Social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. It is an effective way to reach customers on a direct as well as personal level. While simply having a presence is good, developing a plan and really tailoring your social media presence to your company and industry brings its usefulness to another level entirely.
The following questions are a great starting point to help determine which social media channel will provide your business with the most benefits.
What Are Your Goals?
What do you want to get out of your social media presence? Your choice of a social media channel (or multiple channels) should work to support those goals in the most effective way possible. If you are looking to build brand awareness, choosing well-established social media channels is the best choice. They have the largest pool of users, which means you have a greater chance of adding to your audience. Lead generation, particularly in a company that largely operates as business-to-business, a platform like LinkedIn—made for facilitating discussion, making professional connections, et cetera—is ideal.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Consider the people you want to reach with your social media presence. Who are your customers? Identifying who they are is essential, because you then have to determine which social media channel(s) they use the most. As a starting point, consider more women use Instagram than men and Snapchat is ideal if your target audience is Millennials. If you want to target business individuals, LinkedIn is a good first place to look. Twitter is also popular among users between 18 and 29, whereas the majority of LinkedIn users are over 30.
Where Is Your Competition?
Look at you competitors, both direct and indirect. Do they have a social media presence? What channels are they on? Identifying where your competitors are in terms of social media is a great building block to use when you are developing the strategy for your business. Examine what seems to be working well for them when you are deciding which platforms to choose. This often takes the form of which channels garner the most likes, shares, and comments. In addition, consider which social media channels your competition is not present on. Sometimes this may be because it would not be as beneficial as possible, but it may also present an opportunity for you to fill a gap in the market.
What Type Of Content Do You Want To Share?
In some cases, the type of content you want to share with your audience will dictate the social media channel that will be the best for your business. For instance, longer posts detailing company news and industry updates are best suited for a platform like LinkedIn. LinkedIn will also work for editorial content and helping a company develop an image as a thought leader. Instagram is perfect for highly visual content, including short videos. Twitter is great for high volume, short posts disseminated to a large audience. You can do professional posts through this platform as well as LinkedIn, though the information must fit within the 140-character limit.