Are you using social media for marketing?

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The 2013 holiday season broke sales records by generating over 1.2 billion dollars in revenue for online merchants, but surprisingly, only a sliver of those sales were a result of social media promotion. According to sources who took the time to analyze the traffic that drove online sales to 800 different retailers, less than 5 percent of sales actually came about because of social media promotion. Now companies are asking themselves: what did they do wrong?

First, take a look at the social media sources you’re using for your online marketing. Ideally you should be using regularly updated channels, including Facebook and Twitter, but you can certainly branch out to Google Plus, Pinterest, and YouTube, if you have products that are relevant to these channels, and the marketing and tech skills necessary to market them effectively. Request a quote from an ecommerce company if this is something you want to do, but are unable to do yourself. This type of company can help you market effectively across all of your social media channels.

Second, make sure you’re using these social media channels effectively. You should be branding yourself consistently – use the same formatting for your company name and slogan, and make sure that, if possible, you’re using the same images and colors. If you can tweak fonts, do that, too – consumers notice these little details, and will be more likely to put their faith — and money — into a company who takes the time to brand themselves from head to toe.

Third, make sure you’re driving awareness of both your products and your services from your social media channels. Engage your followers: ask questions, post trivia, share silly graphics and memes that encourage interaction. The more you interact with your customers, the more likely it is they’ll remember you when it comes time to make a purchase.

And fourth, make sure that promoting your social media channels and gaining new followers are both goals that you’re working on regularly. Social media presence is almost as strong of an influence as a general online presence via a website, so make sure you’re prioritizing correctly.

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