The rise in the creation of social media platforms does not necessarily mean that business should be on all of them. Instead, we believe that businesses should choose platforms that align with their brand and target audience.
A good way to start is acknowledging your target audience. Age is a good demographic to determine the appropriate platform for your brand. For example, very few people ages 45+ use twitter, they are more likely to use Facebook. Whilst those under 30 tend to be on Instagram or Snapchat. Other effective demographics include occupation, income bracket, location, and education level. The more you know about your customer, the better you can communicate with them.
Businesses also need to look at platforms, that will have the best engagement for your brand. Businesses need to set the right tone or language to put out to the internet. For example, since more young people use Snapchat or Instagram, companies might want to be more casual in their messaging. Other elements to consider include: Is the business on a local or international scale? Are they B2B or B2C? Does the business have multiple locations? Are they a franchise? etc.
It is also important to identify the goal and objective of being on social media. Is the objective to create brand awareness? Are you looking to engage with your customers to provide better customer service,? Or are you looking to drive traffic to your online store, get more booking for your restaurant, more appointments to your clinic or salon? Some social media platforms can achieve different goals easier than others.
Once businesses have assessed these factors, it’s best to start with one platform. Once you are using one platform effectively, then you can expand them to the next. Don’t try to be on too many platforms at the same time unless you have a marketing team behind you or you hire an agency like us to handle it. Social media requires a lot of time and you won’t achieve results if you’re stretched out too thin.
Important Factors for a Successful Social Media Strategy
Brands should be consistent when engaging consumers on social media platforms. Firstly, don’t post too much or too little. Some times, business owners will go to a seminar and be inspired to open a social media account. They set it up post for a few days then get busy and forget about it. The opposite also applies, when businesses post too much, consumers can get annoyed.
Keep it consistent. Find out when is the best time to post. This is usually when your audience is the most active. Test out different times on a different day of the week to see what works for your niche audience. It takes time to learn the pattern and to craft the message that will resonate with your audience. Once you grasp it, you can scale it as much as you like.
It’s important to be part of the community and to provide value. Kindness also goes a long way. Social media gives you the ability to reach out to people behind their computer screens or mobile devices. Businesses should treat social media with the same social queues as how to behave when you are actually in front of a person.
It’s usually not effective when you go up to people and start selling your product or service. You will turn into a business that spams people like those loiterers that also try to catch you when you’re walking on the street. No one likes that. The best way to engage with the community is to start a conversation. Find common ground. Maybe your product or service could benefit them. That common ground and conversation will make your pitch to them more effective.
A businesses’ tone is important for effective communication. This will lead back to your objectives and target audience. Are you trying to reach a younger demographic or business minded people? This will determine if you want to communicate in a casual or professional manner. Talk in their language. Some brands go for the professional manner, whilst some use memes, GIFs, and emojis. Either way is fine, but it should be consistent throughout the brand.
Another way to communicate is to make your presence known. This includes the consistency of posting, but also consistency in engaging with the audience. A lot of people might ask questions in the comments. If they have taken that time to post something, it means that they have an interest in your business. It’s important that businesses reply to queries and complaints to keep up the engagement.
Also, businesses should make sure they’re using the platforms correctly to be seen. This could include using hashtags, photo tags, or even advertisements.
A Guide on Choosing Social Media Platform for Your Business
Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms in the world with over 1.5 billion daily active users. It is used globally and a great way to reach a wide audience as well as a broad spectrum of targets. It’s good for B2C and even B2B. There is a close ratio of male and females that use the platform and ages range from 18 to 65+. Many Facebook users are also middle-class college graduates. All businesses can benefit from having a Facebook presence.
Instagram is a great platform for businesses with a visual product as the platform most caters to posting photos or short videos. This is why travel, hospitality, fashion, and beauty industries do very well on the platform. It’s best for B2C, especially to those targeting consumers under 35. Just make sure that you’re using your creating your own visual content and not reusing some stock photo.
Pinterest is a popular platform for consumers who need to plan things out visually. If your product or service is related to home remodels, landscaping, event planning, etc., this will be the best platform to reach your target. It’s mostly for B2C especially women 18-45 years of age. A lot of their users are located in the suburban or rural areas.
LinkedIn is a strong B2B platform and B2C for employment services. LinkedIn is used by consumers to drive business decisions and college educated. This platform is best for businesses in employment, finance, science and technology, or law. The platform allows users to network and connects with other businesses in a way, most platforms cannot.
Twitter would be our go-to platform if your business has a big element of customer service. It reaches B2C and some B2B mostly with men and women 18-29 years of age. People often tweet businesses if there’s an issue with a product or service. It’s important to engage as these tweets will also be broadcasted to their followers. It’s also a great platform to show expertise or insight, which is why news and information outlets thrive on the platform.
There are a few platforms that are specifically for a niche audience.
Meetup is a great platform for companies that run workshops or events.
Quora is full of questions that might relate to your industry. It’s another way to give value to the community by providing answers and establishing your authority as an expert in the field.
Medium works well for freelance writers or business owners who want to engage with their industry or show their expertise.
Final Thoughts on Choosing a Social Media Channel to Market Your Business in 2019
When businesses take the time to understand what they want out of social media, it will save time to achieve it. However, this doesn’t mean that social media requires little work. Companies need to actually be social on social media. We recommend spending at least six hours a week on posting, engaging with the community and monitoring your statistics.
For the busy businesses that never have time to schedule posts or engage in real-time, there are many applications out there to make it easier. Or you can just hire an agency like us to get the job done.