Harnessing the power of social media is vital for businesses wanting to engage with potential customers and to build brand awareness and grow.
Deciding which platforms to use is your starting base. Where does your target audience spend their time online and which will work for showcasing your particular product or service?
Rather than attempting to use all the social websites at once, it’s more advisable to start by looking at which of the channels your demographic are spending the most of their time and what your goal is for using this media form.
Examine your buyer personas
Hopefully you already know who your customers are. Simply having a rough age range is useful here. If you’ve worked out your buyer personas, you’re in a very strong position to be able to pin down where to find them on social sites. If you haven’t yet created these, read our guide on how to do this...
Set your goals
You will need to be realistic with your goals for using social. Ultimately you will be aiming for sales but seeing a return from these channels will take patience, effort, planning and time. Think of it as trying to make friends with people and getting them to like you by finding things in common.
You could research how your competitors use the platforms, but be mindful that to stand out, your content has to be original, not more of the same.
Below we take a look at the main social media websites to help you to select the ones that are right for you…
Users: 562 million, largest age group 30-49
Purpose: To connect professionals to make them more productive and successful
Positive: Great for reaching people in the same industry
Negative: It takes time investment and can have limited reach
The most “business-like” of the high-ranking websites and with the oldest demographic. LinkedIn is excellent for networking and getting connected with both people you know and people and businesses that you want to become aligned with or build a potential working relationship. As well as connecting person to person, there are a wide range of professional groups that you can join and instigate or join discussions specific to your industry. It is also a useful tool for keeping up to date with news and trends relevant to your area. Used in the right way, this B2B site is an ideal platform for promoting your brand or product to the right people.
Users: 2.27 billion, largest age group 25-34
Purpose: Personal engagement – getting the world connected
Positive: The best for building brand awareness – it has the biggest reach
Negative: You need to consistently update it and Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm means you aren’t guaranteed to reach your audience
With such a huge volume of the population using Facebook, it offers the opportunity to get in front of lots of people. It’s a great platform for engaging with potential customers and promoting your product or service in a big way. To be successful though it requires thorough planning and regular updating to gain cut through and build your base. The complex algorithm makes its newsfeed unpredictable and this is updated often. Even so, it’s still by far the place with the largest number of regular users so is normally included within strong social strategies.
Users: 336 million, largest age group 18-29
Positive: Quick to use and hashtags get your message out
Negative: Tweets have to be short
Despite the limited amount of characters allowed for Tweets, it works well for sharing news and little snippets of information and using hashtags, you can get found by the people you’re trying to reach out to. Tweets can be retweeted so if your message hits the right note, it can reach more of your audience. Researching popular hashtags that are relevant to what you have to say and utilising those is essential with Twitter. Done in the right way, it can yield very positive results and is particularly useful for using at events or when you need to promote in real time.
Users: 1 billion, largest age group 25-34
Purpose: Photo and video sharing for smartphones
Positive: Allows a big visual impact to be made
Negative: Due to its nature, there is very little room for additional content
If you are in a B2C visual business, Instagram is perfect for you. By posting engaging content you can use hashtags and drive traffic to your website. With no much noise on the internet, pictures and videos are the most important elements you can share to grab people’s attention. You can really make your product or service come alive here and it’s super-fast and easy to use. If your target audience is Millennials, you will certainly want to include Instagram in your social marketing mix.
Users: 1.5 billion, largest age group 18-34
Purpose: To listen, share and build community through stories
Positive: The place to share content that will engage with your audience
Negative: Can work better for certain business types
With careful planning, YouTube can gain you quite a following and is another key place for getting in front of millennials. It’s a great place to tot up lots of viewers for videos that solve people’s problems and for entertaining content that’s original. If your business is such that you can answer “How to…” queries, you will do well here. If you do start posting content, don’t forget to add a CTA to the end of your videos so you can build up a bank of subscribers and see who is watching you. With YouTube, content can perform long after you’ve posted it so will continue to reach your audience rather than offering the immediate appeal of some other sites.
The key to success with social media is to keep up with posting content. Don’t let it taper off and lose momentum as you may lose the attention of the people you’ve put so much effort in to initially attracting.
Social media is all about engagement and making a connection rather than directly selling. So, be realistic when setting your goals and make sure what you’re posting is going to appeal to your audience, rather than being tailored to sales targets. Think about how much resource you’ll require to manage this and get a plan rolling out.
It may be a slow burner but with a consistent approach, your customers will come, and you’ll build a loyal following which should see conversions from prospect to client.
Here at Secret Source, we’ve helped many organisations get their social media marketing strategies spot on. To have a chat about what we could do for you, enter your details below and we’ll be in touch, or give us a call to find out more.
User figures from Statista