Let’s start with the obvious. Today, there are no ifs, ands or buts about it: if you have a business, you need to be on social media. 70% of people in North America are on social media, and that number will only increase.
Millennials in particular, because they grew up on social media, rely on it—not only to connect with friends, but to research products and services and to make purchase decisions. In fact, 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social media, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. And with the number of millennials quickly eclipsing Baby Boomers, that’s a stat you can’t afford to ignore.
You Can’t Be Everywhere at Once
The problem most small to medium-sized businesses face is that it isn’t enough to intermittently poke your head out on your social platforms. Consistency is key. But what if you don’t have the time and money required to have a regular presence on all social platforms? You need to be thoughtful and deliberate about which social networks you choose to invest your resources. In this post, we’ll discuss the four factors you should consider when making that decision.
1. Consider Your Business Goals
There are many benefits to having an engaged social media presence. Done right, social media marketing can boost your visibility, drive traffic to your site, generate revenue, deliver customer support, and support your recruitment efforts.
When you choose your social media platforms, make sure to take your goals into account. For example:
- If you want to broaden your visibility and drive traffic to your site, you might want to consider Facebook or Youtube, because they deliver the widest reach.
- If your priority is recruiting, try using Linkedin to find qualified candidates on LinkedIn and post company event photos on Instagram to show off your unique corporate culture.
- If you want to share bite-sized announcements to your community and field support questions, then Twitter might be for you.
2. Reach Your Target Audience
Social media won’t get you closer to your goals if you’re ignoring your ideal customers. There isn’t much benefit to sharing announcements on Twitter, for example, if none of your customers are there. You have to start by understanding who your ideal customer is. What are their key demographic traits? What are their media habits? And on which social media platforms do they spend their time?
Are you B2B business? Then you’re likelier to reach people in a business state of mind on Linkedin, Twitter, and SlideShare. Are you primarily interested in reaching women? Consider Pinterest, which is used by 41% of American women.
Get the data and choose the best social media platforms to reach your audience.
3. Choose the Best Platform for Sharing Your Content
If you’re serious about content marketing, and you should be, then you should be dabbling with different content formats, other than blog posts. Visual marketing — including presentations, videos, and infographics — can deliver all sorts of benefits.
When you’re choosing your social media platforms, make sure to consider which content marketing formats you like to produce (and of course which ones your customers like to consume). For example:
- If you produce a lot of videos, YouTube is an obvious choice, but so are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
- If you develop stunning presentations and are looking for a powerful way to repurpose them and expand your reach, consider SlideShare.
- If your offering is very visual, then you should think about posting photos to Instagram or Pinterest.
4. Monitor Competitors on Social Media
Keep tabs on your competition by monitoring their social media profiles. What news are they sharing? Are they launching new offerings? What praise or complaints do their customers express to them? What are they posting? Which posts are getting the most traction? All of this is very valuable information, provided you are monitoring the channels where your competitors are.
The four factors we’ve identified are important for deciding where to initially focus your social media efforts. But once you’re up and running with your social media efforts, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on the results you’re getting.
Use Google Analytics to track the traffic and conversions you’re getting from each channel. Better yet, create your own actionable marketing dashboard to help you spot problems and opportunities. Also, use the analytics available on each platform to monitor your engagement and growth statistics. Use your findings to know where you need to make adjustments to your strategy and to your allocation of resources.
And if you’re looking for help with your content marketing, check out our content marketing best practices for small business, find out about our Blog in a Box plan, or contact Exaltus today!
Carole Alalouf is the President and founder of Exaltus, and primary contributor to the Exaltus blog. In her Content Marketing role, she focuses on turning her clients’ complex information into a compelling story. Carole particularly enjoys visual storytelling in the form of presentations, whiteboard videos, websites, and infographics. Sign up to her email list and get powerful marketing tips in your inbox, 2-3 times per month.