If your business is not on any social media platform, pat yourself on the back for surviving this long.
The question is, are you thriving or merely surviving? What there should be no question about is the value of social media for your digital marketing strategy.
Put simply, it is one of the most important processes in your online marketing toolbox. With the right social media platform, you will be able to achieve your digital marketing goals.
The problem is there are hundreds, even thousands of social media platforms on the Internet to choose from. It will be impossible for you to open an account in all of them. And if for some reason, you could, it would not be advisable.
How To Select The Best Social Media Platform For Your Business
First, narrow down your choices.It will be hard to manage several social media accounts at one time. Can you imagine developing and tracking campaigns for 10 social media accounts? If this is your first time to use social media for your business, start out with 1-2 platforms.
Now, let’s proceed with finding out which social media platforms will work best for your business.
Define Your Marketing Goal
Facebook is the biggest social media network on the Internet. To date, it has more than 2 Billion users with more than 1 billion active users every day. While market size is certainly a significant factor to consider, will it help you achieve your marketing goal?
If you cannot explain how your choice of social media network will bring your business closer to its goal, then most likely, it will not be the platform for you.
A social media marketing campaign can have different goals. For example, if you want to generate leads for your business, LinkedIn would be a good choice.
LinkedIn is the preferred social media platform of professionals looking to find work, improve career advancement, or build their network of contacts. It has great features that allow you to generate leads effectively:
• Discussion Groups – Look for discussion groups that are relevant to your business, industry, or interest. Once you have been accepted, try to be active in the discussion forums. Engage with the group; share your expertise. Members who are impressed with your knowledge may visit your LinkedIn page and connect with you.
• Blog – LinkedIn has a built-in blogging platform. Take the time to write blogs that are relevant, engaging, informative, and compelling. Share your content with the community. The more often you blog the more your community will take notice of your expertise.
Twitter is the best social media platform to use if you want to launch a product, a service, or a new promotion. Its short messaging system makes it easy for your audience to read and respond to your content.
For example, if you are having a special grand opening sale for your bakeshop, you can tweet, “50% off all donuts for only one hour right now!” You can expect a mad rush of donut-craving followers heading to your store within the hour.
Define Your Audience or Buyer’s Persona
Who is most likely to buy your product or patronize your service? If you are selling real estate, you should be targeting people who are actively looking for homes whether for residency or as an investment.
What would be their profile? If the home is for residency, the profile may include the following characteristics:
- Married with at least one child or in the process of starting a family.
- Buyer has a stable career or consistent stream of income that will allow him/her to cover monthly amortization payments.
If for investment or speculation, the profile would change as follows:
- Older demographic; 45 years old and higher, kids possibly grown-up, college-level or working.
- Established, well-paying career, and experienced with investing.
- Buyer has disposable income that can be used for real estate speculation.
Knowing who your audience is or the persona of your buyer will help you determine 2 things: The type of content to write and where to publish them.
In our previous examples, Facebook would be the best social media platform for the real estate agency. You can set up a Facebook business page and post content about your company, its properties, and other services you provide. You can also do the following:
- Write blogs about the real estate industry; its current trends and developments.
- Write “How To”, List-Type articles and informative content. For example, “How to Choose the Best Real Estate Agent”, “Top 5 Ways to Inspect a Home Before Buying It” or “Why You Should Apply for a Home Loan NOW”.
- Curate relevant content from other sources.
- Post great-looking videos and images of the properties you are selling.
- Set up a messaging account via FB Messenger where interested parties can send you private messages.
Determine Which Platforms Your Audience Is Using
If you are in the health and fitness industry, LinkedIn may not be as valuable to your business compared to Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook. This is true if your business offers personal training services or sells vitamins and minerals.
For a personal training service, people want to see results. Supplements are highly-visual items. People who are interested in acquiring personal training services or buying supplements are more likely to be using image-heavy and video-content based social media platforms.
You will be better off using Instagram and YouTube to post your training/ workout videos or high- resolution images of your products on Pinterest and Facebook.
Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest are among the best image/video content-based social media platforms on the Internet. They work best for businesses with products that are highly- visual such as fashion apparel, jewellery, smartphones, food, toys, and makeup.
If your business deals with accounting services, the legal practice, or business consultancy, Instagram will not give you the exposure you need. You will be better off with a professional networking platform such as LinkedIn.
Identify the Types of Content that will be Part of Your Strategy
Will you be publishing more blogs or producing and posting video content? Are you coming out with product reviews, informative articles, or curated content? Are you planning to include PPC or Pay- Per- Click ads and search engine directory listings?
The type of content you use will determine your distribution strategy. Consequently, content will also influence your choice of social media platform for your business.
For example, a social media marketing campaign that includes blogs, curated content, video content, and PPC should be distributed through Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook owns Instagram and has slowly transitioned from a social media company into an advertising agency. Facebook can position your PPC ads in its various channels: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Audience Network.
YouTube is owned by the biggest search engine on the Internet, Google. For its part, YouTube is the biggest video-streaming service on the Internet. Your content and ads will have the opportunity to be seen by a wide and broad audience.
Find Out the Social Media Platforms That Your Competition is Using
Take some time to determine the social media platforms that your competition is using. Knowing what the competition is doing will give you an idea if your strategy is on the right track:
• What are they writing about?
• Which types of content are generating the highest engagement levels?
• How often do they post videos?
• What are the comments from the audience?
If the well runs dry, turn over to your competition to get new ideas. They are probably applying the same strategy to you anyway!
Not all social media platforms function in the same way because they cater to different communities. There is virtually a social media platform for every hobby, interest, and industry. The conditions, features, and user-demographic of one platform may be more ideal for one type of business or industry over others.
Thus, the act of opening an account will not guarantee results. You will have to select the best social media platform or platforms that can support your business objectives. It may take some time to make your choices, but your time, effort, and energy will not be wasted.