Want to move ahead of your competition this year? Want to ensure your company stays relevant with the times? Then there’s no doubt you’ll have to include social media platforms as a part of your marketing strategy.
- 92 percent of marketers agreed that social media is important for their businesses.
- 92 percent indicated that social media gained them more exposure for their businesses.
- 80 percent indicated their social media efforts increased traffic.
If you aren’t taking every advantage of what social media has to offer, you’re losing business.
But where do you start? Have you tried some of them – or all of them – and nothing seems to work? It can be frustrating to throw time and energy at something, and all you have is a handful of likes and no real sign that you’re making connections at all.
There are thousands of social media platforms to choose from. And while some are narrowly based on your industry or target market might be valuable, you can’t go wrong with focusing in on some of the most popular in the industry.
How Do You Narrow Down Your Choices?
Your first step is in realizing you can’t be successful if you spread yourself too thin. It’s better to master one social network first, before moving on and adding another one to the mix.
There are social media platforms for just about everything. They are designed to connect people based on shared interests, similar hobbies, business or company, demographics, and much more.
What are your goals for wanting to add social media to your marketing mix? Your objectives can help you determine the best place to spend your time. And once you select a social media platform, it also dictates the type of content you should create.
Social media platforms in general help you:
- Reach out to new audiences and new demographics and introduce them to who you are and what you offer. It increases your brand awareness and helps identify your own unique company personality.
- Improve your customer service. Social media gives you the chance to communicate with people on a regular basis to find out what questions they have, what concerns them, what complaints they have, and how best to create a better product, service, and company based on their needs and desires.
- Survey the demographics to find out what the audience on the social media platform you are using wants.
- Increase traffic and boost sales.
Of course, that’s what business is all about. Most people start spreading themselves out on social media in hopes of instant sales. But it takes work to set the stage for a following that knows you and is willing to trust you enough to like what you do.
The entire point of selecting a social media platform is to put you in front of the people that have the potential to love what you do. They are there – you just have to reach out to them in a way that feels authentic to them. If you get this right, you can be rewarded greatly.
What About Content?
You can’t put up a social account and expect it to work without feeding it content on a regular basis. Different types of social media platforms work better using certain types of content. And what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another.
For instance, Instagram is all about images. You have to clearly define the images you will put on your account and what they mean to your audience.
Creating the right content is conducive to your target audience and what they prefer to look at. You can focus on content in all kinds of formats, including:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- User-generated content
As you build up your demographics for who you are targeting and what they want to see online, you’ll quickly find the places they hang out. Here’s what the typical user wants to see from the top social media platforms.
Facebook is the behemoth in the industry, with billions of registered users already in place. Facebook isn’t just for kids; in fact, older populations aren’t behind younger generations in their love of using the site for keeping up with family and friends.
What makes Facebook so powerful is the level of demographics. Because Facebook tracks just about everything a user inputs, you can target an audience with as much detail as you desire. Its advertising platform can be highly customized and provide you with audience potential you can speak directly to in many different ways. Want to target females between 40 and 60 who live in certain regions of the world and have a specific hobby? You can do that. You can even further define them based on interests, likes, or even sites they visit. The more detailed you get, the more you speak their language, the greater chance you have of converting them into something more.
If you’re looking for a platform to share immediate news with your audience, Twitter is the platform that will work well for you. It’s the perfect space to reach out for breaking news, announcements, important messages, and spur of the moment details. Twitter is used by an older population looking for textual information that can be digested quickly. It’s a great connector platform that keeps you in the loop of what’s happening.
LinkedIn is the B2B platform of choice. If your goal is to connect with other business people, and are pursuing lead generation as your main goal, this is the platform for you. It’s also the perfect platform for branding yourself as a leader in your industry. You can create content, engage leads, and hold conversations with people that like to follow what you do. Because this is heavily a business platform, you’ll find most of the users are at the top of their careers, and they tend to be 30 to 49 years old.
Instagram is a heavily visual platform that targets industries like travel, fashion, beauty, food, and design. It’s a great platform for brands, publishers, and influencers in lifestyle type industries. Instagram is much more about building relationships than driving sales, as you can’t include links in individual posts unless it’s sponsored. But if you hope to be an influencer in your industry, it can be a great tool to raise awareness, especially if your target market is females between 16 and 40.
Pinterest is a place where you can make all of your wishes come true and create pinboards to keep your ideas fresh in your mind. Because images drive this social media platform, image quality is everything. This is a woman-driven platform that lends its hand to decor, fashion, food, art, wedding, travel, and other businesses that have a focus on producing beautiful imagery. It is highly sales driven, as people that pin are most likely in the market for what they create pinboards for.
Do you see yourself in one of these descriptions? Would your business benefit by targeting one of these social media platforms? Whether you have specific ideas, or need a little hand holding to determine which is best for you, we can help. Let’s talk today.