Over time social media has proven to be necessary for businesses to connect with potential customers, grow their brand, and build trust with customers. But with so many social media platforms to choose from, how do you know which is right for you?
Let’s start by first taking a step back and looking at your goals. Social media can be a great tool for your marketing strategy, but keep in mind it’s just an avenue for reaching your customers. First, you must define where you want to go – then select the best avenue to get there.
What Are Your Goals?
Your goals for your social media marketing will play a big part in what social sites you choose to invest your time in and the content strategy you create. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish through your social media marketing efforts. Is it to drive traffic to your website? Build more brand awareness? Increase sales? Your end goal will dictate both the platform(s) you use and the content you will be posting.
What Type of Content Resonates with Your Audience?
Content – and creating the right content – is key to attracting your target audience and catching their attention on social media (and elsewhere). There are two things to consider when it comes to your content.
- What type of content does your ideal customer prefer?
- How much can you invest in your content creation?
You want to create content that matters to your customers. Think about what makes you stop scrolling through your feed. What posts and type of content grab your attention? Conducting some market research can be extremely helpful in learning more about your target audience and what content they engage with.
As you consider what types of content to create, be honest about how much you can invest in content creation. Your target audience may prefer visuals like images and videos, but if you don’t have the time or funds to produce short videos regularly then you will want to focus on having awesome images that will resonate with your audience.
Where Is Your Audience?
The third thing to consider is “Where is your audience?” Does your ideal client spend hours on Twitter reading the latest news and happenings in the world? Or do they prefer to scroll through Instagram looking for the next photo that catches their eye?
Research can be a great way to learn where your audience is too. You don’t want to invest in creating amazing content that your perfect client will never see. Learn where your ideal clients are active and meet them on that social media platform.
6 Social Media Sites to Consider for Your Business
There are SO many social media sites out there that you can choose from. Here’s a brief overview of 6 social media platforms that have a substantial number of active users and have proven to be successful tools for business.
Facebook has many benefits with the main one being its size. It is one of the largest and most used social media platforms, meaning that your audience is more than likely on it. Its size can be a negative too, as this means there is a lot of competition on the site for getting your content seen. This can be remedied through the use of Facebook Advertising. Its advertising platform allows you to be hyper-specific in your targeting. You can target based on geographical location (best for local businesses), demographics, interests, and more.
This platform allows for a variety of content from photos, videos, text-only posts, to interactive content such as polls and asking followers for recommendations. Facebook is a great lead generation tool as well as a place to build relationships with your audience. This is a platform where your business can be “business” and show a little more personality too.
Instagram has definitely grown in popularity and effectiveness for businesses over the years. Businesses utilize Instagram to connect with their audience through meaningful and visually appealing posts, as well as to build loyal customers through affiliate programs and influencers promoting brands.
With the addition of Instagram stories in 2016 came a whole new level of businesses building trust and being more authentic with their audience. Stories can be used for live videos, sharing behind-the-scenes with your followers, and being more personable and engaging through the use of video.
If you choose to be active on Instagram, be prepared to create visually appealing content, as every post must include an image, GIF, or video to be posted. This is a great platform for connecting with your audience and showing the more personable and relatable side of your brand.
Known for its limit on character count, Twitter is the platform for quick news and important updates. If you are looking for a platform to connect with your audience on in-the-moment information, then Twitter is it. The best content for this social site is content that can be quickly and easily consumed by the reader.
Twitter is also used by people as a way to communicate with brands they follow or want to interact with. You’ll notice many users tweeting to a company with questions or complaints and expecting a prompt response. Twitter is a great way to communicate with and build trust with your audience but requires your business to be regularly active on the platform.
LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B businesses to make connections and to build your authority in your industry. Content on this platform is often more editorial as you can write articles on the platform and longer posts to share your knowledge and establish your business as a trusted leader in your industry.
Video has grown to become one of the preferred types of content and YouTube is just the place to post those videos. YouTube is a great way to share product videos, explainer, or how-to videos related to your product or service, behind-the-scenes videos, or any other content related to your brand and what you offer.
YouTube can be a place to provide valuable content to your audience, grow your audience, and connect with them through likes and comments on each video. The videos you post to YouTube are also extremely sharable, meaning you can easily share those videos on your website or other social media platforms.
Pinterest is a great social media platform for creatives and businesses with visually appealing products. The platform is used more by women than men and is often used by those in the travel, décor, art, food, wedding and events, and any other type of business that lends itself more towards topics that can be shown through visually stunning photos.
As you narrow down your choices, remember that you don’t have to be on every social media site. It’s also okay to start with one and work on mastering content on that site before adding another one to your plate. If you find you need help managing your content strategy and social media marketing, let us know!