Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube…how do you choose the best social social media outlet for your business?
With so many choices out there, it is best to deploy your time and energy towards picking out your favorite social channel(s).
A good first step involves thinking about whom do you want to serve?
Select your target audience. Are you a B2B? B2C?
Identifying whom your ideal customer will be is a crucial beginning step in structuring your social media strategy. For example for an athletic shoe company, it would beneficial to create an avatar with a name and all the associated demographics related to this imaginary customer.
The avatar can go something like this:
Meet Stephanie. She is in her 20’s and lives in San Francisco with lots of recreational parks and considers exercise an important component to her health and well-being. Stephanie is part of a cross-fit group to that keeps her in tune with like-minded, healthy individuals. They give her advice on the best types of running shoes for joint support, because they understand that her love of running also comes the woes of foot and joint pain.
In this avatar, Stephanie is our ideal consumer because she is conscious about her health and exercise, stays on top of the latest health trends, and has other people in her cross fit class that she can recommend the top athletic shoes.
Now with our ideal customer in mind, we can empathize with her pains and see how we, as an athletic shoe company can help her continue her passions in staying fit. Catering to her pains, our business can provide the perfect solution so that she can continue her passions for exercise.
Where do they hang out online?
Okay, we have located our “Stephanie”. But where does she hang out online? Are there any cross fit/running forums or social media platforms where she searches for exercise products?
Knowing where your target audience lives online is an important way to concentrate your time and resources towards finding individuals who might be interested in your product. You will save your time and will most likely lead to higher sales conversion rates by doing this.
Identify your social media goals
Goals are not tangible if they can’t be measured by analytics. If you don’t know what you social media goals are, how will you know that you have achieved them?
What do you hope to achieve with social media marketing? A good approach towards building a social media strategy session is to come up with a “SMART” action plan. Create a social media goal that is: “Specific”, “Measurable”, “Attainable”, “Relevant”, and “Time Based”. A sample “SMART“ plan is a freelance photography business that comes up with the goal of “increasing 50 followers per month on Instagram by following top influences in the photography industry.”
Let’s dissect this SMART plan. Having a goal of “increasing 50 Instagram followers per month” is not only specific, time-based, and attainable but we can use Google Analytics to measure if we hit our goal or not. By also using Instagram as our social media outlet, we also have a found a relevant fan base to showcase our work and possibly find new clientele.
Choose the appropriate social media channel for your target audience
LinkedIn (for B-2-B)- This is the perfect place for business-to-business relationships. Similar to Google AdWords, LinkedIn also provides users the ability to set their own budget for their ad campaigns and to concentrate their efforts towards a specific demographic. LinkedIn also has internal web analytics to measure click and conversion demographics.
Here are a list of available LinkedIn advertising products, use a mix of these products to produce the best advertising results:
-Sponsored Content Ads (placed in the main feeds section)
-Sponsored inMail (send inMail straight to their inbox)
-Text Ads (pay-per-click advertising)
For those interested in selling e-commerce products, Facebook Marketplace may be a good platform to sell physical products. If you are focused on having a more personal approach with your audience through videos, Facebook Watch can help you with just that. Keep your audience engaged and make your videos stick to the point so that people aren’t getting bored.
“Facebook Pages to Watch” is another component of Facebook that can be beneficial if you want to take an overall glimpse into possible competitors and learn social media strategies that might be working for them. From here, you can keep track of analytics of potential competitors in your industry such as the number of likes, total number of posts, and other social media metrics.
Other Social Media Channels
Briefly here are some other social media channels and the area in which they can help aide with your social media campaign:
Instagram – for those in a food catering industry, where customers really want to see what your lobster mac and cheese looks like.
Reddit – great for shareable content and finding customer pain points where your business can step in and help.
Pinterest- beneficial for fashion ideas, pairing different clothing and accessories together to make an entire wardrobe.
Etsy – perfect place for finding others into arts and crafts.
Twitter – if you really want to exactly know who is sharing your content and if they can become a potential sales lead.
YouTube – valuable for informational tutorials that describe complex ideas (i.e. “how-to’s”).
Measure your Social Media Metrics
With tons of social media channels out there, how do you determine which ones are working the best for your campaign goals?
Utilizing free tools such as Google Analytics, you can determine which social media channels are receiving quality traffic and focus efforts on expanding outreach to that audience. Time and money can be scarce resources that you will need to optimize to design the most advantageous social media strategy.
Therefore, it may help to research the social media outlet for your type of business and begin experimenting with your content. To gauge what type of content your audience wants to see, you can: ask them directly, use web analytic software to find trending topics, or find out what keywords/topics that users are searching to find your website/blog.
Social media marketing is an important step in boosting SEO ranking factors and creating brand awareness to any stage of your business (beginning, mid-sized, or large-sized businesses). Evolve with people’s needs and examine your competitors and see what can be improved upon.