The first question you should ask yourself when evaluating your social media is: are you using the right platform for your business?
Most businesses will immediately set up a Facebook page, many will also add LinkedIn and Twitter; maybe even an Instagram account as well. Some will decide to go all in and set up accounts on all the major social media platforms from SnapChat to YouTube.
Research has shown that the majority of social media users don’t want brands to use every social media platforms available, instead they would rather businesses choose a few that are relevant and use these platforms well.
Choosing the right social media platform doesn’t necessarily mean setting up an account on Facebook because it is the most used platform or immediately opting for a LinkedIn account because you are a B2B. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right social media platform for your business.
Your target audience
To be successful on social media you need to be where your target audience are. Your target audience are your potential customers and the people you will be aiming to communicate and engage with through your social media campaign.
This means that there is no point in your business having a Twitter account if your target audience predominately uses Instagram. Prior to starting a social media campaign it is important to research your target audience, for example find out where they are on social media and the type of content they engage with. Once you have done your research you will have a better idea of which social media platforms will be more lucrative for you to focus on and which ones won’t yield the results you want.
Your type of business
Along with taking into account your target audience you need to factor in the type of business you have. If you are a B2B and offering services, social media platforms that will be most beneficial are likely to be those that have a large business community for example LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.
Alternatively, if you are a retailer with attractive products consider image based platforms that allow you to showcase your products, such as Instagram and Pinterest. If your business is non-traditional and aimed at teenagers use platforms such as Instagram & SnapChat.
The social media platform you choose will tell potential customers a lot about your business even before adding a single post!
Once you know the right social media platform for your business you then need to create a campaign specifically for that platform. Different social media requires different types of content and to be updated at different levels of frequency.
Twitter, for example, normally needs to be updated several times a day, whereas YouTube can be posted to weekly, like a blog.
A platform like Instragram needs strong and visually appealing images, with copy being secondary; LinkedIn relies more on substantial copy with images only being necessary to help catch the reader’s attention.
Ensure you know the platform well and research what competitors are doing before starting your own social media campaign.
While any business can set up an account on Facebook, add posts every few days and say that they are doing social media marketing, few will see genuine and substantial results by this.
Social media is now a vital digital marketing tool and needs to be approached in the same way as any other form of digital marketing in order for businesses to reap real results. This means creating a strategy that can then be implemented and timing all of your social media together with integrated posts and a brand strategy that compliments your business and engages with your customers, wherever they choose to "hang out".
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