4 Steps to Finding the Right Social Platform for Your Business
So, you’ve decided to invest in social media for your business – great decision!
Social media is an extraordinary tool. It gives small to medium business owners the opportunity to compete with the big names at an affordable price, while allowing you to easily communicate with your audience like never before.
If done well, you can see a great ROI and exponentially grow your customer base. If done poorly, your business growth could plateau. Finding the right social platform is half the battle.
While it may be tempting to sign your business up to as many social platforms as possible, this could be doing you more harm than good. If the time and resources aren’t available to keep your channels active, it’s better to start small, with a single social platform.
The rules of social media are constantly changing, and in 2018, there are countless social platforms available to help promote your brand. So, how do you keep on top of it all? How do you know if your chosen social channel is the right fit for your business goals and model?
To find out which platform is right for your business, all you need to do is follow these 4 steps.
Marketing Slang You Need to Know
B2C = business to customer
B2B = business to business
Demographics = statistical data relating to your audience and specific groups within it
Step 1: Identify your audience
Before starting any type of digital campaign, it’s important to identify your audience.
Does your audience consist of other businesses or customers? How old is your primary demographic? What is their income? What are their outside interests?
Learning the answers to these questions can provide you with invaluable insights that can help you with any long-term marketing strategies you may run now or in the future. Once you’ve identified your audience, then it’s time to define your social media goals.
Step 2: Define your goals
While it’s common for most business owners to want to grow their online following tenfold, some smaller and more achievable goals are handy to define to begin with.
Start by ask yourself what you want to get out of your social media efforts. Do you simply want to grow brand recognition, or develop a more human relationship with your potential customers?
Next, create a list of traditional and unusual ways that you could use social media to compliment your brand.
Step 3: Weigh up your options and build your audience online
To keep it relatively simple, I’m only going to use the top social players as an example of weighing up your options. Each social platform has its strengths and weaknesses, but it’s important to approach each with a long-term strategy in mind.
As the top social platform in the world, Facebook boasted 2.19 billion monthly active users in the first quarter of 2018. That number is staggering – think of the potential that provides your business in terms of reach!
Generally speaking, Facebook is better for B2C than B2B and is usually seen as a safe start for any industry as its key demographics are pretty evenly spread as opposed to other platforms.
Top Industries: fashion, retail, entertainment, real estate, eCommerce.
As of June 2018, Instagram hit 1 billion monthly users – not too far behind its parent company Facebook. Its growth has remained steady since it was created, with its biggest surge in users happening recently in a short time frame – jumping from 800 million monthly users in September of last year to its current staggering number.
Instagram is a powerful draw for many B2C businesses as its key demographic is 18- to 24-year-olds.
Top industries: any business with the potential to create eye-catching and aesthetically appealing photos. Think fashion brands, travel companies, hospitality, art and design, beauty, photography and health and wellness. Pair your stunning content with a strong strategy and an identifiable brand personality and you’re onto a good thing!
Twitter is great option for both B2C and B2B brands. It is great for companies wanting to answer customer questions quickly, allowing you to communicate with your audience while showcasing your brand’s personality and voice. If your business has a strong focus on customer service, then Twitter may be the platform for you.
Key demographics: the number of users decreases as the age group increases.
Top industries: news, eCommerce, hospitality, travel, retail.
LinkedIn is the platform for brands with a B2B focus. Think of LinkedIn as Facebook for professionals.
Key demographics: LinkedIn boasts a demographic of older users compared to any other social platform, and the income of its audience is usually higher than other platforms.
Top Industries: consultants, coaches, recruitment agencies, education, marketing, legal, finance, science and technology.
YouTube boasts 1 billion registered users – but the best thing about YouTube is that you don’t have to be registered as a user to view the content. These days, YouTube has become almost like any other search engine, with many users searching for “How to” videos and other educational content. Service industry brands and businesses who can offer these tutorial videos to their viewers do well on this platform.
As far as demographics are concerned, YouTube is similar to Facebook in that demographics are evenly spread.
Step 4: Research and identify a strategy
Once you’ve researched the different platforms, look at how your audience is using it. Are they an active and engaged audience? Do they prefer a passive approach to using social media?
Identify your brand voice and plan a content strategy to match, ensuring it always checks the box of what your audience is looking for. Most of all, social media is about entertainment, so have fun with it!
Position your brand exactly where you need to be seen and let us do the thinking for you.
We’ve worked with countless small to medium businesses grow their audience and reach their goals. To discuss your social media strategy, or to enquire about social media management, get in touch with WME’s social experts today.