Your first instinct may be to choose the social media platform you use the most. That may be the right choice, but how do you know? There are several factors you should think about when making your choice. Your current familiarity with a particular platform should be low on the list.
Getting to know the advantages and disadvantages of each social media platform can make a huge difference in your engagement, who you can reach, and what you can accomplish with your social marketing efforts. Using the correct social media platform and customizing your unique message for each one, you’ll have no trouble reaching your target audience.
If you’re wondering if your strategy needs some changes or you are new to social media marketing, here are five steps for choosing the right platforms for your business:
1. Clearly define your goals
It’s imperative to clarify your goals before using social media to promote as part of your general marketing plan.
Start by answering specific questions like:
Do I want to grow brand awareness?
Increase event attendance?
Improve communication with current customers?
Using your answers and keeping your purpose in mind, set specific, measurable goals that you work toward achieving with social media. Setting goals means you have a greater chance of achieving them. Goals hold you accountable and guide your budget.
2. Learn what the different social media platforms are and how to use them
After your goals are set, consider how YOU use each platform.
Facebook – Facebook has more than 2.91 billion monthly active users as of March 2022. It is the largest social media platform. It’s a place where people converse with family and friends, as well as brands they like and trust. Take care not to make posts too sales-oriented or they will get tuned out.
Twitter – Twitter is the place to be for live updates and the latest news. It’s a great place for users to speak directly to the businesses and brands they follow. You can share quotes, provide stats, or talk about the latest news with a link to your website. Using hashtags helps you reach a broader audience. The proper hashtags will really increase the reach of your tweets.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a site for professionals who want to network with each other. Businesses and professionals use it to grow their expertise and find out more about a particular industry. It can be an ideal platform for B2B brands to connect with their preferred audience when done correctly. LinkedIn is a useful tool for driving traffic, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and recruiting new talent.
Instagram – Instagram is a visually focused platform that allows users to take, edit, and share photos, videos, and direct messages. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look, broaden your reach with hashtags, or announce new promotions. Businesses make up a third of all Instagram stories. Create shareable content that invites users to share and tag their friends to help extend your reach further.
YouTube – Video content is becoming vital for any digital marketing strategy, YouTube is now an insanely popular social media platform for vlogs, shorts, and other video content. You can share anything from instructional videos to tips/tricks and promotional videos. YouTube can help you get your brand noticed with engaging high-quality videos.
3. Identify your target audience and the platforms they use.
Now that you’ve gotten to know the different social media platforms. You can figure out where your target audience spends most of their time. Usually, social media sites have insight tools to help you with this.
Look closely at your target audience. Not all content will resound with all of them, but it should be aimed toward engaging the people you’re targeting. Once you identify where your audience hangs out, you can generate content that will engage with them.
Your content should be a combination of original, top-quality content and curated posts, with the occasional promo thrown in for good measure.
Once you get established on your chosen platforms, invite current customers to connect and see where your brand shines the brightest!
4. Find your tone and voice for EACH
Your brand's voice and tone go together. Each time you post to your social media accounts you are using your brand’s voice or its personality. Think of your brand's voice as the community, conversation, and culture. Then create a list of adjectives describing the overall vibe you want to communicate.
The tone is part of your brand voice depending on the platform, situation, and audience you are using. This is how you carry out your mission.
Your tone helps you form a connection with your followers. Make sure to write like you talk and avoid slang that makes it difficult for your followers to relate. This allows you to join the dialogue naturally. Every post you make is representative of your brand. Consistency is important across all channels.
5. Tailor content differently across platforms
Each platform offers something different that can benefit your business, make sure to customize your content to each one. One size does not fit all in this case, be sure to mix it up for each channel. Try to be in tune with what your customers are looking for while on their social media journey.
Be sure to create various types of content to share across the platforms you choose: blog posts, news, infographics, photos, and videos. Give special consideration to how you can use live videos for marketing your business as the demand for live video is growing faster than the number of viewers.
Ok, Got it. Now What?
Make sure to keep track of your statistics on every social media platform you use and analyze the posts that had the best performance. Think about why they stood out and how you can develop that engagement more often on that platform and the others. This helps to set you apart and get more eyeballs on your content.
Take note of the posts that aren’t performing as well on that platform, and consider the time of day they are posted and what type of content it is. Knowing what time to post on each of your social channels enables you to post at peak times to get more interaction and engagement from your audience.
Whether you’re a small business owner or an executive director for a non-profit, when choosing the best social media platforms for your business, don’t be afraid of experimenting!
Social media is a great place to show off your passions, personality, and values. Seeing this, your target audience will be drawn to the “human” aspect of your brand, whichever platform you prefer.
Choosing the right social media platforms for your business can be intimidating. Contact us today to find what’s right for you.