Social media platforms are aplenty. I’m pretty sure there are many that I have zero clue about, and I’ve been in the business for years! How do you select which social platforms? It’s relatively simple to figure out; you have to know your audience.
The list of social media channels is endless; many of them come and go so rapidly that we never try them. Before wasting your time, all new apps, do your research and stick with those that have longevity. That doesn’t mean you should try something new; by all means, test it out!
Major social media platforms to consider
According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of adults in the U.S. are at least one social media platform. Facebook is, by far, the leading social media platform based on this same research. Let’s take a look at the top four, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Facebook Is A Must For Every Business
Facebook is an enormous powerhouse because 2 BILLION each MONTH – yes, I said 2 Billion – to emphasize, that is inching toward half of the world’s population, on Facebook!
Even if the person you are trying to reach isn’t responsible for, or pays little attention to the company’s social media site, they are there engaging with friends and family here. Let’s focus on using Facebook as a platform:
- Do you offer a service or product?
- Are you business-to-business (B2B), or business-to-consumer (B2C)
- Are you local, regional, national, or international?
- Can you reach the people you need to on Facebook (or xyz social platform)?
- Does your content (value-added material) resonate with the folks on the platform?
Your B2C, you have a retail storefront, and you want to attract local customers. Great news! You have products in-store that you can easily showcase. You can also use your channel to build brand awareness and conduct social ad campaigns. Having a holiday sale, put out an ad, and target it to your ideal client.
Many of your suppliers have company blogs and posts that you can share on your channel. Sharing helps you get seen, comment, from your business page, on your supplier’s posts too.
Instagram For Business
Instagram is one that used to trouble me. It’s a little more challenging if your a service provider to use Insta. Or at least I thought.
You have to think about it differently.
If you have a product or sell multiple products, it’s easy to take pictures, use hashtags, and share them. If you have a service, you have to transform your messages using design to get the words out with beautiful imagery that envokes a response.
Instagram has a few cool tools, but you have to have over 10,000 followers to access some of them. That’s a waste if the followers are not engaging and don’t have an interest in your content.
If you don’t have that many followers, use stories and carousels to publish your beautifully designed message. Not sure what I mean, check out this Instagram page.
Like every other network, you can pay for ads on social media, but know your goal.
- What are you going to post?
- Why do you want to run an ad?
- Test and pivot if it’s not working.
- Align your ads with your buyer’s persona and journey.
Share with us your most successful instagram posts and ads in the comments!
LinkedIn For Your Business
LinkedIn is the king, or queen, your preference – of the professional networks. This platform is where you are going to reach your c-suite executives, your business coaches, mentors to help you succeed. Yes, you should be here as a professional, but is it right for your business?
In most cases, yes. It’s an ideal place to get your business seen by other companies like suppliers or supporting partners.
Apply the same questions used to determine your eligibility on Facebook to LinkedIn. If your primary target audience is using LinkedIn and looking for the information you offer there, then that is where you want to be. Do your buyer persona’s seek out information on LinkedIn?
It may surprise you what will work on each platform. For instance, I was talking with a former colleague the other day, and she is using social media marketing to develop her health coaching business, which, of course, is excellent!
I had noticed her posts on LinkedIn, and given the more “social” nature of her business and personal touch required, I asked her how that was working. She surprised me by saying that she’s gotten more leads from LinkedIn than other platforms.
SHOCKED! I was shocked – generally speaking, her content seemed more driven towards less professional networks, but it’s working for her. Her target audience is professionals looking for a healthier lifestyle; they have the most disposable income and spend the majority of time on this platform.
Twitter is not the platform for everyone, and for some reason, the mere thought of tweeting scares people! I get it though; it did me at first also.
However, this an excellent platform for showing off your brand authenticity. Twitter is a place for new product announcements, showcase any philanthropic interests, and provide thought leadership.
For example, because my name and company are synonymous, I talk about my favorite things – food and football. Still, I also love to tweet a little bit of marketing awesomeness for my followers.
- How comfortable are you with this platform?
- Can you tell your brand story?
- Can you provide thought leadership?
- Is my ideal client on Twitter?
If you are ready to get your brand on social media and want to generate leads, push your content out to as many people as you can, and build trust within your networks, then it’s truly time to get on social.
Now, it’s up to you to Select Your Social Media Platforms
In 5 Tips to Nail Your Social Media Marketing, we suggested assessing appropriate social media platforms for your business and offer best practices and tips for the successful use of social media marketing, no matter the platform. Check it out!
Ultimately, sticking to the plan and relying on your buyer persona research, you’ll know which platforms are right for your business.
If you cannot be on all of them, then select the one that you can make the greatest impact with, and generate the most leads. Don’t forget! Engage with your audience, thank people for sharing, respond to comments and questions positively; controversial topics should be handled with care and not ignored.
Remember, your goal is to provide your audience with value-added information and develop your brand as a trusted and reliable resource and doing so in the least disruptive way possible.
When selecting your social platforms remember these things:
- Align with your buyer persona
- Select at least one social channel – the one where you can have the most significant impact.
- Stay true to your brand voice.
- Provide value-added information to your audience.
- Interact with and engage your audience.
This post was updated in September 2020, to reflect current changes and best practices, as well as get a new header, cause that first one was awful.