How to leverage social media marketing for your business

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Social media has changed the way people, including your prospects, connect and communicate. Once considered a short-term fad for the younger set, for most businesses it as an essential part of their marketing and communications strategy.


Why does your business needs a social presence?

Because your customers are using social channels every day. You need to be where they are so that you can connect with them and create meaningful two-way conversations, plus they probably expect you to be using the same channels they are. Beyond that, social media is a good strategy to:


Improve awareness, communication and customer loyalty


  • With social you help more people discover your business, and reach out to a wider market
  • Boost website visits and your search results ranking
  • Share useful brand content
  • Respond more quickly to customer enquiries
  • Build customer loyalty by staying connected


Gather insights and customer data


  • Create deeper conversations
  • ‘Listen in’ on customers and competitors
  • Find people who share your best customers’ interests


Manage advertising


  • Clever audience targeting: target ads by location, age, gender, job title, interests, connections and more
  • Gather real-time data to measure campaign effectiveness and adjust accordingly


Which platforms should you be on?

It’s important to manage your social presence well, so only take on what you can handle. The main thing is to be where your customers are, so if you are unsure, ask them. Here’s a quick introduction to the main platforms.


  • Facebook is one of the most widely used platforms in New Zealand, but Instagram and Snapchat are catching up. Ideal for retailers, Facebook has powerful targeting tools, including one called Lookalike Audiences that can identify people who match your top customers across a range of criteria and behaviours.
  • Instagram is highly visual. Consider this platform if you have products that can make great images. It might be harder if you’re a computer software firm, but it’s fantastic for retail, hospitality, automotive, construction and FMCG. You can’t link to something from a post, but it is good for gathering accounts and building communities.
  • Pinterest is also visual and people use it to build ‘boards’ of images within a category, typically related to special interest areas or life events, such as redecorating or a wedding.
  • TripAdvisor is great if you’re in travel or hospitality. You can get your property or activity in front of more people, show how you stand out from the competition, find out what customers really think, and improve customer service based on that feedback.
  • Snapchat suits youth-oriented companies. While it’s live and mainly social, businesses are using it to post live insider chats before an event or product launch.
  • LinkedIn is ideal for business-to-business. If you’re marketing to businesses this is where you should be. It’s a credible and professional site.
  • Twitter is designed for instantly sharing short messages and gaining ‘followers’ who are interested in what you have to say. It’s particularly good if you’re a global company because it’s used a lot overseas. It helps you keep an eye on what’s being said about your industry and can connect you with potential brand advocates and influencers. In addition to having a free Twitter account, you can run Twitter Ads to reach people who aren’t already following you by choosing target audiences and keywords. You can also track how your ads are doing and adjust spend as necessary.


How do you know you’re doing it right?

Social media platforms provide a wide range of tracking data. What you use will depend on what you are trying to achieve. If you want to raise brand awareness, count unique click-throughs to your website. If you want to build engagement, you could count time spent on website, likes or shares of your posts. And if your goal is to achieve a certain number of sales, try linking each social media ad to its own online order page (a unique URL) and track what happens from there.


Essential templates to plan your digital campaigns

In order to be successful when planning a digital marketing strategy, you’ll need to follow a solid plan. We’ve developed a marketing plan and digital marketing campaign template to help get your marketing efforts working as hard as possible. It’s part of our latest e-book and you can download it now: 5 Templates to Drive Marketing Success.  

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