Picking The Best Social Media Channel For Your Business
If you haven’t yet begun harnessing the capabilities of social media marketing there aren’t enough words for me to tell you about how much you’re missing out on. According to statistics by Hubspot, over 60% of social media marketers enjoy improved lead generations by simply spending 6 hours a week marketing on social media.
When you properly execute your social media strategy, you’ll be able to increase conversion rates, send more traffic to your website, and improve search rankings.
Unfortunately, there are times when people don’t know what the best social media channel for marketing their brand is and so find it challenging coming up with an effective social media marketing strategy.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, there are social media channels for almost every niche not including the major networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. The multitude of options can easily become overwhelming.
Below is a guide that will help you determine the best social media channel to use for your business.
Question #1: What Objectives Are You Trying To Achieve With Your Social Media Strategy
You need to strategize how a particular social media channel will help you achieve the goals you set. If you can’t explain how a particular network will help you determine your goals, then you shouldn’t proceed with it.
Enhancing Brand Awareness
Are you trying to enhance brand awareness? You should opt to use social networks that have a large monthly active user base. Once you have pinpointed a site with a strong user base, you need to look at the various forms of paid promotion they offer as that will exponentially increase your reach. You need to do research on the social media advertising options that are available to you.
Facebook, for instance, has a reputation of a high ROI.
Enhancing Lead Generation
Is your objective to generate more leads? Then LinkedIn might be the solution you’re looking for. In fact, it is well known that LinkedIn is the best social media site for lead generation. There are a couple of ways to do this, you can:
- Join LinkedIn Groups and engage in discussions
- Search with advanced filters
Other options to consider would be Twitter and Facebook which have a lower CPC than Google AdWords despite being highly effective.
Question #2: What Social Networks Are Your Target Audience Using?
Once you’ve managed to select a social network where you can fulfill your marketing campaign’s objective, you need to determine where exactly on the internet is your target audience interacting. Think about it, what good is it to maintain an Instagram account if your target audience are octogenarians suffering from arthritis. The same can be said of establishing a Pinterest board for your brand if your target audience are male.
If you want to create a robust social media marketing strategy you’ll need to have a good understanding of your social media channel’s demographic. By making your audience a focus, you’ll be able to have a granular target of your demographic. This, in turn, will have an effect of increasing your conversion rates.
To gain insight into the current demographic makeup of your followers, you can use a tool such as Sprout Social. Once you have data such as:
You will have a better understanding of which social media channels to keep and which ones to do away with.
If you’re still yet to choose a social media channel, you can take a peek at this study published by the Pew Research center containing the demographics for the major social media sites.
Using this study you’ll gain valuable insights of your target demographic. For instance, did you know that over 41% of LinkedIn users have a salary of $75,000+?
The gist of this is that before you pick a social media network you should ensure that your decision is based of hard data and not current trends that might be dominating discussion.
Question #3: What Social Networks Do Your Competitors Use?
This is just as important as determining social networks that your audience uses. By finding out what sites your competitors are using you’ll be providing yourself with a baseline for which you can gauge industry activity.
A list of other things you’ll need to look into includes:
- How often do they post
- What kind of content do they post
- Number of shares that their posts gain
You can use this information to draw inspiration from their strategy and reverse engineer their tactics. Using a tool like Buzzsumo will allow you to understand how extensive the reach of various brands in your industry is. For instance, you can see your competitor’s best performing content in terms of social shares. This way you’ll be able to see what social media channels they have the largest following.
Question #4: What Kind Of Content Will You Create
Content is king and it comes in various formats:
You want to create content that complements both your brand identity and business goals. Not all content will help you achieve your goals so you have to take enough time coming up with content that will have a healthy ROI.
Let’s cover the different types of content in detail:
This also includes company news and industry updates. Whitepapers are most ideal for B2B audiences who are mostly found on SlideShare and LinkedIn for the most part. You can also disseminate your whitepaper on Twitter using your company’s official account or a personal one.
We all know that YouTube is the place to post your videos, however, you might not know that you’ll have more success if you post short-form videos targeted at a younger audience on other social media sites such as Periscope, Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram.
If your video is longer you can post it on either YouTube, Twitter or Facebook where it is likely to generate higher levels of engagement especially if it has a global appeal.
Pinterest is perfect for a B2C brand with an engaging product. In fact, according to an infographic jointly produced by Shopify and Pinterest, 93% of users leverage the platform before they make their purchases on Shopify. On the other hand if you want to build a story for an inspirational visual brand then Instagram is where you need to be. Tumblr is suited more to a younger audience due to their preference for image-heavy content.
If you want to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry there’s no better platform for you to publish your content than on LinkedIn. LinkedIn now has over 500 million registered professionals in various industries.
Alternatively, you could publish your work on Medium. 43% of Medium’s readers are is estimated to be making more than six figures while an even 95% is college graduated.
Question #5: How Many Social Network Accounts Can You Run?
It is estimated that at least 91% of retail brands use more than one social network. Even though it might seem obvious that using just one social media network might not be enough, most marketers usually have a challenge with knowing what the right number of social media accounts to have is. By having way too many social media accounts you’ll be diluting your brand’s message while being on too few networks your brand is likely to suffer.
Thankfully there are a couple of scheduling tools (free and paid) that can allow you to schedule posts on all your networks. You can start out on a few channels then scale as you grow better at cross-posting content.