Once you’ve started internet marketing, the way to success will seem to be endless. And it really will be. Even big brands should always improve their strategies to keep pace with the market tendencies.
After the long process of making your website meet all the necessary criteria, it’s time to think of your social media presence. It’s the best way to increase your brand awareness and build relationships with your potential customers.
To start your social media marketing, first of all, you need to know which channels are the most useful for your niche. In this post, I’ll tell you how you can choose the social platform to create an effective social media strategy.
Social media marketing: Pros and Cons
Before you create your business accounts in different social networks, you should know both all the advantages you’re going to get, and pitfalls you’ll face on your way. Here are the obvious pros:
- Increased brand awareness. Use new channels for your content and your brand’s voice. It’ll make you more familiar and recognizable for your potential customers.
- Improved brand loyalty. When people already know about your company, with social platforms, it’s easier to prove them you’re the best.
- Direct line of communication with your audience. Social media platforms help you humanize your business. People are more likely to give feedback when they know you read their comments and answer them.
- Higher credibility. When people see you answering their questions and reviews, they consider you’re more credible. Show you care about your customers’ satisfaction, and you’re ready to interact with them.
- More traffic to your website. Every social media account you start running is a new way to gain more visitors to your site. Open your business to people who didn’t know about you till this moment.
- It’s cost-effective. You don’t need to pay anything to create accounts in social media. Paid promotions don’t cost a lot, so the profit you’ll make is much more significant than your investments.
- A better understanding of who your target audience is. Observing your subscribers’ suggestions and comments you can find out what they’re interested in.
This list could be even longer, but the most important thing you should have understood is that social media marketing is essential for developing your marketing strategy.
Let me tell you about some challenges you’ll face on your way:
- Not every social network will bring profit to your business. Before you start, you should make an effort investigating the most popular social channels in your niche.
- It takes time to get a visible result. It’s important to run your business account regularly. There’s no chance you’ll post something once a month just to maintain it. Ideally, you should hire a person responsible for your social media marketing.
- The posts in your social accounts shouldn’t resemble those from your website. Of course, you may share your recent articles on social media, but you should also create other content that will be special for these accounts.
Factors to consider when choosing a social platform
Now, when you know that social media marketing requires a cautious approach, it’s time to circle out things you should consider deciding on the right social platform for your business.
Are you B2B or B2C?
First of all, you should identify whether you sell to businesses or consumers. The answer will determine what message you should share with your account.
Being B2C, you need to take a personal approach and humanize your business to come closer to your potential customers. Your customers want to feel that the product you promote is created by people and for people. Consider your target audience’s lifestyle and reflect it in your posts. Such platforms as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are the most suitable for this purpose.
B2B businesses usually take a direct selling approach. Other companies won’t be very interested in your workers’ activities and photos. They need to know how you can solve their problems and how much it will cost.
If you’re B2C, think of your target audience: who they are, how old they are, what their interests are, etc. Different networks may be popular among different people, and it’s crucial to know your potential customers’ demographics.
The age of your audience plays the most significant role. If you have already been running a website for some time, you should have found out this information. But if you haven’t done it for some reasons, it’s time to hurry up. The easiest way to track your visitors’ demographics is to use Google Analytics.
One more important factor is their location. Some networks may be extremely popular in one state and be absolutely unknown in another. If your business is international, make sure you don’t overlook channels actively used in other countries. Google Analytics can also help you track this data.
Type of content you provide
Social media platforms tend to differ by kind of media you can share there. Instagram and Pinterest are for pictures, YouTube — for videos, SlideShare — for infographics, etc.
Rare businesses provide all the types of content on their websites. Most often, people mix just 2-3 forms of content. For example, you can use text, images, and infographics. In this case, you don’t need to create YouTube, as you provide no videos at all.
What’s your goal?
Getting likes and shares is good, but it isn’t enough. Your social media goals should be connected with your business goals. You can aim at:
- Building brand awareness.
- Building loyalty.
- Increasing traffic.
- Getting more leads.
Each of these goals involves a different strategy. So, what’s your goal?
Choose your social media platform(s)
Here’s the list of channels which may bring you great profit if choosing the most suitable for your business.
On June 27, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook community consisted of 2 billion people. The too large number for you to ignore this social network, isn’t it? Perhaps, Facebook is an only platform which is a must for all types of businesses.
If you’re still not sure that your visitors are waiting for seeing you on this platform, just check it. With Serpstat Top Pages you can track whether your visitors already share your articles in their Facebook accounts. If they do, why haven’t you created your business account yet?
Moreover, it’s very convenient to analyze which types of posts people tend to share most of all. It’ll help you come up with ideas for new content on Facebook.
If your business is B2B, or a product you sell is aimed at specific professions, it’s a perfect choice for your social media marketing.
You may not necessarily create your business account, but you should have your personal one there. When people see a real person representing the company, they’re more likely to trust you and connect with you.
According to Statista, there are about 1 billion monthly active users of Instagram. So, it’ll be a good push tool to such a platform as Facebook.
Instagram is a visual platform. It means you can only post photos and videos there. This channel requires a creative approach, as you’ll have to represent your ideas not only with texts but with visual content.
Use Instagram to improve your brand credibility. For example, if you’re an IT company, post photos of your staff during the working process or at corporate events. Show people who orchestrate the product you promote.
As I’ve started to talk about visual channels, I can’t help but mention Snapchat. This app allows people to send videos or photos to directly their friends or to their Snapchat story.
Although there are wide discussions on the best ways of using this platform, there’s one obvious profit you can make out of it. Snapchat provides sponsored geofilters which users can send from specific locations. There are also branded lenses people can use visiting certain places. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, you may design a special lens, which your visitors will apply when using Snapchat in your shop.
The best part of it is that you can create your geofilter online. So, if your target audiences’ age is below 34, and your business has some physical address, you know what you should do.
Compared with previous visual platforms this one is much more specific. Most people use Pinterest as a source of inspiration when they’re going to create or buy something. This channel will be profitable for creative industries, associated with crafts, fashion, gifts, food, beauty and health, etc.
As to demographics, mind that females are the most common users of this platform.
Twitter is a social networking service for sharing some information in short messages. It’s one of the best platforms for building a community around your brand. To get more shares and subscribers, post not only your recent articles and news, but also some tips, quotes, or even comment on widely discussed topics:
As people mostly use Twitter to share their thoughts on some topics, you can use your account to interact with your customers and find out what they think of your business.
If you’re still thinking, whether you should make videos for your business, let it be the beginning point. As YouTube is owned by Google, there are much more chances for their videos to appear in Google’s top search results.
Creating unique and engaging videos you can easily go viral, as there are 1.57 billion monthly users of YouTube.
It’s a question-and-answer website where people ask questions, and everyone can answer them. Quora has several advantages for businesses:
- You can find out the issues your potential customers ask about. It can give you ideas of improving your product or creating fresh content.
- To demonstrate your expertise offer credible answers mentioning your company name or linking to your website.
There’s no doubt you should build social media presence for your business. But there’s no need to run accounts on all the social media platforms you know. Choose those which can help you reach your business goals and engage your target audience. I hope I’ve given you an answer to how you can do that.