Social media can be a great market channel, especially for small businesses. Most companies have invested in some type of social media marketing. According to Review42, 91% of businesses use some form of social media.
To maximize your marketing potential on social media, producing a social media strategy is essential. One of the key components of developing a social media strategy is understanding which platforms will be most beneficial for your business so you can better direct your efforts.
You may think that you want to establish a solid presence on multiple platforms as possible to maximize visibility for your company. While this may be desirable, it is essential to recognize which platforms will best help you best achieve your marketing goals. Overall, this will save you time and money, and you will create a stronger bond with your audience.
There are many different types of social networking sites that exist. Regardless of your activity on those platforms, you should be active on at least one of the five most popular social media sites; Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linked In, and Twitter.
Here are 5 steps to help you decide on the right social media platform for your business.
First, you need to generate clear goals on what you want to achieve through social media.
Specific platforms will be better for you depending on what you are looking to accomplish. Most likely, your overall goal will be to drive sales by enhancing your companies online visibility, but you should also establish other intentions to help you see success. For example, you may want to focus on connecting with your local community or other business personnel relevant to your industry. Various platforms will provide different potential depending on your purpose. Whatever your goal is will point you in the direction of which platforms will most benefit your company.
Probably the most important factor in determining the right platform for your business is uncovering where your target audience is active. Ask yourself, “who am I trying to reach through social media, and where do they exist?”
While there are all kinds of people on different social media sites, you should understand where the people who will be the most receptive to your social media messages are active.
For example, the largest age demographic for Facebook users is 25-34. Facebook is also the most used platform for users over 65. Millennials are more likely to use multiple social media platforms, whereas the older generation may only be active on one site. Considering this information, if your primary age demographic is of the 65+ category, Facebook would be a suitable platform for your business to be active on.
Furthermore, you should look at factors other than just age. For example, many students use LinkedIn to connect with potential jobs and companies. If you want to target university students for any purpose, LinkedIn would be an excellent platform to utilize.
Through research, you can uncover whereabouts your target audience exists on social media and focus your marketing efforts accordingly.
Another important factor that can point you to the best platforms for your business is by determining how you want to share your message.
YouTube will be the best platform for sharing long-form video content. If this is the form of content most compatible with your business, you should focus on Youtube content creation.
The primary functions of the platforms will suggest the best means of communicating your message. For example, Instagram is a platform founded on photo sharing. If your business has a highly visual component that can be shared through images and short videos, this would be an attractive platform for your business to utilize. On the other hand, Twitter is best for sharing short written messages. If your business is looking to share brief content without a large visual focus, Twitter would be a proper platform.
While choosing the right platform for your business is necessary, you must be producing quality content above all. You will not see success on any platform if your content does not provide your viewers with any value.
Producing quality content can take time, and some platforms demand more time and effort than others. Creating a high-quality YouTube video will likely require you to put in more work than producing a simple Facebook update. If you want to make video content but do not have the time or staff resources to create long-form YouTube content, you can look at other platforms where short for video sharing can be successful, like Instagram.
Establish a social media plan will reveal the amount of time you need to invest in content creation. Other factors like how many people you may have to work on content will also influence the time you have available for content creation.
A great way to understand which platforms are compatible with your business is to look at which platforms other companies in your industry are active on.
Some of your competitors may have been using social media marketing for a long time and have already figured out which platforms are the best for their business and communicating with customers and clients that will be responsive to their message.
By researching your competitor’s social media strategy, you can uncover many helpful tips to apply to your plan, like how often they are posting and what type of content media they are sharing.
Another consideration when assessing your competitors’ strategy is how to differentiate your business in your industry. Suppose all of your competitors are the most active on LinkedIn, but you have creative visual content ideas. In this situation, you may want to release LinkedIn content and focus a large amount of effort on Instagram to be an industry leader on a platform where your competitors are not. This may make it more difficult to find your target demographic, but the payoff will be substantial if successful.
Selecting the right platform for your business may take some trial and error. The platform you expect to see immense success on may fail, and the least expecting platform may be a hit. Popular fast-food chains like Wendys and Burger King have found great success on Twitter, an unsuspecting site for their products.
You can start your social media marking strategy by first selecting a few channels that you feel will be the best fit for your company and go from there. Like everything else, it will take time before you start to see results. Choosing the right platform will help you integrate your business onto social media and ensure that you speak with those who will be the most receptive to your content. While choosing suitable platforms will help your social media efforts, alone, it won’t be enough. To see success on any platform, you must be sharing content valuable to your audience.