6 Easy-To-Implement Social Media Marketing Steps for Toronto-Based Companies

Are you a Toronto-based company struggling to reach your local market? Do you feel overwhelmed by the many marketing options available? Are you trying to make social media work for you but not seeing any ROI? Are you ready to discover the number one way you can capture your local audience’s attention so they are ready to buy from you?

The solution is in your hands.

This step-by-step guide was created by a team of social media experts especially for Toronto small businesses. It is full of easy to implement actions that will bring you success on social media!

Social media has become an integral part of our society over the last decade, changing the way we connect with people, places and ideas. While sites like Facebook and Twitter were originally designed to connect people, they have expanded past interpersonal con-nections. Now customers and audiences can connect and communicate with brands and businesses on these social media platforms.

What You Will Learn

This guide will teach you how to create and execute a social media strategy that will generate buzz, encourage engagement and increase your sales in a fun and powerful way.

Designed to assist your Toronto-based company to more effectively attract customers, reach your ideal audience on social media and create exciting and engaging content, you will learn how to create an impact.

What This Guide is About

Created to be a complete action plan for new and up and coming businesses in the greater Toronto area, this plan will help you master your social media efforts, providing you step by step guides to discovering and reaching your audience, standing out from the competition and focusing on the local area. By pinpointing important factors like audience statistics and advertising tactics, you will be able to create the perfect campaign for your business, regardless of your goals.

No matter if you are unhappy with your current social media strategy or you are creating a brand new social media page, this guide will give you precise steps to help you take ad-vantage of the many opportunities that social media has available.

Ready to dive head first? Let’s go!

Download infographic and PDF workbook now. Fill out as you go along.

Step 1: Discovering Your Audience

The first step to great marketing is to be clear on who your market is. There’s no one size fits all solution! Your products or services, your exact location and your strategy will impact who your ideal audience is. Staying local to the area will benefit you as a To-ronto-based business but you get to decide factors like gender, age range and how local your audience will be.

Task 1: In Store or Online

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There are a variety components that influence your ideal market, including how you sell. For example, you might have a broader reach if you sell your products online and ship them to other areas than if you have one location in downtown Toronto. Determine where the majority of your customers come from and focus on those regions where you are certain you can develop a strong and constant audience. Even if someone from Montreal is visiting Toronto on business, they will not be worth your focus if they are not living in the area.

Task 2: Selecting Parameters

Think about the types of individuals who regularly buy from you. If you don’t have a clear vision of who these people are, you need to begin analyzing this information. For example if you sell lawn care products, your customers are probably an older market, over the age of 25 and homeowners. It’s possible the odd young professional could pur-chase weed killer, but you’ll have better luck focusing on homeowners and parents to start building your customer base.

Task 3: Choosing Your Audience

Facebook has become a unique advertising platform with many built-in features that will assist you in your search for your perfect audience. You can be precise in your targeting or more general but it’s important you think about pricing and your return on investment. It can be tempting to want to target a large area and include users up to 200 miles away from Toronto but if you own a local storefront in downtown Toronto, you will mostly likely not see a return on your higher investment.

Again it’s important to focus on the individuals who are most likely to buy from you. If you sell beauty products, you don’t want to sacrifice dollars by advertising to men, who only shop for your items around the holidays. Similar to thinking about the gender of your customers, think about their age ranges. College students will not be interested in retirement homes and corporate executives will not be looking for weekday yoga classes. There will always be exceptions to every example but you will see the most return from your advertising if you are specific and focused in your market.

You have many options for segmenting your audience on Facebook. The Ad Manager screen will give you several choices to choose from for targeting, including, your specific location, kilometer radius, gender, age and language. As you make your choices, you can look to the right side of the screen where Facebook provides a detailed look at how broad or specific your audience is and your potential reach. This is a good way to tell if your ad is too broad, such as an ad that targets anyone over the age of 21 in Canada, or if it is too defined, such as men ages 60-65 that live within one mile of your store. If your ad is too broad, you could waste ad dollars on uninterested individuals but if you’re too defined, you could miss out on the perfect buyer, who is just outside of your ranges.

Then on the right hand side, click the Create Audience button and choose from the drop down menu: Create Saved Audience

You will then be asked to design your audience based on the location you would like to reach, specifically the city of Toronto and its surroundings areas.

In the next step we will begin to define and refine the search with more precise targeting.

Step 2: Targeting Your Audience

A perfect Facebook audience includes more than the location. It would be ideal if every-one who lived in Toronto became your customer, it’s not exactly realistic to create ads around that. In order to see excellent results, you need to target people who are most likely to become paying customers.

You can target your Facebook ads using the traditional metrics we have already discussed, location, age and gender but Facebook also allows you to get more specific. You can create your audience based on page likes and more defined demographic information. This is of course not always 100% inclusive. Not everyone on Facebook will follow their favorite bands, TV shows and sports teams. But it will help you create a more defined audience and reach more interested buyers.

Task 4: Professional Fields

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Facebook allows you to target specific career paths or job titles which is beneficial to certain businesses, such as professional services, recruiters or tax specialists. You want to be certain you are reaching the correct audience and motivating them to take action. While your customers can come from unexpected sources, it’s best to treat this as a welcome surprise and not the focus of your strategy. You will increase your chances of success if you focus on selecting behaviors that match your ideal audience.

Task 5:Personal Interests

Knowing your audience’s personal interests can be an great tool for finding your ideal audience for your ads. If you are a fashion boutique, you can target individuals interested in fashion and shopping or even more specific interests, like jewelry or shoes. This can help you spend less on your ads because you are targeting people who are more likely to purchase from you. Don’t spend money advertising to an individual who is not interested in or doesn’t need what you have to offer.

If you don’t know how to be more specific in your targeting, spend some time thinking about the relation between your products or services and common interests. For example if you sell health and wellness products, you may want to target individuals who are interested in yoga, especially if you sell yoga mats and gear. Experiment with behaviors and interest categories. You can focus on one or choose many. This category will differ for every business, depending on their needs.

To do this in Facebook, go back to the audience creation screen you were on. After choosing a location, scroll down to find the Detailed targeting features.

Task 6: Exclude Selected Sub-Segment Behaviors

Begin by entering a specific interest that would match with the interests of your clients, see below for an example.

Facebook will then offer other interests based on the one you entered in the first step to help you refine your search.
The other way is to browse and see what Facebook’s most popular categories.

Another useful tool is the exclude feature. This enables you to create a large targeting group but remove specific groups that are not applicable to your audience.

With the example below, we want everybody that likes sports, but without the people that like Basketball.

There are thousands of combinations you can create using the exclude function to target your perfect audience, which will help your ads be more relevant and be shown more.

Step 3: Finding the Right Content

You now know all about your ideal audience, including their age range, gender, profession, interests and that they are in the Toronto area. What do you do now?

This is when you decide what you want to say to your perfect audience. When you write excellent content, you need to make your audience interested and show the value of your product. Your audience might be basketball fans but not every individ-ual that you target will enjoy basketball-focused content.

Understanding this, you can begin to create your ad content by identifying and focusing in on other areas of interest of your audience. You can fine tune your marketing, promotions, campaigns and content around topics your audience is interested in when you know the specific pages, brands and material your audience likes.

This is where the Audience Insights tool feature on Facebook comes in handy. You can find this under the tools drop down in your advertising account. It will give you a look at the common topics that the people in your region think are important, like to talk about and follow.

Task 7: Identify the Top Interests of Your Clients

(download infographic and PDF workbook to complete tasks)

When you use the Audience Insight tools, you can input the targeting parameters you’ve already established, including location, age, gender, interests and connections and you will see pages, locations and activities that are similar or that your audience also likes. You can put in a variety of factors in to give you a deeper look at how segments overlap and what factors are too narrow.

Task 8: Identify the Facebook Page Likes of Your Audience

Audience Insights also provides the most popular like pages in your audience. For example, as the above image shows, adults of any gender in Toronto, a market of roughly 2 million to 2.5 million Facebook users, blogTO, Toronto Life, Vintage Toronto, and the Nuit Blanche Toronto are mutually liked by the most people. These insights will give you shared interests that you can integrate into your ads to attract the most attention.

Step 4: Knowing Your Competition

Task 9: Make a List Your Competitors

(download infographic and PDF workbook to complete tasks)
If you don’t know what else is out there, you don’t know what you need to stand out among the crowd.

There are hundreds of small business and many larger chains in Toronto that have customers who could become your customers. Reviewing your competition is a useful exercise because you will gain insight on how to differentiate yourself from the competition. You have an extra edge when you know what else is out there and what other companies are doing to attract customers.

Task 10: Research Your Competition

You don’t have to start walking around town to research your competition. There are ways for Toronto businesses to research the competition and get information on any local business who is competing for your customers.

The first place to look is Industry Canada, which lists all businesses in Canada, including in the Toronto region. You can easily search this database using keywords or narrowing it down by industry to see other businesses near you. Industry Canada will also provide a full list of local businesses by category for you to review.

You can also draw information from this Eventbrite Local Toronto Business Events list or from Yellowpages. Their website has detailed search tools you can search for your competition based on location, specific industry or relevant information. Another excellent resource is 411.ca. You can use this to identify similar businesses to yours by searching their comprehensive lists of services and industries in the area.

Task 11: Planning Marketing with Competition in Mind

Having a good grasp of the local marketing landscape will allow you to have a better understanding of what works in your market. You can get great ideas for how to move forward with your campaigns by looking at what your competitors are doing. If your leading competitor hosted a Facebook contest that had thousands of entrants, you know customers could be interested in contests and might want to add one into your strategy.

Knowing what your competition is doing also gives you the opportunity to stand out. If everyone is doing the same thing, you can make a name for your brand by doing something different. You can only have this type of clarity after you’ve done your research on your market, like we talked about in the beginning of this guide. The more you know about your business and its customers and how you fit into the market, the more you will be able to use your competition to your advantage.

Step 5: Knowing the Area

Local businesses need to have an excellent grasp on their own communities. Your customers will probably be other locals and members of your community so having a knowledge of what’s going on in Toronto can be extremely beneficial to your marketing.

Being familiar with your local area will contribute to your busi-nesses popularity. Participating in local events, charities or teaming up with other organizations can help you to become known in the community and be seen as a positive influence on your area. If you are aware of upcoming events, like concerts or festivals, you can create marketing campaigns around those times to capture your local audience’s attention. Local events also make for great content on social media as your audience is probably interested in it and you will be able to be recognized as an active member of Toronto.

Task 12: Keep Tabs on Local Events

(download infographic and PDF workbook to complete tasks)

When you are in the know with the ongoings in the town, you can arrange for special campaigns or promotions. You can even take part in festivals or events as a sponsor, vendor or organizer, giving you more opportunities to connect with your audience.

  • The City of Toronto’s official website provides details on local things to do. You can find the most comprehensive list of things to to in Toronto here, including festivals, events and places of interest.
  • The official website of tourism Toronto has tons of information on all upcoming events and local attractions. Their detailed events calendar provides you with everything coming up in the local area.
  • EventBrite is the internet’s go to place for events. You can discover or host local events through this popular event listing website.
  • You can also this link to events on Facebook to know all the upcoming events from your network: https://www.facebook.com/events/upcoming

Task 13: Share Events on Your Social Media Platforms

You don’t need to make this a daily activity to make sure you aren’t missing any upcoming events. By adding local events or festivities to your marketing calendar and checking in on local event calendars once a week, you can stay on top of what’s going on in your area for your social media needs.

Task 14: Share Your Presence to Events

Do your neighbors know you? You don’t have to spend every waking moment around town and at events but if you are taking part in a festivity, let your followers know and invite them to come along. Integrating special offers or giveaways with local events and letting your followers know to come in person is an excellent way to leverage both online and offline tactics so your followers connect your in person presence with your online page. If you won’t be heading to an event, you can still post it and stand out as an involved citizen!

Step 6: Completing Your Social Media Plan

Before you leap into the social media world, you need to create a plan. A plan is key to success in any new undertaking.

On its surface, social media might look like just a place to play. But these websites can be powerful business building tools when they are used correctly. Fa-cebook can help you attract more customers, make a name for your brand in your area and increase sales online or offline. But if you want to leverage one of the world’s biggest sites for your success, you need to create a plan before you even log on.

The first thing your campaign needs is a bigger goal, which will influ-ence how you use the tools available to you. For example, if you want to increase traffic on your website, your Facebook ads and posts need to point to this goal and your content, images and campaigns should focus on increasing clicks. Before you follow any of the steps provided in this guide, you need to understand your goals and what you want to accomplish on social media.

Task 15: Review your Plan and Print it Out

Task 16: Get a Free Expert Consultation

(download infographic and PDF workbook to complete tasks)

When you are clear on your goal, whether that be increasing sale or growing your audience, you can get to work. This is when you implement everything you have been learning, creating your audience, writing compelling posts and ads and connecting with your audience through ads or organically. Now that you know the power of social media, you can begin to build your online presence.

Succeeding on Facebook can feel impossible and overwhelming when you first start out but the effort and work will pay off. Using social media as a key component in your marketing strategy can bring incredible results. Facebook is a proven market with an easy to use interface and many available features. With very little experience, you can create compelling posts and ads that will bring you a return on investment and build your business in Toronto.

If social media feels too big of an undertaking for you to handle on your own, don’t worry. By working with an agency like Ensuite Media, you can learn to use the tools, discover your ideal customers and create beautiful and impactful ads so that you can reach your perfect audience and create the social media presence you desire

When you have the right goals and tools and are willing to put in the time and effort, you can use social media to help grow your Toronto-based company, increasing your audience, your sales and strengthening your brand.


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