Social media and other forms of digital marketing are often the most cost-effective forms of promotion for a company. Make sure you leverage these outlets for your business.

Marketing needs to be an integrated endeavour. At the most basic level you need to figure out who you are selling to— men, women, young or old? People who are affluent? Once you’ve determined your target audience, you need to figure out how to reach them. The answer to that these days involves social media, Google Adwords and search engine optimization (SEO).

If you are avoiding any of these things, there’s a good chance you are missing a large segment of your target market and your business has or will hit a plateau.

Want to See Where Your Business Stands?

For long-term success, it is vital that business owners have an accurate picture of where they are today.

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You may argue social media is less important if you are selling to senior citizens or through a storefront, but for most businesses, social media has to be a component and if you don’t go there, year by year, you will miss a bigger chunk of your target audience.

Everything Starts Online

In some capacity, all sales are now happening online, so your online presence has never been more important. Even in business-to-business, few people these days just pick up the phone without taking time to look your company up online first or to go to LinkedIn to see who you are.

This means there needs to be a good amount of information about you out there, both on your website and on social media. The great thing about social media is that it often adds third-party credibility to your company. If you are doing a good job on social media, it isn’t just you spouting off on Twitter, but there’s interaction, real conversations about the products or services you provide, and positive reviews. When this happens, your target audience starts to see your company as a vibrant one that good people believe in and are talking about. As a result, potential customers become much more comfortable picking up the phone or filling out a response form online. All of this works in concert to build your brand and enhance your business.

Some businesses that end up on the plateau lack a strong presence online. If you’re stuck on the plateau—or want to avoid being stuck—examining and improving your online and social media presence is a great place to start to increase your company’s growth.