From being a medium to keeping loved ones connected (or to help stave off boredom), social media has become a powerful marketing platform for businesses. Choosing from the wide variety of social media platforms to help promote your business can be challenging, especially if you are just starting out and cannot afford to spend a lot of time and money on more than one site. Which one you end up choosing is critical, because your choice can directly affect the sales you make. Furthermore, you will not be able to take back the time and the effort that you have invested if you realize that you need to change platforms mid-campaign.
This article takes a look at some of the questions you need to ask yourself to identify which social media platform best suits you.
What do you want to achieve?
Before looking at the different social media platforms, the first thing that you need to do is to ask yourself what exactly you want to gain by using social media for marketing purposes. Business.com advises identifying your goals and ensuring that they are specific, attainable, and time-bound, so you can determine whether or not you are achieving your targets later on once you roll out the campaign. You also need to be realistic about identifying how much budget you are willing to spend for your social marketing campaign.
Which platform is most commonly used by your target audience?
In an earlier post here, I mentioned that one of the keys to effective social media marketing is knowing who you are talking to. So, instead of jumping on the bandwagon, make sure that the platform you choose is actually the one that is most commonly used by your target audience. If you are unsure where they are, WPCurve suggests studying which site is used by your competitors because this gives you a clue on which platform your target audience is using.
Aside from identifying which platform your rivals are using, it might also be a good idea to see what times they are more likely to post, because this serves as an indication of when you should also be active.
One example is the social media campaign of UK-based bingo site Foxy Bingo. When it launched its new ad campaign featuring actress Heather Graham, the company didn’t just launch the new web-based platform Foxy Television. The company also did its research, and discovered that its target audience – early adult to middle-aged mothers – are primarily Facebook users, a finding reflected in the data presented by Statista. Besides that, Mashable also showed that the peak activity on Facebook takes place at 8 am, 3 pm, and 11 pm ET. These findings allowed Foxy Bingo to determine that Facebook is the social media platform that is best suited to their needs, as well as when the best time is to post content to improve the chances of interactions with potential clients and their large community of existing players.
Note that while Facebook may be the most frequented social media site, it doesn’t necessarily always mean that it’s the best option for you. Inc. provides online lingerie retailer White Rabbit New York as an example of knowing where they audience was best located. Understanding that many of their potential customers are in their 20s and 30s and use Instagram more compared to other social media sites, the company also began using the photo site to reach its target market.
Buffer provides a quick overview of the most popular social media platforms. The article also provides recommendations on which ones you should use based on your needs.
What kind of content will you be producing?
Make sure that the social media platform that you choose is in line with the content that you plan on uploading. For instance, if your goal is to upload primarily photos to showcase what your products look like, it might be a good idea to opt for a platform that allows you to optimize how the images appear. On the other hand, if you plan on uploading mainly text-based content, creating an account on one of the photo-based sites such as Instagram might not be the best idea.
Aside from the type of content you will be uploading, make sure to consider how frequently you will be able to post updates. Twitter is designed for real-time updates, so this is a good choice for those who can provide short but frequent updates daily. If you won’t be able to post as frequently as that, it might be better for you to opt for other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, where you can get away with posting two or three posts per week.
Ask yourself these questions to help you determine which of the many platforms is the best avenue for you to build your social media presence.