Here comes the hard work: advertising and promotion.
You know you’ve got to be on social media, but you don’t know where to start. First and foremost, everybody is on Facebook, and you certainly need to be there. But what about Twitter, Instagram & WhatsApp? These are the first set of channels that come to mind.
Don’t exhaust yourself. The following guidelines can help you determine what networks you can rely on social media.
1. Your Customers
Building lasting customer relationships is a good aspect of any marketing strategy. Study your customer buying habits and character. Picture the perfect customers for you. What are their basic characteristics (age, race, income, location)? Now, find social platforms in accordance with those statistics.
Many networks have a clear preference for those demographics. Older people are active on Facebook. Instagram has a younger audience.
2. Your Industry
Some industries are better suited to certain social media platforms than others. Leaning into the networks where your industry already does well makes things easier for you as you start out.
For example, if you’re in the fashion industry, you’d want to focus on Instagram over LinkedIn. But if you’re in the tech B2B (business to business) vertical, LinkedIn would be the right choice.
All local businesses of any industry need to fully complete their social media account profiles and encourage regular reviews to build brand credibility.
3. Your Company
What makes your brand unique? You may be able to use that differentiation in the social network of your choice.
For instance, Tunde Ednut became marketing-famous for using content to build his blogging site into a huge success. If you
have a big personality, consider streaming live via Facebook Live or Snapchat.
Do you regularly attend tradeshows? Twitter and Instagram are huge hashtag hubs during such events, which can help your content get discovered.
4. Your Competition
No matter how unique your business is, you’ll always have competition.
Fortunately, having competition isn’t all that bad: If you pay attention to what the competition is doing, you’ll glean insights into what works and what doesn’t. Have you ever seen something flop… and then decided you could make it better? That may have been what motivated you to start your business in the first place!
For your social media strategy, look at your competition’s social accounts. Focus only on the companies doing well and those that you admire. The ones that aren’t successful aren’t worth copying and could even lead you in the wrong direction.
Take note of which platforms your competitors use and what kind of content tends to encourage engagement for them. Consider how you can apply that information to your brand.
Find your “thing.” You might post photos on Instagram of quirky places people can use your product, or you can create a weekly video series where you share tips based on the service you offer.
5. Your Product or Service
Certain products and services perform better than others on various social media channels.Do you run a fashion/beauty brand? Instagram users spend 50% more than those on other social networks and are likelier to click through to your website to purchase.
Also, Instagram pictures showing faces get 38% more likes than those without.
Cars and apparels enjoy an outsized presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, whereas consumer products don’t do well on LinkedIn.
6. Your Goals
What are your primary goals for social media? Do you want to nurture leads, grow your referral traffic, foster customer loyalty, build brand awareness, or achieve something else entirely?
Certain social channels will serve your goals better than others. For example, Instagram doesn’t allow links in posts (unless you’re a paid advertiser), so the platform is better suited to brand awareness and customer loyalty. You’ll certainly gain visibility through hashtagging your posts, and you’ll foster customer happiness by sharing exclusive promo codes, but you won’t drive traffic to and conversions on your website.
Whichever goal you choose, ensure you can measure your progress, whether that’s by number of leads, traffic volume, or number of likes or other engagement activities.
Regardless of which platforms you choose to focus on right now, at a minimum you should create a profile for your company on all the major social networks. As your business and your team grows, you’ll have more time to dedicate to different platforms.