compared to hundreds doesn't necessarily correlate with increased custom or brand awareness, as many of these followers could be false business leads or worse still, bots.

6. Humanize your brand

Make sure to strike a balance between promoting your products/services and providing value to your followers. Follower engagement will reduce significantly unless they are stimulated by more personal content such as competition giveaways or sharing valuable advice within your respective industry. Give your target audience a valid reason to engage with you and watch your business harness the powerful benefits of social media marketing.

For social media management, advertising or consultancy services for your business, please feel free to contact us today and we will be glad to help.

Patrick O'Gorman - Owner of Market Cloud

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