You have no idea how to start your digital marketing presence? You might look into starting by having a good and strong presence in social media. This can be very important for your digital marketing efforts, as long as you do it properly, social media marketing is an extremely powerful tool.

But how can you integrate your social media efforts into a longer and cohesive digital marketing plan? That's what you're about to find out. First, have in mind that social media marketing can be expensive and demands constant investments in a number of different Ads, be it on Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn.

What you can accomplish with social media marketing

Let's talk about something first: as you start your social media marketing plan, you need to figure out what you want and have an end-game in mind. It could be sales, brand awareness, engagement - the whole lot. That changes your perception about your investment, as you will develop metrics to understand what happens and prioritize new spending between your different ads across the social networks.

A first objective can be to increase brand awareness among your customers. To do so, you should avoid only publishing promotional messages and talk more about your brand as a whole, giving the people an insight into its values. Ads that do that can help also. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality or values first. You can also use it these kinds of posts to grow your brand’s audience, bringing new people into your customer base, introducing yourself to them.

Of course, you can also use social media to generate leads and sales, usually offering a lead magnet (an e-book, webinar, etc.) in exchange for their emails. You can also tell your followers about new products and promotions. This also works great if you are trying to increase web traffic, working on conversions and clicks to your website, where you can turn readers into customers.

Also, social media is great for increasing community engagement. You can also make your own customers promote you instead, grabbing their attention (and making them share your message with their friends). Your fans can be the best salesman that there is, but you got to give them a little push.

Which social media should I use?

You also have to understand which social media you're going to use the most. There a few alternatives, and each one of them has a different audience and different goals. Let's dive into them:

Facebook, the prime social network, and still the main option. It's very important that you contemplate this network on your social media marketing plan. The audience is very diverse, going from your teenage cousin to your aunt that barely knows how to use a smartphone. It's very good to generate leads, sales, and grow your brand's audience. The marketing tools there are the best available.

YouTube, the most important video website on the internet. Use it if you have video ads. The audience is also very diverse, and it's very good to drive sales and grow the brand's audiences.

Instagram, this network is associated with Millenials and Gen Z, and also with stunning visuals. Use interesting images, and it will do wonders for your brand's audience and awareness.

Pinterest, if your customers are female, then Pinterest is an excellent option - as women vastly outnumber men there.

LinkedIn, this social network is mostly associated with workplace stuff. You can try to use in-depth, industry-specific content.

After you choose which social networks you are going to use, work on refining your user base - you can choose dozens of information is available to target your Ads. This will be important as you

Great content, great magnets

A content that engages users shall be your most important priority on social media. It is good content that makes people connect with your company there. Your social media marketing plan has to plan for something that will drive your readers there into your email list. You will have to have what we call as "lead magnets." You give something and ask for something in return. But what are these lead magnets? There are, literally, over 100 possibilities. So we're going to list the most common ones here:

E-book/Report, if you're dealing mostly with information, this will be a good lead magnet. Teach your user to do something, or show him some data, enlighten him. Example: if you have a SaaS that helps people with digital marketing, why not give these users an ebook that teaches a little bit more about the subject?

Spreadsheet, also very common, follows the same idea of an ebook, helping your user with something. Example: if you sell financial education courses, why not lure users by giving them a spreadsheet so they can organize their finances?

Webinar, make a video about something discussing or teaching something to your user. Send it over email after they subscribe. Example: if you're selling clothes over the internet through e-commerce, why not talk about fashion with somebody and teach your users how to dress?

Email/Video series, this one is my personal favorite. You promise your user that he will receive a few emails over the next days/week with videos teaching him something. Example: if you're working with stock investments, you can send five emails containing information, teaching them to read companies quarterly balances.

Free Trial, you have a SaaS (Software as a Service)? Let your user try it for seven days for free!

Future discounts, money talks to everybody. If you give your users a nice 5% discount if he gives his email for you, he will end up signing for.

Understand your sales cycle

Each business is different, with different sales cycles, and this reflects on your social media marketing. You have to understand and master yours, which will help tremendously. What does it take to a customer to make a buy on your site? Do you have to warm him, or is he an impulse buyer? Does he convert in a day, a month, or a year? Those things matter and require some thinking and testing to know, but once you master it, you're on the good side.

The first thing to understand your business cycle is to understand who your customer is - try to make campaigns that are not wide and global but niche targeted and fine-tuned according to your audience. By focusing on the right persons, each campaign will have a better chance to succeed. Also, have great landing pages to each stage your client is, to lead then to high engagement, and be able to secure his email address.

Once you have their email, gently remind them of your existence from time to time - be it via newsletter, promotions, discounts, there are a plethora of ways. Get good content that leads to engagement. Make him feel like he is a friend of your company and understand all the benefits you're showing to him. If he's engaged, chances are he will be converting soon - some cycles are longer than others, and you have to understand and respect that.

And work on remarketing, which is a brilliant method for a target audience - and very much available on every social network. The cost of retaining a customer is three times smaller than bringing in a new one. Once your audience is created, check who visited & bounced, who has bought, who has filled in the form, who has called. And work these guys out! Send custom ads to this audience with them in mind.

Having only valid emails, no SPAM list

One last thing that you have to take care of is constant email validation, so the most precious of your channels don't die out - that would be very detrimental to your business. After you "lure" your readers from the social network, you have to warm them, so they end up being customers.

But you can't do that if you don't take proper care of your email list. What we call the ultimate digital marketing mistake is to let too many invalid emails to enter your list and keeping them. You should always strive to have only valid emails on your list. If you build your list using social media and your emails are sent directly to the SPAM box, then all the money you spent on Ads was lost. That's severe.

That's what we provide, by the way. What is email validation, you may ask? Well, to put it simply: imagine that you have an email list for over one year. You started with 0 emails, and now it has 30,000 emails. Without validation, you will send emails to all these 30,000 addresses, and some would return - those are invalid emails. Over time it's a cost (as mail SaaS are usually pricier when you have tons of emails), and it damages your sender reputation.

With email validation, we (The Checker) will find out which emails don't exist anymore or never existed at all (typos, temporary emails, and false addresses). You will end up only with the valid emails, therefore raising your deliverability and helping to keep a healthy email marketing strategy. Imagine that over a year, those 30,000 emails turned into 22,000 legitimate emails, because 20% of emails are not authentic after a year, and this number doubles if you are talking about corporative emails. We saved you from 8,000 potential problems and hard bounces. Oh, we have algorithms and technology which do that in a few seconds and very efficiently, with 99,9% rates of success.

In the long run, this makes a massive difference for your business. Don't ever be afraid to see your email list shrink. That's good, as you're focusing on better emails with higher chances of being read. Write good content, and those users will bond with you and turn into costumers! We call it a good email marketing strategy that converts and helps you build your brand. In the long run, that's what you want.

You have to do it from time to that, like cutting your nails. There's no specific timing to it, but you should at least try to do it once every quarter. If you have hundreds of thousands or millions of emails on your list, it might be better to do it every month or every fortnight. The same if you have mostly corporate emails (as they change faster than personal ones). It will help you avoid those hard bounces that can be so damaging to your send reputation.

If you do these four things from time to time, yes, you will be helping your email marketing strategy to survive in the long run: you may avoid big problems because of that. If you have to start over, you will see your ROI dropping deeply, and it will cost you too - after all, every time you have to set up a new server, it may be a few thousand dollars that go away needlessly. Many users are using email marketing again because of email validation. We're glad to help you to optimize digital marketing.

We are committed to helping you on that journey, and that's why we were chosen as the best email validation tool in places like Capterra and Trustpilot - amassing a significant number of clients that are among the biggest companies in the world, such as Netflix and WeWork. In other words, trust us to make your list more trustable. It's our mission. Try our tool for free on this link, and remember that we have custom plans which can be very helpful to your company. Good luck!