There are a multitude of social networks to choose from, starting with the most popular ones like Facebook and Twitter to others on the rise such as SnapChat and Vine. But how do you know which platforms will provide the best ROI for your business? Fortunately, we can help you figure it out. Your industry, target audience and the types of content you wish to share are all part of a comprehensive social media strategy, and should be top considerations when deciding the best social platforms for your business. Let’s go through it step by step.
First, take a moment and really analyze your target audience. What generation do they belong to – are they Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers, or Millennials, or do they fall somewhere else? Doing research on your audience’s overall values, behaviors and content preferences will go a long way. Determine the most active audiences on each social network and compare that against your target demographic. For example, Facebook is aging – it’s the most appropriate platform to reach older users (65+). And age isn’t the only factor to consider. Gender, education level, geographic location and more should come into play, too.
Consider what types of content your target audience prefers to view. Is it visual or written? It is images or videos? Is it user-generated or company-based? Then get to know what types of content are most prevalent on each social network. Facebook has a strong mix of all types, Twitter is mostly text although images play a role, Pinterest and Instagram are all visual, YouTube is all video, and LinkedIn is all business. The type of content your company is mostly likely to share should match the respective network. For example, e-commerce websites with a primary focus on visual content are ideal for Pinterest, as you can drive users directly to your site with an image, and potentially even convert them into paid customers. Think about what your company does, and consider what balance of text, image and video would best facilitate your products or services. From there, choosing social networks should be relatively simple.
Knowing your target audience and what types of content you’ll share with them will help you determine which networks are best for your business. But also take into account your industry – are you a B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) company? Keep in mind networks such as LinkedIn; it’s a great resource for B2B companies. Known as the business-oriented social networking site, it’s an ideal place for B2B companies to find new prospects, highlight recent accolades and spread the word about their products or services. B2C companies aren’t necessarily right for LinkedIn, but are probably more suited for networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is ideal for local businesses, as customer will seek out your page for updates, opening times, events and more. It’s a great site to interact with audiences of all ages, offer customer service, and showcase your products or services. An important aspect to keep in mind when using Facebook, however, is that your updates are only seen by a small percentage of your fans. This is why paid advertising plays such a large role – you can pinpoint your target audience (including your current fans and beyond) and show them important content such as special promotions or company announcements. It’s also necessary to post frequently and stay active on Facebook; brands that post multiple times a day experience higher levels of engagement compared to those that don’t.
Even if your business is small, or has a unique niche, you can still find an audience on Twitter. It’s one of the most active social networks, with over 340 million tweets per day. Your followers can see everything you tweet, unless you tweet someone directly. Tweets, which are comprised of 140 characters or less, are easy to create – and because they’re so short, they’re not very time consuming. It’s possible to become an active player on Twitter in just 15 minutes a day! And by utilizing popular and relevant hashtags, you can get your message in front of other users beyond your current followers. You may even want to use paid advertising opportunities such as Promoted Tweets to show your content to targeted users or Promoted Accounts to increase your following.
When it comes to deciding where you’ll spend your time on social media, listen to your gut. Are there social networks on the rise that you feel are a great match for your business? How are your existing platforms doing? Which ones are getting the most traction? Evaluate your website analytics to understand whether social activity (either yours or user-generated) is a major driver of visits to your site. If you’ve done your homework and are confident you’re using a social media platform appropriately, there’s no need to spend the bulk of your time on it if you’re not getting the results you want.
Whether it’s time to reevaluate your social media strategy, or start from scratch, Sage Island can help. Our savvy team of marketers knows the ins and outs of each social network, and can match your company’s goals to the most appropriate platforms – or even devise a comprehensive content plan for you. Give us a call today to get started.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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