It’s no secret that social media is one of the most important ways for a business to reach its customers. Almost 80 percent of people in the United States currently have at least one social media profile. The average person is spending about two hours every day engaging with social media. This is much higher even among teenagers, who spend up to nine hours every day on various forms of social media.
Your company simply can’t afford to ignore the prevalence of social media in today’s marketing world.
But what if you’re not an expert on social media? Even if you use it personally, you don’t necessarily know what makes it effective. The first step is to decide what platforms actually make sense for your organization. Here are some ideas for choosing the best social media platform for your business.
What Do You Want from Your Social Media?
Of course, the end goal of using social media for your business is to increase sales, profit, and revenue. Sometimes these things are accomplished directly through the platform itself, while other times, they’re an indirect benefit of successful social media usage. You need to have a plan with clearly defined goals if you want social media to work for your company. Without this, you’re just aimlessly posting things.
Flesh out whatever it is you’re trying to achieve with social media, then find a way to quantify the effectiveness of your efforts. Additionally, your goals will determine what platforms make the most sense for your business’s social media presence.
Who’s Your Audience?
A news outlet like The New York Times has a much different Facebook user base than a free-to-play mobile device game promoting itself over Twitter. However, both of these organizations benefit greatly from utilizing social media. You need to know some of the nuances of each social media site or profile in order to determine which one will be best for your business.
Facebook makes sense for a wide variety of enterprises because it’s the largest social media platform in the world. All kinds of people use Facebook, which offers businesses a strong set of advertising tools. Using Facebook definitely makes sense if your company doesn’t offer super niche products and services. Facebook is also quite a good resource for organizations that want to incorporate video into their online presence. YouTube will be another top place for organizations fitting this mould. Additionally, Facebook and YouTube can be easily integrated with many website themes, thus creating a seamless continuity between your social media presence and your website product pages. This can be accomplished by embedding videos or social media feeds on your webpage.
Instagram and Pinterest are image-based social media services. Due to this, they make the most sense for companies that are selling visually appealing products. This certainly includes fashion-related items, as well as home goods. Instagram is one of the best places for companies to partner with social media influencers. These are people with loyal online followings who will advocate your products to their fans. People go to Pinterest to learn how to make things—from cakes to cabinets. If you have a product that might appeal to a certain niche, Pinterest can be a highly effective place for marketing.
You will want to consider using Snapchat if you’re primarily marketing to a younger audience. The user base of Snapchat is disproportionately younger. However, make sure you have someone on your team who understands the nuances of Snapchat. Randomly forcing ads onto people won’t be an effective strategy.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
One of the best ways to decide how to approach social media is to look at others in your industry. What sort of things are working for them? You, of course, don’t want to completely replicate the posts and ideas of your competition. But there’s nothing wrong with using their successful campaigns as inspiration. Look to see where they’re getting the most engagement. Those sites will probably be your best bet.
There are no free rides when it comes to building a social media strategy. It requires a lot of hard work, research, and creativity. Putting in the time, however, can be hugely beneficial for your company.