Social media platforms offer businesses a variety of ways to strengthen their online presence and connect with customers. But which ones are best for your business?
Businesses usually opt for multiple accounts across platforms, particularly major ones like Facebook and Twitter. Some platforms, however, will yield a much better return on any time or money you invest in them. And the social media landscape shifts as consumers start preferring one type of social media over another.
For example, a recent article from Forbes on 2017 social media trends highlights how Twitter has been faltering, with what Forbes predicts will be a worsening of “Twitter fatigue.” This doesn’t mean that it’s time to abandon Twitter. Only that it’s important to monitor trends, keep an eye on emerging platforms, and have backups in case a particular platform goes under. (Vine, for instance, may be over for good or Twitter may sell it; in any case, businesses that have used it successfully for marketing to their target customers need to revise their plans.)
Which social media platforms are best for you?
Where you focus your efforts depends in large part on where your target customers like to spend time and the kinds of content and communication they prefer. Pinterest, for instance, remains more popular among women than men, and Tumblr skews towards younger people. Your analyses, however, will have to be more sophisticated. (For example, who are the men who do use Pinterest? And is the percentage of male users growing? What content do they typically like?) Social media platforms have smaller communities within them that may not make up the majority of users but can still connect with you and help your business grow.
The appropriate metrics
Measure what you’re getting out of every platform you use. Not simply raw number of followers or raw number of ‘likes’ or ‘faves.’ Consider how your followers are actually engaging with you – replying with comments, sharing your posts, clicking through to your website, and ultimately buying your products and services. Even if you want to continue maintaining a presence on a major site like Facebook, you may find that sinking money into Facebook advertising doesn’t give you much in return.
Playing to your strengths
What content are you best at sharing with customers, and in what format? Businesses focusing on YouTube, for example, may wind up building a popular channel full of tutorials, vlogs, real-time videos, short films, and mini-documentaries that both inform and entertain people. Others build an informative blog and attract people to it with catchy blurbs on Facebook and Twitter. Striking visuals can capture people’s imaginations (and attention) across different sites, ranging from Snapchat to Instagram. On LinkedIn, you can enhance your reputation and authority through in-depth, analytical articles.
Ultimately, playing to your strengths also means that you’re enjoying spending time on a given social media platform. You aren’t treating it as a chore, but as a means of expression and connection with people. Your sincere enjoyment and engagement also makes for a more meaningful relationship with followers, much more than you would have with perfunctory posts.
You can’t be equally active across all platforms. And you have to be prepared to give up on a platform if it’s dying or in other ways isn’t serving you well anymore. New possibilities keep emerging, and even though some of them aren’t as popular as Facebook, you can still wind up reaching your target audience through them and carving out a strong presence on them. Furthermore, it’s critical to keep up with how existing platforms evolve, and the new features that will prove advantageous for your business.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for further advice and assistance. We can help you develop a marketing strategy that focuses your efforts on the platforms you’re best suited for and helps you navigate any changes in the social media landscape.