Which social media platform is the right one for your business?
It’s a simple question that a lot of businesses struggle to answer. With all the different social media platforms providing great opportunities for brand growth and revenue generation, it can be overwhelming to choose the right social media channel for your business.
Most businesses want to be on every social media platform. Why wouldn’t they? After all, social media is for free right? Not really!
While it’s free to create a social media account, it’s not free to grow it and maintain it. It costs time and money to create outstanding content and deliver consistent value on a social media platform, hence the need to choose wisely.
Trying to be everywhere is one of the most common mistakes that companies fall into. They think they should be on every platform to build a strong online presence. As a result, they spread themselves thin, become inconsistent, and fail at delivering value to their target audience.
So how do you choose wisely? Pick a platform based on a clearly identified target audience, social media objectives, team’s capabilities, and company resources. The sweet spot is at the intersection of your current marketing capabilities and the best place to reach your target audience.
Find your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is the first and most essential step of every marketing initiative. If you don’t know who your target audience is then you’ll never know where to find them.
This blog post assumes that you already know who your target audience is. In case you aren’t so clear on who your target audience is this post might help.
Your goal is to find where your ideal customer hangs out. For the purpose of choosing the right social media platform for your business you can narrow this down to the top social media channels. These are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok if you’re targeting a younger audience.
Then you need to find out who they follow on their chosen platform, which groups are they part of, which channels are they subscribed to, which pages they like, what kind of content they engage with, how active are they, and so on.
Of course, you can go as deep as you want and create a detailed buyer persona or customer avatar. However, I suggest that you put some thought into the questions you’re asking. There’s no point researching a ton of things about your customers if it’s not relevant to your product or service offering.
Define your Social Media Objectives
Social media is just a piece of the bigger digital marketing puzzle. This means that your social media objectives should support your overall business objectives and align with your long-term vision, otherwise it’s merely a distraction.
What is your endgame?
The ultimate question here is what is your endgame? That’s all you need to answer to drive your social media efforts in the right direction. After all, social media is just a tool that helps you achieve a desired outcome. Your aim is to make this outcome as specific and as measurable as possible.
Setting the right social media goals will not only help you choose the right social media channel for your business, but will also hold you accountable, guide your budget, and encourage your team to follow the right metrics.
Here are social marketers’ top goals for social media according to Sprout Social:
70% increasing brand awareness
59% sales and lead generation
48% increasing community engagement
46% growing a brand’s audience
45% increasing website traffic
Social Media Objectives
In most cases, it’s better to focus on one goal at a time. For example, focusing only on community engagement and setting specific key performance indicators will make it easier for you to optimize for this specific metric.
If your objectives aren’t clear, you won’t know what you’re optimizing for. You can’t test everything at once, and whatever it is that you’re testing should be directly linked to your main objective.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one objective for your social media marketing. You can have a primary objective and a secondary objective. The primary objective is the main thing you’re trying to achieve, and the secondary objective is a different goal that supports the primary objective.
Identify your Capabilities and Resources
What are your team’s capabilities? Social media platforms are different in nature and require different skillsets and different resources.
When it comes to identifying capabilities and resources, you need to look at the size of your business and where you’re currently at as a company.
Identify Your Starting Point
Where are you on your social media journey? Have you started? Are you just getting started now? Or do you have a well-established social media presence and you want to grow it further and scale? It’s important to be clear on this, because different stages require different resources.
If you’re a small business that’s just getting started, you don’t need to be on multiple social media channels. You need to focus on one platform that supports the rest of your digital marketing initiatives.
For example, if you’re a B2B company and you choose LinkedIn as your platform, you can pair that with Email Marketing and this combination could be the core of your marketing strategy.
Allocating Social Media Tasks
How many people on your team have the necessary skillset to carry on social media activities? A lot of businesses get this one wrong.
You often see those weird job titles on LinkedIn like “Assistant to the CEO & Social Media Manager,” then you check the company’s social media performance and it’s unsurprisingly mediocre.
Social Media Marketing, when done right, requires someone with a specific skillset and a clear sense of direction. I’m sorry but your assistant, no matter how tech savvy, can’t build your brand on social media.
One of the reasons is that successful social media marketing is more about understanding people and driving action than it is about being tech savvy and knowing which button does what. It’s an artform of it’s own.
You don’t want to scatter your money on social media marketing, you want to make calculated investments that have a positive outcome.
Testing is the name of the game. Start small, test your content, test your offers, test your ads, and when you find something that works well for you, invest more in it.
Having said that, don’t shy away from investing in social media ads right from the get-go. Organic reach isn’t the way it was before, and any good marketer will tell you that your best bet is a mix of organic and paid strategies.
So, with that in mind, you want to allocate a budget for your social ads, no matter how small. It’ll accelerate your growth by allowing you to reach more people and test your content faster.
You don’t need to break the bank to be successful at social media marketing, nor do you need a team of five to get the job done. What you really need is a deep understanding of your audience, your platform, and your current resources.
Choosing your ideal social media platform, like any decision, should be based on data and facts not on personal preferences or short-term trends. Remember, it’s an investment, and you want to choose what you can grow and sustain on the long run.
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