We’ve seen it on street corners, in doctors’ offices, on the Subway, and in airports: that glazed look in the eyes while a finger consistently scrolls through post after post after post. People are looking at social media all the time, but is your post in that feed? Did you pick the right social media platform to draw them in? Is your post formatted correctly to make your reader consider swiping or clicking further or do you have no idea what we’re talking about and want to go back to playing whatever game on that screen feels comforting and calming to you?
Whether you have scrolled, swiped or clicked on your own screen doesn’t matter much these days; what matters is if your voice is showing up on the appropriate platforms. How do you decide on which channels to set your sights?
With so many options it’s often confusing to see the difference or choose which ones on which to focus your resources. Sure, you might love to scroll through Instagram for hats with ponytail spots but does it mean that that’s the most effective channel to market to your target audience? You might love your cat videos that magically show up on your Facebook feed, but does that mean that’s the proper platform to find your next clients? Let’s find out.
Let demographics lead your journey
If when choosing a house "location, location, location" is key then the key to social media involvement is "analytics, analytics, analytics." Many of the most effective social media campaigns are geared by demographics, analytics and social listening tools. Analytics can be your way-finder on this social media journey. These are the tools that help you find out who your ideal consumer is, their age, gender, average household income, and even why they’d be interested in purchasing your product or service. For those starting out and those in the big leagues, you can use those tools and services to track the sites, mentions, and posts of your competitors, and then be sure you’re playing in the same space.
Set your social media objectives
Whether you’re a business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) company, you need to be on social media. But, how many channels can you handle, balance, juggle, or afford? Each platform wields its own powers and pitfalls, chaotic challenges and endless engagement but what is it that you need, what’s woven into that media marketing plan of yours, and what’s your social media objective? Do you need to engage with customers, grow your audience, increase website traffic, inform your clients, or improve that brand loyalty? Once you identify your accessible skills and available resources, you can go about putting that hard earned money towards your newfound social media goals. Once your intentions are set you can make the most out of those clicks, swipes, and links and go where the ROI is best for your company.
Know your platforms
Today the number of social media platforms scouring through the phone apps and Internet airwaves is prolific. Each individual channel comes with its pros and cons and although you might enjoy one (for personal use) better than the other, finding the ones to choose for your business budget is another ballgame. First, get to know and understand those platforms and their purpose. Once you know their benefits, couple that with your business demographics and media marketing plan and set your creative and cultivated content loose.
Facebook: With 2 billion active users ranging in age, Facebook is considered the most used platform on social media. This channel allows for longer and very trackable posts (including links) and is great for building relationships and bolstering community. Due to its power, size, ability to keep posts available and active for a long time, an effective advertising program, and incredible reach, this is the platform to help with brand loyalty, grow that network and increase your constant fan base.
Instagram: hand in hand with Facebook, Instagram is geared towards a younger audience seeking visually pleasing content and compelling stories. This is where your business can work with motivated influencers, expect higher levels of engagement from their audience, and build a positive brand experience. While some stories are only available for 24 hours, others stay as long as necessary.
LinkedIn: Consider this platform as a network of professionals. LinkedIn tends toward an older demographic of professionals who seek information, jobs, and business introductions. This platform allows for topic focus and quality lead generation.
Twitter: Using minimal characters for trending hashtags, insights into industry, and the ever present breaking news, this platform is best for customer feedback, shared conversations, and allows brand development to shine.
Pinterest: This quieter and more female-based platform has now grown to 100 million users. Here visual content thrives, content is ‘shoppable’, and this is where your product or service photos generate heaps of hits.
YouTube: As the largest social media platform available, this video-based channel allows businesses and individuals to ‘explain, demonstrate or teach’. This is where your business excels in tutorials or those DIY videos that can touch those niche markets and enhance your company’s authentic interaction.
Put your money where your target audience is
Sure, endless cash would be nice, but that’s not always the story when it comes to our pocketbooks and bank accounts. Who is your target audience? Where do they play? Once you’ve got these essential questions answered you know which platform or platforms you’ll need to garner that lead generation, consumer engagement, and up those annual profits. Spend your media budget wisely and seek out where that target audience lives. The magic happens when you and your target audience are in the same space. Now you can build relationships, find passionate people, and work with brand ambassadors to grow your reach. Consider going where your target audience is on social media like the coffee shops and neighborhoods of yesteryear: it’s where you find your people, share your message, and build relationships.
Social media is one of the essential elements to building your business and expanding your growing network. Actively participating in the discussion, showing up at the table, and sharing in the conversation is a way into people’s lives, and one of the best ways to gain more followers and eventually, customers. Vary your posts, promote your business, and connect with social influencers to set up media campaigns. Add your story to the consumer conversation and let social media amplify your voice.