Social media is one of the most effective marketing methods, especially for small business. All social media platforms, however, are not created the same. Each one has its own unique set of users and purposes. You need to be aware of these differences when investing in a social media platform because it will play a huge role in how effective your social media efforts are.
Here is a list of factors to consider when choosing a social media platform for your business:
Identifying your goals
One of the first things you need to establish is a list of goals for your social media marketing campaign. Of course, your main goal will be attracting customers and driving sales. You will also have other goals such as driving brand recognition and developing friendly relationships with potential buyers. Some businesses even use social media for customer support. Twitter is a great platform for receiving customer feedback while Instagram is better for presenting business offerings in a way that is visually compelling.
Identifying your audience
When choosing a social media platform for your business, you need to figure out who it is that you are targeting. For instance, if your company provides services to other businesses (business-to-business or B2B), you will find that LinkedIn is the best platform for you. Instagram and Facebook may be more beneficial for someone with a business-to-consumer (B2C) company. Once you decide if your audience consists of consumers or other businesses, you must also consider demographic factors. Think about the following questions:
- Who is your typical audience?
- How old are they?
- Are they male or female?
- What is their income and education level?
- What are they interested in outside of your product and service?
Understanding your audience demographics will ensure that you find your audience on the right platforms. For example, if your audience is young people, you will probably find that social media platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok will be more effective than Facebook.
Researching your competitors
Conduct a competitive analysis by checking out the social media pages of your competitors. Factors to consider during this process include:
- What platforms they are using
- What’s working/not working
- How engaged the audience is on each channel
Though it may not always be best to completely copy what another business is doing, it is beneficial to know what works for others in your industry so that you make an informed decision about the best social media platforms for you.
Understanding each platform’s use
Each social media platform has its own individual and unique functions. For example, Twitter is good for active dialogue and trending news, while LinkedIn is best for sharing professional expertise. Though Snapchat was the first to introduce disappearing posts, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have a similar feature now. Disappearing posts are great for customer polls, countdowns and other short term communication goals.
Managing your social media accounts can be a time-consuming commitment. You must tend to it consistently to see the best results come back to you. If you only have a single person working on social media for a few hours a week, you may want to consider limiting your platforms to one or two. On the other hand, if you have an entire full-time social media team, you can invest in several platforms.
At trades.org we know all the important social platforms and can create a profile that reflects your business and attracts attention from the most likely potential customers. Our brand management services make social media marketing easy.