While some businesses may find great success with Facebook, others may see Snapchat as the key to high ROI. The key, of course, is identifying which social channel best suits your products, services and audience. But before you develop a marketing strategy, check out the following details to get a brief understanding of how to select the right social channels for your brand to reach your target customers.
What Do You Need to Know?
Companies should have answers to the following questions before determining which social media platforms will provide them with the best return on time and monetary investment.
1. Who is your audience? The best social tool for you depends on the types of service your company provides — business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B), and the type of people interacting with your brand and using your products, services or resources.
From a social media marketing perspective, Facebook is typically the most important channel for both B2C and B2B marketers. Other than Facebook, LinkedIn is the clear winner for B2B social media. However, if you’re a B2C brand, you might prefer Pinterest or Instagram.
2. Where is your target audience or buyer? Look for the channels that are popular among your target audience. If you simply want to increase brand awareness, consider selecting well-established platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, which have large followings.
3. Which channels align with your market? Pick the channels which have the most impact on target customers. Posting highly engaging content consistently on two or more channels can allow you to interact with your target audience, leading to conversion and customers.
4. Which channels are your competitors using? The simplest way to determine which social networks cater to your industry is to look at your competitors’ social media activity so you can learn from their mistakes and successes.
5. How do you want to use social media? First, decide what type of content you want to publish on social media. Also, decide the type of content that performs best for any channel. Then produce quality content that encourages interaction from users.
6. What type of content best suits your audience? Long-form, research-driven articles appeal to LinkedIn users who seek to learn about an industry or improve their professional skills. Images or visuals may gain more traction on Instagram, Snapchat or Tumblr. Photos and custom graphics (such as infographics) can have the best response on Instagram or Pinterest. If you plan to share a lot of links, consider Twitter and Facebook.
For news, industry updates or content-rich posts like thought leadership, whitepapers, webinars and events, consider LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Reddit. Short-form video content can be best featured on Instagram and Snapchat, while longer and more universal video content can generate high levels of engagement through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Top Social Media Channels for Your Marketing Goals
If you know your marketing goals, consider this guide to pinpoint which social channels might best suit your needs.
Facebook: The friendly environment of Facebook requires an active social media marketing strategy. The visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience and can include any form of content.
Instagram: This is a predominantly visual platform, so it’s important to post high-quality photos and videos that showcase an aspirational visual brand story. Use hashtags in your captions, as this generates interest and increases engagement.
LinkedIn: This channel is popular for B2B marketing because the audience comprises business professionals from a diverse range of industries, many of whom hold decision-making roles. Individuals and companies can share updates through posts (images, videos, etc.) and articles that both peers and potential customers find valuable, actionable and thought-provoking. This enhances social media lead generation for a B2B business, whether it’s through joining groups and participating in discussions, or searching with advanced filters. Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile make a business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Be active in answering the “Questions” section of LinkedIn — this will help you get established as a thought leader and earn trust.
Snapchat: This marketing tool is used to create more personal connections with customers and gain a loyal following. It’s ideal for sharing unique video content, new collections and interviews with influencers and prominent figures.
Twitter: This platform is ideal for companies that emphasize customer service, such as cabs, flights, restaurants, hotels, etc. The platform allows quick interactions in response to questions, criticism and praise. Interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following with brand-building tweets mentioning discounts and fun news.
Pinterest: You may find it easy to connect with strangers due to the network’s focus on sharing with like-minded people and businesses. It’s an image-centered platform, and anyone can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes or sales-driving ads.
YouTube: Instructive “how-to” or informative videos can improve rankings on the video search results of Google. Always send traffic back to your main site, as that’s a crucial part of finding success on this platform.
When you’re ready to get started with your social media marketing program, create a content schedule and monitor leads or reviews constantly. A lot of good reviews can significantly help you build your business. The marketing success could be measured by the number of sold products, leads generated or potential customers engaged. If your company isn’t happy with the current ROI from social media networks, it might be time to reassess your strategy and clearly define your goals.