If you’re tempted to start marketing on all the social media channels you can get your hands on, don’t. Choosing too many channels means you spread your team and resources too thin without getting meaningful results, and you’ll end up frustrated and waste time and money. The solution? Focus your efforts on social media marketing channels that best fit your business and help you reach your marketing goals. Choosing the right social media channels means optimizing performance by matching your efforts to your resources, your goals, and your target market.
Don’t know where to start?
We got you covered with these four tips on choosing the right social media channels for your marketing initiatives.
Choosing the right social media channels for your brand
Not every social media channel is the same. Each attracts a slightly different user base, although there’s a good deal of overlap, especially among the largest social media platforms. Not every social media channel works the same as each has different requirements and terms of service. For instance, Instagram is primarily a visual platform and you can’t share links in your posts until you reach a minimum number of followers. TikTok has a very young user base who watch its short videos. Successful marketing on each platform also requires a different strategy from post frequency, type of posts that work best, and how to effectively create engagement on the platform.
As a small brand, you might carefully choose 1 or 2 platforms that meet your needs, as a larger brand, you have more flexibility and can choose more platforms. The goal is to create an optimized strategy for the platforms you choose and do them well, rather than being everywhere.
Here are 4 things to consider as you choose the right social channels for your business.
1. Know the resources available to you
Social Media Marketing (SMM) takes a lot of time and effort if done right. You need to handle multiple tasks—from creating the right content for specific social media platforms to learning the best tactics to engage your audiences effectively. Choosing the right social media channels means ensuring you have sufficient resources and reliable tools to implement your SMM strategies on the channels you choose.
For instance, if you plan on promoting your brand or product on TikTok, you need to determine if you have existing tools for TikTok marketing or if you have to invest in one. If you choose Twitter, you must ensure you have the bandwidth to create frequent content updates for the platform — commonly 5-7 posts/ day.
SMM platforms such as Vista Social offer affordable yet sophisticated features to aid in generating and posting content on your schedule.
The platform’s features include post scheduling, TikTok engagement tracking, reporting and analytics (for agencies), and content management.
You can upload videos from your device directly to TikTok, bulk upload your content, and schedule them to auto-publish at your preferred times and dates using this software.
Image source: vistasocial.com.
In choosing the right social media channels, assess your available resources by answering these questions.
- Do you have an existing social media team? If not, do you have enough people to form a team that can handle the responsibilities, or do you have an individual skilled in certain social media platforms?
- Do you have enough people on your social media team to manage all the platforms you want to use as part of your marketing campaign?
- How much time (including the learning curve) and resources can you dedicate to each social media channel?
- Who creates your content? Who will manage your social media activities and marketing initiatives?
Know your current and available resources to determine if you have enough bandwidth to handle everything you wish. Marketing automation can help expand the ability of your team to meet publishing goals. By using these tools, you can schedule an entire week or even a month’s worth of content quickly then share it on your preferred schedule. A content marketing calendar also helps keep your social media needs under control.
2. Identify the channels your target market uses frequently
You can gain new customers when you start marketing on a social media platform you haven’t used yet but only if you find your target market frequently uses the platform. Hence, you should know which social media channels your target market(s) frequently use and focus your marketing efforts there.
Using tools like Google Analytics, you can see which platforms currently send traffic to your website. It can give you a good idea about the social media platforms that house more of your potential customers. However, if you don’t have a presence on a social platform, this data is misleading. You can attempt to use multiple platforms in the beginning then drop those that don’t meet your goals.
You can even check information about your potential customers’ preferred social channels through reliable user feedback software.
You might also use Similarweb to check your social referral data to produce a report like the one below.
Image source: similarweb.com.
You can also check the specific social media content users that leads them to your website. By tagging content posted on social media or using paid social, you can detect specific content that outperforms in terms of sending traffic to your site as well as leading to conversion.
Use data to develop insights into your audiences’ interests and pain points, helping you tailor your social media content to address those needs. You have valuable data from various tools you can leverage for seamless content tracking.
By generating engagement with your target market on their preferred platforms, you reach new prospective customers and grow your brand.
3. Take stock of your existing content
Besides determining where your target market is across various social platforms, know the content types that resonate best with each target market. Take inventory of the existing content pieces in your media library to find which types of content perform best with each target market both in terms of CTR (click-through rate) and lead generation. Doing so can help you determine the content you need to add, include, and repurpose for social media. Creating content similar to your best posts likely results in better performance in the future.
You can repurpose existing content by transforming it into visual content, such as images and videos, which outperform other content on social platforms.
Below are some of the content types you can create and repurpose for social media.
- Images. Post and share stunning and captivating images to capture your social media market’s attention. These help you provide more digestible and engaging content than text-based posts your followers can easily scroll through and ignore. For instance, create a meme that expresses the key takeaways from a text post or create an infographic that displays stats in a visual format.
- Videos. Create compelling videos, such as video tours, how-to guides, and product demos and updates for social media. Videos bring your images and even text-based content to life, allowing you to engage your markets better, drive traffic to your site, and boost sales.
Creating images and videos takes time and resources, but you can optimize the process. Opt for user-friendly video editing apps to create, edit, add filters and other graphical elements and effects to your videos easily.
Share longer videos on your YouTube channel and a 30-second snippet to your Instagram Feed and Stories with the link to the full video. Most social platforms don’t require the kind of quality you see in professional cinematography. You can use your smartphone, a circle light, and an external microphone to capture compelling videos for your social media needs.
For instance, the IG Story below shows a quick video about the content creator’s favorite recipes. You can watch and learn more by clicking “See more.”
Image source: instagram.com.
- Blogs, guides, and articles. Post content that demonstrates your company’s expertise and knowledge while providing valuable content to your followers. It can help build your brand’s reputation and credibility. Blog content also improves your SEO (search engine optimization) so you show up higher when users search for content related to your brand.
Share links and a short snippet of your blog content to your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and feeds.
Organize, plan, prioritize, and take stock of your existing and future content using robust project task management software.
4. Determine the best channels for your industry
Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are popular platforms for brands and consumers but that doesn’t mean they are the best channels for your brand and marketing efforts. For instance, channel popularity can vary depending on your specific industry.
Start by doing competitor analysis to get a good idea of your industry’s presence across social media channels. It also helps to review several industry benchmarks to see what generally worked for each channel. For example, retail companies often find more success on Facebook and Instagram, getting more engagement by sharing relevant content such as a blog post on the “Best Computerized Cash Registers to Buy.”The key is to research and determine which social media platforms are popular in your industry. It can also help to identify the channels other brands in your industry use to succeed in driving engagement and, ultimately, conversions and sales, although proprietary sales data is hard to come by.
Each social media channel offers unique features and advantages depending on your goals, resources, existing content, and industry (among others).
Know which channels work best for your audience, brand, and marketing initiatives. Doing so can help you implement your campaigns more seamlessly and effectively, driving your expected results.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.