In this new digital age, brands that neglect to take advantage of social media are missing out on a key digital channel for consumer engagement. When you consider the reach and influence social media has, it’s easy to see the value in it. Social media can offer an impressive return on investment (ROI) by helping brands gain valuable consumer insights and boosting other marketing efforts.
Now that we’ve established the importance of social media, how do you know which platforms are right for you? If you aren’t sure, keep reading!
Check out our 3-step guide to determine which social media platforms work best for your business.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
The first step (and one you cannot skip) is identifying your target audience. When doing so, you want to be as specific as possible. Consider the following questions:
- What age groups are you trying to reach?
- Are your customers typically men or women?
- What is the income level of your audience?
- What type of occupations do they have?
- What is your audience interested in outside of your product or service?
- Where are they located?
Answering these questions will help you build a profile of the type of consumer you’re trying to reach.
Don’t be afraid to dive deeper! Consider some of the more personal characteristics of your buyers, such as their behavior, lifestyle, values, and personality – doing so will help you further define your ideal customer.
Quick Note: You can have more than one target audience. You can have a different marketing message tailored to a different audience for each niche.
Step 2: Define Your Goals
Once you’ve pinned down your audience, it’s time to define your goals. As a business owner, your main goal is most likely to drive sales by attracting new customers, and while there is nothing wrong with that, there are other creative goals to consider. Some businesses use social media to increase brand awareness while others use it to develop relationships with potential buyers or to offer customer support.
You can approach social media with a singular goal or get as creative as you want. Before committing to anything, try brainstorming a list of ways you’d like to use social media for your brand. And if you find yourself overwhelmed by the brainstorming process, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Step 3: Find Your Audience & Choose Your Platforms
When you find your audience, you’ve most likely found your platforms. Sounds simple enough, but finding your audience takes time and requires an understanding of all the major social media platforms out there.
Quick Note: It’s important to note that you don’t need to hop on every platform you find target consumers on. You’ll want to look at where the majority of your audience is and how they use that platform.
To start, you’ll need to look at the demographics of the users on each social platform. You’ll also want to look at how active your audience is on that platform. For example, while young Facebook users may have profiles, you’re more likely to find them over on Instagram or TikTok. Besides demographics and engagement, you’ll also want to consider how people use the platform.
Below is a guide that goes into detail on some of the major social media platforms out there. Understanding these platforms better will help you find your audience.
Facebook currently has roughly 2.9 billion active users each month. That’s double the population of China. The majority of people use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and build relationships. This makes Facebook an excellent platform for building loyalty with your existing customers.
Some of the tools Facebook has to offer:
- Paid Ads: Right now, the average cost per click (CPC) on Facebook is less than a dollar. A low CPC creates opportunities for branding and driving traffic.
- Messenger: Facebook messenger is a great way to offer customer service and support. A Facebook survey found that more than 80% of U.S. consumers message a business to ask about products or services and about 76% do so to get support for a product or service.
- Closed Groups: Create a community and drive engagement with your audience.
Twitter is a great platform for increasing brand awareness. Twitter is especially known for the use of hashtags, which facilitate conversations around a single word or phrase. Searching hashtags will allow you to see what people are talking about and make it easier for you to create tweets that take part in the conversation. Twitter is also a great way to update your customers in real time. Special event coming up? Let your audience know on Twitter!
Some of the tools Twitter has to offer:
- Live Tweets: Branded hashtags can be used to share news, updates, and sales with your audience.
- Conversation: By using a branded hashtag, you can start conversations with your audience.
- Customer Service: By using direct messages, customers are able to communicate with brands to address concerns about a product or service without it reaching the public.
Instagram is becoming increasingly popular, especially among the younger generations. Instagram is different in that it relies on photos and videos for conversation. This makes Instagram a great platform for virtual-based businesses, like food, retail, beauty, and art. With half as many users as Facebook, Instagram doesn’t have as much noise making it a great platform for generating leads.
Some of the tools Instagram has to offer:
- Stories: Using Instagram stories is a great way to reach your target audience and engage with them in a new way.
- Storytelling: High-quality photos and interesting captions make this channel excellent for telling your brand’s story.
- Less is More: All you need is one quality post a day, whereas other platforms, like Twitter, require several posts a day.
LinkedIn is known for drawing in older audiences. In fact, it boasts the largest group of users among ages 30-49. What also makes LinkedIn unique is its narrow focus on professional networking and job hunting. This makes LinkedIn a great option for B2B lead generation, networking, and recruiting employees.
Some of the tools LinkedIn has to offer:
- InMail Messages: Reach out and advertise to users who may find the need for your products or services.
- Sharing Blogs: Get acknowledged as an industry expert by writing blog posts that share your expertise.
- B2B: LinkedIn is the ideal platform for connecting with other brands.
Other major social platforms include TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest, but the ones we touched on are the most popular for brand development and marketing for the majority of businesses.
Following this 3-step guide will help you choose which social channels are the best fit for you. But if you still aren’t sure where your business fits into the world of social media, get in touch with us. We can help you identify your target audience, define your social media goals, and ultimately find the right social channels for your business.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet your short- and long-term social marketing goals.