The Internet is the hot ticket. Entrepreneurs everywhere want to exploit it to drive sales and grow their businesses. Used properly, it can be an important part of your marketing mix. Used improperly, it can be a black hole – one in which you dump tens of thousands of dollars without results. To maximize the return on your Internet-marketing dollars, follow these 3 tips:

Choose the right social media

Not all social media is equal. For example, Pinterest, which is image based, may be great for a jewelry designer to showcase his works. It would probably be less useful for a criminal-defense attorney. In fact, depending on the target market segment, social media may not be appropriate at all. Spend some time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Do your research before choosing where to spend your time and efforts.

Offer content

Going out on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with a message that says, “Buy our product” will be ineffective at best. We have found it far more useful to offer something of value to prospective customers. Your posts can feature a link to an article, an assessment, a blog post or a video. You can use other people’s materials with permission and proper attribution. However, if you author the material, it positions you as an expert. Once you have provided something of value and positioned yourself as an expert, you are much more likely to build the trust necessary to sell something. You can feature your products or services with a banner ad on your blog or by inviting the prospect to click through to the ecommerce portion of your website.

Focus on sales, not clicks

One huge problem with many Internet marketers is misalignment of objectives. You want to sell your product or service. They measure success in clicks, friends, followers or some other metric that does not equate to sales. If your goals are not aligned with the company you are paying for marketing services, run fast. Gaining a certain number of followers or obtaining a target click through rate can be wonderful short-term objectives. However, the final objective of Internet marketing is sales. The Internet in general and social media specifically can be wonderful tools for generating sales. But, like all tools, they have to be used properly to produce the desired results.

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based web marketing firm that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4100, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter.

About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]