Your website is up and running and you’re ready to venture into the world of social media! But where to start? Your social media marketing should go hand in hand with your content strategy and all your other marketing efforts. By harnessing the right social media platforms, you can distribute your content widely – increasing your brand awareness and, hopefully, your sales too.
The most popular social media channels at the moment are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok and LinkedIn. While it’s possible to have a presence on each of them, it’s better to master one or two at a time.
Social media might seem simple enough to master. Sure, there’s nothing to sending off a snappy reply to your favourite’s brand’s latest post, but posting from your business’s perspective is a lot different. You’re no longer posting as yourself, so you need to consider the language you use; you need to consider the type of content your customers want; and most of all, you need to determine what your goal is from each social media platform you use. You also don’t want to spend too much on social media instead of running your business! Focusing your social media efforts will guarantee a better return on your investment.
In this post we’ll outline the necessary due diligence involved in choosing the right social media platform for your business.
What to consider
Some of the considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing which social media platform to focus on are:
- What are your specific social media goals?
- Which platforms are your customers using?
- Which platforms are you comfortable using, or do your team members have expertise in?
- Which platforms are your competitors using? If you’re not sure, do a quick competitor review to find out what’s working for them.
- Which platform is best suited for the type of content you intend to post? If you have a lot of great images, consider using a platform like Instagram or Pinterest. If your content isn’t as visually strong, consider another platform like Twitter or Facebook.
So how do you know if your efforts are working? Traffic and conversions measure the success of your social media – you’ll need to set realistic social media marketing goals and measure them regularly. You can measure how much web traffic comes from each platform. Is one platform performing better than the other? Double down on that one.
Know who your audience is
To create meaningful content on social media, it’s essential to Identify your audience – the more specific you are, the easier it will be to narrow your focus. Here are some guiding questions to help you get started:
- Who are your customers?
- What are their specific characteristics? Things like their age, gender, etc.
- What devices do they use to access your website? (You can get this information quite simply from Google Analytics.)
- Other than your product/ service, what else are your potential customers’ interested in?
The answers to these questions will help you create a general profile of your customer base.
Explore the platforms your customers use
Now that you know who you’re targeting, and what you’d like to achieve by using social media, you need to determine which platforms are best suited to your business. Your customers may be on multiple platforms but this doesn’t mean you need to be on all of them as well.
Rather focus your attention on one or two platforms, and do them well.
Unless you work on it full time, it’s not possible to be present on all of the available social media platforms without compromising on the quality of your content. Also, remember that there’s a difference between presence and engagement. Engagement means how much your customers interact with the content you’re sharing: the number of page likes, comments and shares. Your customers may be on Facebook, but they may interact more (and be driven to make purchases) via Instagram, for example.
Social media success relies on testing and iterating. Adjust your posting schedule and content once you see when your customers are most engaged – Google Analytics can help you uncover when your site is the busiest, and you’ll be able to get insights on post-performance from each social media platform.
Remember: if you want to drive sales, make sure your customers land on your product page or sign up page. Make their journey as seamless as possible.
Understand where your content fits best
Your content goals will not be suitable for every platform. Here’s a quick cheat sheet of what content fits where.
- With over 2.85 billion users, it’s no surprise that Facebook remains the most used of all the social media platforms.
- Facebook is great for developing your brand identity, broadening your reach, creating a community and keeping customers informed of changes.
- Facebook is also a great platform for generating customer reviews for your product or service. Just remember to create a business profile and not a personal one.
- Twitter is a popular choice for many businesses and is popular among readers who want to keep up with the world but don’t want to read long-form content.
- Twitter uses hashtags (organising content according to a certain word or phrase), making this platform ideal for real-time updates and promoting events.
- Twitter also presents a golden opportunity to engage with customers, potential partners and peers directly by directly tagging them in your own posts.
- As Pinterest is entirely visual, you’ll need high-quality imagery to get the best results from this platform.
- 60% of Pinterest users are female, so if your business is female-focused, this channel could be an ideal platform for you.
- Many users consult Pinterest when they’re considering making a purchase, so keep that in mind when deciding on what content to share. Here are some tips for using photography for branding purposes.
- With over 1 billion users, TikTok is quickly becoming a source to be reckoned with, with business accounts and a Small Business Resource Centre available to help small businesses master the platform.
- TikTok is a video sharing platform, and has free video tools you can use to create your own videos. If you are going to create videos to share from your business account, be mindful of the quality of the content you produce as poor-quality video could create a negative brand perception.
- YouTube is considered the second most popular search engine after Google.
- 2 billion people visit YouTube each month globally, with 500 hours of video uploaded every 60 seconds. That’s a lot of traffic you can reach.
- According to a recent survey, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
- Remember, YouTube is also a search engine, so use your video titles wisely.
- LinkedIn is ideal for creating a professional business network community.
- Having a LinkedIn profile helps build business credibility and is a valuable marketing tool to have at your disposal.
- LinkedIn enables you to interact with like-minded professionals and other industry experts and form valuable connections.
- Due to the unique focus of LinkedIn, this platform is best used for business-to-business (B2B) lead generation, recruiting and networking.
Read more about using LinkedIn for business here.
- Like Pinterest, Instagram is dependent on appealing, good-quality imagery.
- Instagram promises ‘less noise’ than Facebook and relies on imagery for lead generation (sales). By adding buttons to your posts, or using the ‘swipe up’ feature in your stories, you can easily take your customers from viewing your products to purchasing them.
- Consider using Instagram for lead generation, creating a community, expanding your reach or affirming your brand identity.
Make sure your website is geared for social media integration
You want to make it as easy as possible for potential social media followers to find you, which is why it’s important to include visible links to your social media platforms on your website. If you’re using WordPress, this is as easy as adding a widget, while most website themes will have this as a standard.
No matter the platform you choose, every small business needs a social media presence of some description. But before you dive into social media, it’s important to understand where your potential customers already are and join them on those platforms. Choose one or two of the best-suited platforms for your business, and focus on doing them well.
Want to read more on this topic? Read digital marketing tactics every entrepreneur can master today.