Most marketers know it’s important to integrate social media into their marketing strategy. However, when it comes to putting that into practice, it’s a different story. While many brands have a social media presence, it’s often in a silo, isolated from their larger marketing plan. Considering the potential for engagement on social media, though, it’s not enough to just have a social presence. Over 70 percent of Americans have social media, and the average person spends at least two hours a day on social media. With those numbers in mind, social media needs to be at the core of your marketing strategy. Ultimately, your goal as a marketer is to convert users and if you’re not leveraging social media for this, you’re missing out. All that said, incorporating social media into your existing marketing initiatives is easier said than done. Below, we’ve put together some key tips for successfully integrating social media into your marketing plan.

Utilize the right platforms

While you want to leverage the power of social media, that doesn’t necessarily mean posting on every platform available. Depending on your business type, one channel might make more sense than another. For example, if you’re talking to small business owners, LinkedIn may be a more appropriate platform than Instagram. By choosing a channel that aligns with your brand’s goals, you have a better chance of reaching your intended audience.

Target your ads

In order to do this, you need to know your audience. When it comes to targeting ads, Facebook does a great job. Not only do they do local ad targeting, which is great for event campaigns, but they also allow you to target by demographics, age and precise location. If you have a good understanding of your target audience and you know where they are, Facebook targeting ads can be an incredibly impactful marketing tool.

Create a social media landing page

Creating a designated social media landing page is a must. As we mentioned, the ultimate goal is conversion, and when users are engaged with your brand via social media, they’re interested. If you’re doing a paid social campaign, make sure you’re not just driving that traffic to your homepage. Your social landing page (or pages) should have similar content to your social ad content, and they should be clean and straightforward with a clear call-to-action.

Integrate email marketing

The most successful marketing campaigns take a fully integrated, holistic approach. With that in mind, you can (and should) promote your email list across your social media platforms. With Facebook, you can upload your existing email list and target potential customers. You can also use your list to find similar new customers, using something Facebook calls “ lookalike audiences ”. And if you’re targeting effectively, it’s easier to get users to subscribe via social channels than to an email list. Last but not least, when you send out marketing emails, make sure they include links back to your social media accounts; cross-promotion is key.

Post consistently

To maintain engagement, it’s important to post regularly. Of course, the goal is to reach as many people as possible via your social channels. Before determining a regular schedule for posting, make sure you’re aware of peak times for each of the different channels , as they vary. Once you’ve figured out the peak posting times of your go-to channels, make sure you’re actively engaging your target audience by posting on a consistent schedule.

Pay attention to analytics

Take advantage of analytics, and use it to inform your social media marketing strategy. By actively monitoring your social media analytics, you can see what’s working, what’s not working and adjust accordingly. Remember, knowledge is power and if it’s at your fingertips, use it!