Our strategic marketing director, Rory Atkinson, spoke with Adam Strong over at the Game Changers Experience last week about digital marketing. More specifically, they spoke about knowing the difference between what works and doesn’t work for your business. One of the points they touched upon was understanding that not every platform works for you. Taking that messaging further, in this article we’re going to chat about knowing which social platforms to use for your business.
92% of marketers have said that social media helped to increase their brands’ exposure, translating directly into sales. That’s huge. If you’re not using social media for your brand, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity for exposure and growth. But getting started on building your success through social media can be tricky, and choosing a platform that works for your brand even more so. The one approach that doesn’t work, as highlighted by Rory on the Game Changers Experience, is throwing everything against the wall and hoping something sticks. You need to work your ad budget to the maximum and find your target audience. Getting ‘likes’ and getting sales are two different things. Our specialty here at Visual Click Studio is turning your ad budget into sales revenue.
Narrowing the Choices
There are thousands of social networks out there to choose from, but the good news is that you can start by narrowing it down to the most popular and most widely used platforms. From there, it’s all about determining which platform will give you the exposure you’re looking for with the right audience, and figuring out which one will help you meet your marketing objectives.
Nowadays there are social media platforms out there for everything and everyone- ones to connect people with shared interests, hobbies, comparable demographics, and much more. There are so many social networking sites out that if you tried to succeed on all of them you’d almost certainly fail. Consider that a jack of all trades is a master of none, as the saying goes. Your time is better spent focusing on sites that get the most traffic. That’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Consider your Goals
If you’re going to succeed at your goals, it’s important to have them in mind at the outset. Your objectives will help determine not only the social platform you choose, but also the content you create, the audience you target, and more. You’ll want to consider improving your customer service offerings by providing another platform on which customers can reach out with complaints, questions, and concerns. Social media is also a great place for identifying new leads and prospects who are similar to your best customers. You can also reach out to new audiences and new demographics who might be receptive to your products or services. In the modern age of branding, social media is the perfect place to increase brand awareness and expose your business to new people.
In order to achieve your goals you will have to learn about the needs, wants, and habits of your audience and customers, in order to get increased traffic to your site and boosted sales.
Find Your Audience
The great thing about social media is that everyone’s on it. You don’t have to create an audience, you just have to find it. The entire point of social media marketing is to put you in contact with your audience so it’s not advisable to choose a platform where your audience doesn’t operate. You, therefore, need to analyze which platforms your audience prefers and to seek them out on the networks they’re already using (it’s unfortunately not a ‘build it and they will come’ situation).
There are a few different ways you can go about finding where your audience is, and one of the most straightforward is a simple customer survey. Ask questions like what social sites they use, where they get their information online, and which influencers they listen to. Another way to get information about your audience is through the social media sites themselves. With platforms like Facebook, you can actually tell Facebook about your ideal customers, and they’ll estimate the audience size for you. You can also research the demographics of different social media users thanks to the Pew Research Center for Internet and Technology to determine where your audience is most likely spending their online time.
Once you’ve considered your target audience and goals, you’ll need to pair it all with the right platform. Compare the different social media platforms to determine which one will best meet your needs. To help you decide, here’s a rundown of the platforms, what they’re good for, and what a typical user looks like:
Facebook: This is by far the largest platform, with over 2 billion monthly active users, 61 percent of whom are Americans between the ages of 25 and 54. Facebook is good for lead generation, and its advertising platform can be highly customized to target very specific audiences. Facebook is also a good platform for building relationships, showing the human side of your business, and turning leads into loyal followers and customers. Many different content types are appropriate for Facebook, but the key is content that shows a different side of your company. Facebook (and Twitter) are both excellent for reaching large numbers of people, but it’s important to remember that there’s also a great deal of competition.
Twitter: Twitter is the go-to platform if your business is about immediacy, and if you want to reach out to followers with breaking news, announcements, important messages, and other in the moment information. Most Twitter users are under the age of 50, and the type of content that works best on this platform is easily digestible textual content, such as how-to articles, listicles, and quotations. Images perform better on Twitter than video, but text-based content still reigns supreme.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is typically the choice platform for B2B businesses, and especially if your goal is lead generation. This is also an ideal platform for editorial content, and it can help you establish your company as a trusted leader in your field, build authority for your brand, and engage leads through conversations. The demographic on LinkedIn is also different than other sites because there are more users between the ages of 30 to 49 than there are users under 30.
Pinterest: Images are the name of the game when it comes to Pinterest, and this platform is great if you’re looking to drive sales because over 90 percent of users plan purchases using the platform. There are far more women on Pinterest than there are men, and it’s a graphics-heavy platform that lends itself to décor, food, art, fashion, wedding, travel, and other businesses that can leverage topics that produce beautiful and stunning photographs.
To Sum Up
Social media is an indispensable tool for any business that wants to remain relevant and gain exposure online, because not only can it connect you with prospects who are right next door, but it can also help you reach out to people all across the globe. Beyond that, social media is also an excellent tool for building brand awareness, finding new leads, generating more website traffic, getting to know your audience better, gaining insight into the shopping habits of your best customers, and even improving your customer service. The trick to choosing the right social media platform for your business is all about confirming the goals you want to achieve through social media marketing, figuring out what platforms your target audience is already on, and choosing a platform that matches the type of content you create.
If you have any questions about how to get started with social media marketing, or how to improve your existing marketing, we invite you to get in contact with one of our consultants.