Savvy marketers know that a social media presence is no longer an option these days; it’s a necessary part of doing business. But with the number of social media platforms constantly growing, deciding which are best for you can be confusing. Spread yourself too thin and you’ll find it difficult to maintain a consistent presence, but if you throw all your eggs in one basket, you run the risk of wasting time, effort, and money. So, how do you narrow down your choices and make the best decision?
Developing a Social Media Strategy
A solid social media strategy is designed to help your business achieve the following goals:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Generate leads and sales
- Engage with your audience
- Distribute content
Before narrowing down your social media choices, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I B2B, B2C, or both?
B2B companies, which sell products and services to other businesses, should primarily focus on generating sales leads through social media marketing. Content should be professional in nature and include white papers, case studies, blog posts, and infographics. B2C companies sell products directly to consumers; for them, audience reach is most important – the more eyes on their product, the higher their potential revenue. Content should be more visual (think videos and photos) and casual.
2. Who is my target audience?
Demographics play a huge role in determining which platforms to focus on. Gender and age are important, of course, but focus on other factors such as income, education, relationship status, hobbies/interests, geographical location, level of technical expertise, etc. Your data will help point you in the right direction.
3. What is my overall goal?
You wouldn’t kick off a traditional marketing campaign without a thorough understanding of your desired outcome, and social media is no different. Figure out the type of splash you want to make before jumping in the water!
Pros & Cons of Top Social Media Platforms
Now that you have a good understanding of what you’re hoping to accomplish with your social media strategy, it’s time to decide which platforms are best suited to enabling you to reach your goals. Each has their pros and cons.
Facebook has received a lot of negative press lately, but there’s no denying the fact that it is the most popular social media platform in the world. With over two billion users, you can’t beat its reach and mass appeal. Facebook is ideal for all types of content including text, photos, videos, and stories, and offers powerful marketing tools and extensive analytics.
Ideal for: B2C brands, foreign and niche markets.
Key demographics: Seniors, urban dwellers.
Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, and it now ranks as the second most popular social media site. The platform’s emphasis on visuals is especially appealing to a younger demographic and is somewhat influencer-dominated. Because you can connect it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, cross-posting is a cinch.
Ideal for: B2C companies, retail.
Key demographics: Millennials, women.
Twitter provides the best opportunity for your posts to go viral through the power of retweets, but brevity is a must given the platform’s 280-character limit. With 126 million engaged users daily, Twitter is a great tool for raising brand awareness. If your brand relies heavily on visuals, you should focus your efforts elsewhere.
Ideal for: B2B brands, information/communication companies.
Key demographics: Millennials, the affluent.
LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professional networking. It’s a great way to promote your brand, position yourself as an industry leader, and find talent – but it won’t help you sell many products.
Ideal for: B2B companies, small and niche businesses.
Key demographics: College-educated, the affluent.
YouTube is the second most popular social media site, as well as the second largest search engine (behind Google). Its dedication to video sharing makes it the perfect platform for creative companies. Dedicated to video sharing, YouTube is the perfect platform for visually-driven, creative brands.
Ideal for: B2C brands, e-commerce.
Key demographics: Males, Millennials.
This visually-based platform, by some accounts, has surpassed email in terms of shared content. The site is less about engagement and more focused on discovery and inspiration, but its impressive revenue rate per click makes it great for retailers.
Ideal for: B2C companies, retail.
Key demographics: Women, college-educated.
Need a social media crash course, or just want to get a head start on your plans for your business? Set up a one-on-one consultation with us! We’re happy to help.