How to Choose the Right Social Media Channels for Your Business
Is your social media marketing strategy delivering results? Are you getting the followers you hoped for, and is genuine interest converting to sales? If your answer to these questions is no — or you’re not sure — you’re not targeting the best social media channels for your business.
Perhaps now is the time to take a step back and review your social media strategy. Social media management starts by choosing the right channels for creating lasting relationships with customers. But it’s difficult to know which channels can deliver results. Maybe Facebook is the way to go, or a targeted campaign on LinkedIn could grow your business.
With the right strategy, you can connect to your target audience, drive engagement, and grow revenues. And it all starts with choosing the right social media platforms for your brand. We’re here to show you how.
Identify Your Target Audience
Do you know your target consumer? Once you have a clear idea of your market, you can identify which social media channels they’re likely to favor.
Let’s say your target consumer is a university-educated professional. Here, you can justifiably assume that LinkedIn is a platform worth targeting.
Create customer personas that capture the general details about your target customers. Then you can choose the most appropriate channels.
To create an accurate persona, ask yourself a few questions:
- How old is my average customer?
- What is their gender?
- Whom do they follow on social media?
- What is their educational background?
- Are there any common social aspects to consider, such as family values, income, politics, or religion?
- What problem(s) are they trying to solve?
Look at what your customers are doing on social media right now. How they interact — and with whom — can tell you a lot.
If you sell a wide range of products and services, you may need more than one customer persona. You might need to assign each product to the most appropriate channel.
Identify the Social Media Channels That Share Your Brand’s Values
If your business sells office printers, for example, you likely won’t find Instagram the right social media platform to target. LinkedIn or Twitter might be more appropriate. But if you’re selling cosmetics, you may find that Instagram is the ideal platform for connecting with your target audience. Why? Because you can create demonstration videos with your products.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your brand’s values and identity:
- How much visual content does my business create each week?
- Is my business in the business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) sector?
- Are my products or services suited to photos and videos?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can identify which social media channel is most likely to turn genuine interest into conversions.
Assess Your Existing Social Media Channels
If you have a history of social media activity, you can identify which channels are best suited to your various products or services.
Check your Google Analytics Campaigns and Traffic Sources report to ascertain which channels are delivering significant traffic. You might find that some products or services work best with a particular channel. If this is the case, social media management might become a little complex. The services of an online marketing company can help you create a comprehensive social media strategy that fully leverages the potential of each channel.
Again, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Which platforms generate the most traffic?
- Which platforms deliver the highest conversion rates?
- How do user behaviors vary on each social media channel?
Do users that LinkedIn directs to your website spend more time browsing products than those that Twitter directs? You might find that Facebook consumers, for example, spend more time on your website than Instagram consumers.
Research How Your Competitors Approach Social Media Management
Which social media channels are your major competitors using? Who are your competitors connecting with on those channels? Is the strategy delivering tangible results, such as comments, likes, or clicks?
If a competitor has stuck with a social media channel for several years, you can be reasonably sure the same channel will work for you. But don’t take this for granted. Do your research and test the waters with a few posts of your own.
Here are a few questions to help you research your competitors’ social media strategies:
- Which channels generate high levels of engagement?
- What type of content resonates with consumers?
- Is there a pattern to posting? What is the best time of day to post?
- Can you identify a typical persona from the list of followers?
It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so don’t be afraid to take a few ideas from your more successful competitors. The information you gather might save you from making a few mistakes with your social media management strategy.
Identify the Content That Engages Your Target Customer
Now it’s time to identify what brings your target customers to your social media channels. It’s probably not a steady stream of sales pitches. To get social media users interested and involved, you’ll need to provide value.
But what is value? Offering value to consumers might involve providing entertainment, answering questions, contributing insights, or facilitating discussions. Do you know what persuades your audience to engage with your posts? Once you know that, you can fine-tune your social media management strategy.
The type of content you need to deliver will be another factor in deciding which social media channels you should target. For example, if your customers respond to fun videos, Instagram or TikTok might be appropriate. But if serious, industry-related articles attract customers, LinkedIn and Twitter might be the best options.
Of course, content doesn’t create itself. Invariably, it requires either knowledge or a specific skill — and time. Creating a viral video isn’t a simple process, nor is crafting SEO blog posts, email newsletters, press releases, and website content.
Once you’ve identified the type of content you need to create, determine whether the necessary know-how is available within your organization. And if it isn’t, you’ll need to outsource. Is this economically feasible? Consider these practical issues when choosing which social media channels will carry your marketing messages.
Create a List of Social Media SMART Goals
Before you do anything, determine your social media goals. Only then will you create a social media management plan that delivers a return on your investment. The simplest way to do this is to create some SMART goals.
Make sure each goal you set for your organization is:
Above all, you need to know your desired outcome. While you can create a sleek, concise, and professional social media strategy, you can’t be sure your time and effort are worth it if you don’t have an obvious goal.
The most common goals of a social media marketing strategy are:
- Brand awareness
- Customer service
- Increased website traffic
- Lead generation
- Database building for email newsletter marketing
- Community building
We know this is a lot to take on board if you’re new to social media management. We also know that implementing this yourself will take you away from your customers. That’s where we come in.
At White Space, we help businesses identify and leverage growth opportunities. Where you might see “white space,” we see a chance to grow your business. We offer a range of online marketing services, including website design, graphic design, SEO management, social media management, and content creation. Reach out today and let us take the reins for your online marketing strategies.