There is no doubt that every kind of business should dive into the social media world. Nowadays it is crucial to be present on social networks to remain relevant and visible. These platforms are where people share information, create relationships and engage in important conversations. For companies this means another way to create brand awareness, join those conversations and improve customer service.
Social media is one of the most popular online activities, with estimated 3.6 billion people using it in 2020 worldwide. The top 5 social media sites according monthly active users are unsurprisingly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Hence, you would miss out opportunities of exposure to your target audience if you do not join the social media train. If you still have doubts about the benefits of social media, visit our latest article where we list the seven biggest benefits of social media to your brand.
In the last few years, a lot of new social networks have been introduced to the market, which makes the choice a bit more complicated. There are networks for different purposes and for different kinds of audiences. While it is possible to be present in all of them, we do not recommend it. Instead, you must focus on those that bring the right audience for your business, and that meets your marketing objectives.
Before you start to choose the right platform for your business, there are some three considerations that must be done. We will tell you which points are important to help you decide which platform is best for you.
1. What are your marketing objectives?
It is difficult to decide with which platform to go without first having the marketing objectives set. Each platform brings its own characteristics and is more efficient by bringing results to various goals. Furthermore, it is crucial to determine your goals beforehand, to be able to measure the results and success of your campaigns. We will tell you about the 5 most common social media marketing objectives:
- Brand awareness: One of the top reason’s marketers are using social media is to get consumer’s attention and exposing your business to new people. With 3,6 billion active users worldwide spending in average 144 minutes per day, you will have a high chance to reach out to your prospects and get your message delivered.
- Boost engagement: To improve brand perception, loyalty, and word of mouth recommendations, you should focus on boosting your engagement. Furthermore, social media platform’s algorithms are prioritizing posts with higher engagement perspective.
- Drive traffic to your website: One step further is driving those exposures into visitors to your website or blog, which then might become your customers. Marketers use social media to distribute their content and drive traffic to their sites.
- Lead generation: Companies with a long sales process, typically use lead generation techniques, such as a form to obtain email addresses, as their main marketing objective. This way they gather new prospective clients.
- Conversion: You can use social media to turn your audience directly into paying customers. One popular strategy is using social media advertising to boost sales.
2. Which channels are your audience using?
The main strategy of using social media, and overall digital marketing strategy, is finding a channel to reach your target customers, building and maintaining current customer relationships. Therefore, using a platform where your target audience is not present in, would not be efficient.
Before attempting to understand which platforms are most likely to reach your preferred audience, the first thing to do is clarify who your target audience is. Create buyer personas for your customers and get information about their age, gender, income level etc.
From there, you can line up these insights with the demographic data of social networks and see which network fits the best. You can find such insights in websites like the Pew Research Center for Internet and Technology. This is a platform that runs continuous research on demographics of different social media platforms, and these are a huge help when you are determining where your audience is most likely to spend their time online. After setting your personas, if you would like to know your audience size present in social media, some platforms like Facebook will give you an estimate of how many people you can reach.
3. Which type of content are you creating?
The next point you must consider is the type of content you are creating, or you would like to create. Different platforms work better with different kinds of content. While Instagram is a great source for sharing pictures, Youtube is the number one platform to share tutorials and longer formats of video content.
Beside video and single image content there is a plethora of other types of content you could be creating to engage your public, for example: blog posts, podcasts, user-generated content, webinars, ebooks etc.
Before diving into content creation, you should decide which best suits your type of business and is most likely to be responsive to your target audience. If you want to know more about the importance of content marketing read our article “What is Content Marketing? 7 benefits.”.
Finally, which platform is the best for your business?
Now that you’ve set your marketing goals and figured out what platforms your target audience is present on and what type of content suits you best, you can identify the types of social media platforms that may be most responsive to your strategy. Here are the top five social media platforms together with their characteristics and type of users:
You are probably already expecting that Facebook is one of the biggest platforms when it comes to social media. With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most widely used platform and its advertising platform can be customized to target very specific audiences. Whether your business goal is brand awareness, boosting engagement, website traffic, lead generation or online conversion, Facebook is the right place in reaching your goals, when used properly.
Remember, this is where users want to get a different perspective of the business in addition to their website presence, more of a “behind the scenes” presentation. This helps gaining credibility and shows that you care and connect with your customer. So, use content that represents your business best, by considering the tone of voice, formats and visuals. Photos, contests, questions and videos work exceptionally well on Facebook.
With 330 million monthly active visitors, Twitter is the second most popular social media platform, where users, mostly between 35-65 years old, post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Compared to the other platforms, Twitter is created to share breaking news, how to articles, quotations and information around technology, news, sports, marketing, journalism etc.
However, the characters of each message are limited to 280 or less, which means that you have to be interesting, informative and precise all in one tweet. If you are doing a good job, users can “retweet” your message, which makes it a great platform for brand awareness.
Instagram is a visual platform as you can only publish posts that include photos and videos. With an active monthly user base of over 1 billion, mostly under age 40, Instagram can’t be ignored for brand awareness, engagement boosting and online conversion. Instagram has all the same paid benefits of Facebook, but Instagram also has its own set of organic benefits. This makes the platform a great option for both, business with and without advertising budget.
The type of content that works best on Instagram are beautiful photography, stunning visuals, and unique designs with a small amount of text. A cohesive theme to your content will help you stand out on Instagram. Moreover, it also integrates with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, which allows you sharing the same photos across multiple platforms.
LinkedIn is normally the first-choice platform for recruitment and B2B online marketing. The platform enables you to connect and share content with other professionals including colleagues, potential employers, and business partners. Looking at the advertising audience profile, 25-34 year olds are the predominant demographic, accounting for 60%.
With editorial content you can show expertise in your field and build authority for your brand. With the opportunity of direct messaging advertising, LinkedIn is a great platform for lead generation.
When you think about Pinterest, first thing that come in to mind are stunning visuals and a lot of DIY posts. It is a great platform for finding ideas like recipes, home styles, fashion inspiration, and much more. When you discover “Pins” you like, you save them to boards to keep your ideas organized and easy to find.
There are 360 million people who are using Pinterest every month and 40% are mostly between the age 25-35. Pinterest users, for the most part, actually do not mind advertising. It is the perfect fit to increase online conversion, with 83% of users having made purchases based on brand content.
Social Media is a great tool for any business to boost online presence and engagement with customers. It can help you to reach out to a diverse group of audience all over the world and to start to understand your audience better by gaining important insights.
The Team of Link37 will help you to figure out the best social media strategy for your business and the platform which suits best to your marketing goals, type of content and audience group. Contact us to learn more!