Social media has dramatically transformed the marketing landscape. Enormously popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram now make it possible for you to get leads and promote your brand more powerfully than ever, but only if you pursue those audiences wisely.
The sheer number of social media channels currently available can make selecting the right ones a confusing, frustrating, intimidating chore. Thankfully, you can simplify this burden once you know how to focus on what truly matters in social media marketing. Start by asking yourself the following four key questions.
1. What Audience Do You Need to Target?
Before you can market to any prospective buyers, you must understand that buyer’s behaviors and preferences. Start by creating a detailed buyer persona, a fictionalized amalgam of your target audience based on demographics and other real-world data. Social media channel usage should fit into that picture.
Common sense should also guide you in your approach to social media channel selection. For instance, a younger, more mobile-savvy buyer will probably use Snapchat or Pinterest more than an older buyer more accustomed to traditional text articles posted to LinkedIn, Facebook, or even your own blog page.
One key consideration involves B2B (business-to-business) audiences versus B2C (business-to-consumer) audiences. B2B audiences usually require more in-depth information and thought leadership articles than B2C audiences, who respond more readily to Tweets and photos. Choose your social media channels accordingly.
2. What Cross-Channel Behaviors Do Followers Exhibit?
Even if most of your target audience spends its time on a few select social media channels, you still want to reach all of that audience as efficiently as possible. Fortunately, you don’t have to generate unique content for each of those channels. Instead, create content that reads or plays well across all your chosen channels.
Find out which of your followers on one social media channel will likely follow other channels as well, and which channels those individuals will most likely prefer. For instance, 90 percent of LinkedIn users also report using Facebook, while just 33 percent of Facebook users also follow LinkedIn channels.
3. What Do You Want Your Social Media Channels to Accomplish?
Just as successful social media marketing requires a clear sense of the prospective market, it also requires a set of clear, specific goals. Ask yourself what you want your social media presence to achieve for your business. Your goals might include brand awareness, lead generation, or direct sales.
Different social media channels can help you meet different goals. For instance, short TikTok videos and Facebook-based targeted ads can boost brand awareness, while business lead generation naturally lends itself to LinkedIn. Since sales efforts benefit from enticing images, use Pinterest or Instagram for this purpose.
4. What Channels Do Your Competitors Use?
While you don’t necessarily want to mimic everything your competitors do, you don’t want to ignore their strategies. If your rivals maintain a highly visible presence on certain social media channels, you may need to ensure that your brand’s image and voice gets heard loud and clear on those same channels.
Research your competitors’ social media habits carefully. You may gain valuable insights simply by following their everyday social media channel activity, from the frequency and content of their posts to how their audience comments on the content and shares it with others. A digital marketing agency can track this activity for you.
Your choice of social media channels represents only one piece of a successful, comprehensive marketing plan. If you need professional skills, advice, and implementation to help you integrate smart social media usage into a larger strategic program, contact Grow Team to request a free online marketing evaluation.