Many businesses haven’t already acknowledged and, at the very least, begun to harness the dynamic capabilities of social media marketing. By spending as little as 6 hours per week, over 66% of your business can get lead generation benefits with social media. Only a properly executed social media strategy can improve search rankings, drive more website traffic and increase conversion rates.
But how we create effective social media strategy when you don’t even know which channels you want? With a number of options, it can seem overwhelming to try and determine whether your business needs to build an online presence using Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
Below, we’ve outlined a step-by-step process that can help you select social channels for your business, and make the best decision based on the certain factors.
Making social media strategy to reach your business objectives?
Being able to link your social media channels to your strategy’s high-level objectives is essential. You shouldn’t adopt it if you can’t explain why or how a particular channel will help you to achieve your business goals.
What is the purpose of chosen social media platforms to achieve your business goals?
To increase brand awareness
We consider selecting well-established platforms with a large following. Similarly, one of the most effective methods for raising awareness and extending reach is through paid promotion.
We do thorough research on the social media advertising options that are best for your business. Facebook’s advertising platform, for example, has a great reputation for generating impressive ROI.
To enhance lead generation
From a B2B perspective, LinkedIn is renowned for being a champion in social media lead generation, whether it’s through joining groups and participating in discussions or searching with advanced filters. Facebook and Twitter are also highly effective and often enjoy a lower cost per click (CPC).
What channels your target audiences are using?
After aligning your business goals with your social media platforms selection, our social media experts consider where your audience is interacting online.
For instance, maintaining a Snapchat account for your business could be deemed a wasted effort if your largest customer segment is composed of 60 years old. Similarly, there may not be a particularly persuasive argument for establishing your brand on Pinterest if you’re only targeting men.
The tightest and most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. These data-driven insights will ensure that our strategies, and the channels we choose, facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible, which in turn will increase your chances of conversion.
We use social listening tools that help us to conduct an analysis of your current followers. They’ll provide you with gender, age and location data for your current social audiences, which will help you to decide which social channels are worth maintaining, and which aren’t.
In short, when choosing your social media channels, we always back up our decisions with demographic data, rather than being led by current trends.
What we analyze?
What channels are your competitors using?
Equally important as analyzing the channels your target audience adopts is taking into account what social media accounts your competitors are managing. This will provide a baseline against which you can gauge industry activity, and determine what you should be doing.
What type of content do they post? How regularly do they post it? How many likes or shares do their posts gain? Checking how active your competitors are on social media, as well as how well their followers engage with what they post, will provide valuable insights that we replicate to guarantee success for our social media strategy.
What kind of content we create?
This is a particularly pertinent question as there is a variety of different content formats – some of which will complement your business goals and brand identity, and some which won’t. In turn, certain content formats will be more suited to particular social channels than others.
If you want to share industry updates, company news, and whitepapers
These content formats are traditionally suitable for B2B audiences who can be predominantly found on professional platforms such as LinkedIn and SlideShare. If you have a company Twitter account or an individual one that you use for professional purposes, these are also ideal platforms on which to engage fellow professionals with industry-specific content.
If you want to share video content
If your video content is short-form and targeted at a younger audience, you may want to consider Instagram, Vine, Snapchat or Periscope. If it’s longer and more universal in its appeal, Facebook and Twitter can also generate high levels of engagement. Not to mention YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine with over 3 billion searches a month.
If you want to share image-based content
If you’re a B2C brand with an engaging product to sell, you might want to consider Pinterest. According to Shopify, 93% of users leverage the platform to plan purchases. Instagram is ideal for building an aspirational visual brand story and Tumblr is a channel that leans heavily towards imagery that’s suited to a younger demographic.
If you want to share editorial content
For businesses who want to establish themselves as a trusted industry thought leader, publishing an article on LinkedIn’s publishing platform can expose their brand to over 300million users. Medium is another highly popular publishing platform, 95% of whose readers are college graduates and 43% of whom earn six figures or more.
If you can identify the content formats that you want to prioritize within your social media strategy, you’ll find it easier to make your final channel choice.
How many social platforms are helpful to manage your business?
91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels, while it’s highly unlikely that simply using one channel to showcase your brand will suffice, striking the perfect balance can be tricky. Too many, and you’ll spread yourself too thinly and dilute the impact of your efforts as a result. Too few, and your brand visibility and reach might suffer.
Final tip: Drip feed new channels into your strategy in this way to avoid wasting time and budget.