With so many social media sites and apps vying for an audience, how can businesses find the right channel to introduce and assign their content? Likewise, how can companies discover which sites will drive traffic, increase conversion rates, and improve search rankings? These questions are particularly challenging for start-ups with limited staff and resources.
A presence on different platforms will target different specific markets and create different brand associations. Developing a social media strategy as part of a company’s overall marketing plan is just good business. But the best reason to become actively involved in social media is that the competition is using it. In fact, nearly 91 percent of brands use more than one social media platform.
In order of popularity defined by the number of users, Facebook takes first place. YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Yahoo! Answers, and Yelp follow behind respectively.
Determining a platform for your company
Each social media site offers something different from the others. One site that works well for one company or service provider may not work at all for another. The trick, then, is for a company to determine which site(s) will be the most beneficial for its specific industry. From there, a company must craft a compelling social media strategy. A company should implement a strategy that drives a message home and ensures its key messages are being heard by the right audience.
Linking social media channels to a marketing strategy is essential to achieve marketing goals, including lead generation and brand awareness. When choosing an appropriate channel or expanding to an unfamiliar platform, it can help to refer to Pew Research Center data. This data outlines key demographics for several social media platforms. For instance, it may be vital for one company to understand that women dominate Pinterest or that 30 percent of all adults online under 50 years of age use Twitter.
Social media influences purchasing decisions
The communications department must consider multiple factors when choosing a social media platform. Demographic data is a vital part of the process. Social media demographics will make sure that you are targeting the right people at the right time. Age, income level, gender, and education all impact which platform will drive the most traffic and generate the most revenue.
Companies must also understand that purchasing decisions are influenced in part by social media. Ten years ago, social media was all about audience engagement. However, today, it focuses on personalization and commerce. Most major platforms now invest in advertising solutions to entice marketers. These platforms assure improved APIs (a set of protocols or tools used to build software applications) and personalized marketing campaigns. It’s easy to understand why almost 46 percent of social media users turn to social media when making a purchase.
Which platform conveys what message?
So, which platform meets the needs of a specific business or service provider? And what channels are competitors using?
Facebook is the most popular social media platform on the Internet. When Facebook was launched in 2004, consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 were the largest audience, but, today, women and men between the ages of 25-54 make up 32 percent and 29 percent of Facebook users, respectively. If a company prefers to target a younger audience, Facebook may not be the platform for it. That said, if a company targets a slightly older market, Facebook is a wise choice. Nearly 44 percent of visitors log on several times a day. Facebook users also rely a great deal on likes by friends. It impacts their decision about a product or service and purchasing merchandise. Facebook also allows publishers to target a specific market by likes and demographic data.
With 500 million users, Instagram is one of the best platforms for product videos or photos. However, the platform recently changed its algorithm. Now companies have less control over who views their posts. Another drawback is that Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links to a company’s site. However, most marketers will agree that Instagram is great for visual brand-building. Especially if product photos are essential to gaining customers.
If females are the main demographic of a company, Pinterest is the best social media platform for its marketing plan. Especially if food, decor, fashion, gift ideas, or jewelry are part of a company’s product line. It should be noted that Pinterest users log in more often around the holidays, so allocating marketing funds for these times is a smart idea.
Service providers, non-profit organizations and businesses all belong on LinkedIn. This platform will help companies establish themselves as a trusted brand or influencer in its industry. Additionally, a company can create awareness, optimize its search ranking in Google and post content to generate leads. LinkedIn can expose a company’s brand to more than 300 million users. It is the third most used social media platform among businesses. What’s more, LinkedIn claims that 95 percent of users are college graduates. 43 percent of these grads earn six figures or more.
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine with over 3 billion searches each month. (Keep in mind that YouTube is owned by Google). There are now more than one billion subscribers on YouTube, and the number is growing. Therefore, companies and start-ups that implement a video campaign as part of the marketing strategy can captivate an audience and ensure a steady increase in website traffic. A company can attract and retain an audience by using audiovisual media to stage a product or service. YouTube is available in 175 countries and in 61 languages, so the exposure potential is enormous.
Tweets are only limited to 140 characters (soon to be increased to 280 for a handful of select users). However, companies can tweet to send a message to large numbers of people – fast. This social platform demonstrates that a company is current and up-to-date with the latest trends in social media. Companies can also quickly stay on top of their market segment. They can see what people are saying about a particular product or service and keep an eye on the competition. Twitter is great for networking and refining a company’s brand and is many companies’ favorite tool for engaging with customers.
How many channels can a company manage?
For start-ups and companies with limited resources and time to devote to posting content on social media, the best advice is to be awesome on a few rather than sub-par on many. Most marketers will agree that trying to be all things to all people is a waste of time and does not work, so focusing on one or two social media platforms popular with a company’s ideal audience is a wise investment.
Content marketing on social media in the form of videos, posts, or blogs does not explicitly promote a company’s brand, but it can stimulate interest in a product or service. The right content on the right channel has the power to establish or reinforce a connection with an audience that few other marketing tools can offer. Good content on the right channel has an especially resilient effect as quality content persuades users to click, explore and continue reading.
Companies must also have a reason, or objective, to be on social media: gaining followers, promoting a new product or increasing brand awareness. A company should consider customizing its content to nudge readers into the next level, whether that be buying a product, attending an event, or subscribing to a newsletter. If a company chooses more than one platform, it is also best to tailor content to each platform. For example, displaying a photo of a new product would catch the attention of Instagram or Pinterest users but may not entice LinkedIn users to visit a company’s website. The best advice is to set goals, devise a social media strategy, and let that dictate the decisions made when choosing a social media platform.
Why the right content on the right channel is very important
If content is a star, context is a superstar. Developing the right content is the very best way to market a product today. It is also true that providing value to consumers via social media platforms gives companies a way to engage and retain a client base. However, even the greatest content will come up short if placed on the wrong channel(s). A company must consider its ideal audience when choosing a platform. Then, the company must broadcast on the platform best suited to the company’s needs. When you understand your customers – who they are and what they want – you can optimize your content and fine-tune your targeting strategy.
For more information about how to put the right content on the right channel, trust the experts at Tempesta Media. The range of services and technologies they provide help digital agencies produce quality content for their clients.