Expert Advice: How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business

18-Apr 2017
Scott Levy CEO

You’ve heard it a million times before, and by now know you need to be doing it. But not just any old entry-level, ‘mom and pop level’ digital marketing - but an advanced, comprehensive, digital marketing strategy.

How do you decide what platforms to be on and why?

Ultimately it comes down to two things:

1. Who is your target audience and what is your demographic?

Every social media content platform has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their user base.  But just because it exists and you hear about people using it, doesn’t mean you should spend time, money or resources on it.

Here’s a very quick overview of Fuel Online’s take on them:

  • Facebook: A great platform for reaching a very well-rounded audience, with excellent tracking, optimization, and tools to measure your ROI.

  • Twitter: 79% of their user base is outside the U.S which means it’s good for international reach, especially a young base. The older users (while they still have accounts) have migrated away.

  • Pinterest: A ‘must use’ platform if you have beautiful imagery, sell directly to consumers, and really want to target women.

  • Instagram: 68% of users are female at this time. 80% of users are outside the U.S. It’s a good platform for targeting a generally younger audience, but not quite as receptive to ads or engaged as Facebook - but coming into its own. It works decently well for creating brand ambassadors and for utilizing influencers.

  • Snapchat: Still very young, and has not proven to be effective or to deliver any ROI for our clients.

  • Linkedin: A great platform to target specific job descriptions and executives, but it’s very expensive and typically not great for ROI.

  • Youtube: A powerhouse video platform worth investing in if you’re going to produce great, relevant content of value - but this takes time and money.

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2. What type of content do you want to produce?

If you’re going to be thought leaders and publish technical content like ‘how to’s’ and news, you might want to consider Linkedin, Facebook, Youtube, or Pinterest to link to your content. If you are more of a lifestyle brand or have beautiful locations and/or products then obviously an image based platform like Instagram or Pinterest is for you.

Ultimately, don’t go all in on every platform. You need to test, and you need to test with a real budget.

Too many companies make the mistake of testing with insignificant amounts of money and basing their decisions on a very small data sample. That simply doesn’t work. We will often see wildly different results for the same content, same target audience, and same spend every day, week and month. You could wind up having a bad test day, and leave a ton of potential leads and traffic on the table by bailing too quickly.

Data is everything! Run enough of a budget where you can get true, actionable data to base your decisions on. Running 50 Facebook campaigns at $10 per day may tell you absolutely nothing if your CPA is going to wind up being $62. I’d rather see you spend $100 or $500 per day on a few campaigns (at first) to get tangible results and data. We’ve found the more you spend you often get the snowball effect and more bang for your buck due to brand recognition, engagement, and shares. Based on this, I want to advise you to be cautious with social media agencies that under bid or ‘wow’ you with a lot of services for the money. Often, they don’t even understand the complexity of performance tracking and measurement or what it really takes to build, execute, and analyze advanced social media ad campaigns. Too many social media agencies will do whatever it takes to earn your business regardless of whether they think they can achieve your desired results. We’d rather shock you with what it will really cost, or turn down your business altogether versus just taking your money and you getting poor results or not meeting your expectations for the money.

The moral of the story is to do it right the first time, spend with a legitimate social media agency, get actionable real results and data that you can base your social media strategy on going forward.

Small budgets = Small data sets, right?

 Scott Levy is the CEO and founder of Fuel Online - a leading digital agency specializing in social media marketing, pay per click, SEO, and paid media. He’s also a digital advisor, entrepreneur, best-selling author of the book 'Tweet Naked,' and an avid football fan.


He’s been doing internet marketing for more than 18 years and is considered by many to be a thought leader in the industry. He knows all too well about the frustrations that come with social media marketing, so he put together some great tips for professionals like you who might be struggling to build an online presence.

For more marketing tips like this, you can follow Scott on Twitter at @FuelOnline or connect with him on Facebook at

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