"The fact is that social media does work and it’s pretty much a mandatory part of doing business these days."

It feels like lately every time I turn around there’s a new article or blog post on social media hacks.
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This prompted me to ask myself – does social media marketing even work!? The answer is YES. But, like most marketing techniques, there is a right way and wrong way to do it and there is lots of experimentation in between. Plus, it’s a constantly shifting landscape. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, something changes, a new trend develops and you have to readjust. The millennials in my life are quick to point out that I personally haven’t mastered social media yet. Apparently my own Twitter and Instagram accounts are not always on point. This is likely because digital marketing vis-à-vis social media is still relatively new! It certainly wasn’t a course that I took in university (sorry to say, but we didn’t even have the internet when I did my first degree in business at Laurentian). When I was starting out my marketing career, newspapers, radio, and television were the hot commodities and they had decades of research behind them to make that type of media buy a relatively safe bet. The fact is that social media does work and it’s pretty much a mandatory part of doing business these days. If you don’t have at least one social media platform associated with your brand, you’re just not relevant. Sad, but true. So, why is it valuable? It’s important because everyone (even your 80-year old grandmother) is participating in some form of digital marketing. After scouring hundreds of articles on the topic (and being schooled on social media from the millennials in my life), here are what I consider to be the first three basic initial steps in getting your feet wet on social media: 1. Figure out which platforms are the best fit – There’s Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn and more! Find out where your target audience is hanging out and align yourself with those platforms. 2. Figure out how to use it - You can use it to promote your product or service, tell a story, recognize your company successes or highlight a customer/client. You can even use it to give your clients a behind the scenes look at what you do. 3. Figure out when to use it – One of the biggest mistakes many people make is an inconsistent presence on social media. So, create a calendar and plan your posts and tweets and stick to whatever frequency is manageable for you on a regular basis. Forty tweets in one day does not make up for being MIA for three weeks! This probably sounds like lots of work. So, why are you doing this again!?
  • Because the internet has over 3 billion users.
  • Because 90% or more of people aged 18-29 use social media (millennials claim it is their preferred way to contact and engage with businesses).
  • Because YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network.
  • Because most people have more than 5 social media accounts.
  • Because Snapchat users watch over 6 billion videos per day.
 And the list of stats goes on and on … You basically have no choice in this. It is an integral part of daily life whether we like it or not. Ignoring it is not an option. If it still seems overwhelming, daunting or majorly confusing, hire a millennial!