How to choose the right social media platforms to match your business goals
Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest – every social media platform has a specific purpose. And the key to your social media success is finding out which purposes match your business needs.
At Bang Digital, we believe an effective social media management strategy can help your business build an incredible online presence. But how can you achieve this if you don’t know which channels to choose? To help, we have outlined a simple step-by-step process you can follow to select the best social channels to focus on based upon your business goals.
1. What are my Objectives?
The first question you need to ask yourself is, “What are my social media strategy objectives and how will my chosen channels support the achievement of these strategic goals?”
Some of these objectives may include:
- Increasing exposure
- Increasing traffic
- Increasing engagement
- Garnering marketplace insight
- Developing loyal fans
- Generating leads
- Growing business partnerships
- Improving sales
To achieve any of these objectives, you’ll need to select well-established platforms with a large following as opposed to anything new or niche. If you want to extend your reach even further, you’ll also need to consider paid promotion.
Facebook’s advertising platform has a great reputation for generating impressive return on investment (ROI). Similarly, LinkedIn is renowned for being one of the top players in social media lead generation, whether it’s through joining groups, participating in discussions, or searching with advanced filters.
2. What Channels are my Target Audience Using?
Now you’ve narrowed down your objectives, it’s time to think about your target audience. Start by asking yourself, “What channels would my audience be using and how can I leverage this information to facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible?”
You need to be realistic about where your audience is interacting online to determine the success of your social media strategy. For example, maintaining a Snapchat account for your business if your largest customer segment is composed of 60 year old women or establishing your brand on Pinterest if you’re only targeting men, could both be seen as a major waste of time and effort.
So instead of being led by current trends, use data-driven insights into your target demographic to inform your strategy and the channels you choose. Because at the end of the day, how can you convert leads into sales if you’re pitching to the wrong customer altogether?
3. What Channels are my Competitors Using?
Analysing the channels your competitors are using is equally as important as analysing the channels your target audience is using. This competitor analysis will provide you with valuable insight into industry activity and what you should be doing, and is an essential part of any marketing strategy.
When analysing your competitors’ social media accounts, ask yourself:
- What type of content do they post?
- How regularly do they post it?
- How many likes or shares do their posts gain?
Using this method, you can quickly gain an overview as to what is and isn’t already working in your market and either jump on board or consider a different channel.
4. What Type of Content do I Want to Create?
Finding content formats that complement your business goals and brand identity is essential when selecting the appropriate social media channels for your company, as certain formats will be more suited to particular channels over others:
Sharing Industry Updates & Company News
This content format is traditionally suitable for business to business (B2B) audiences predominantly found on professional platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, where you can engage with fellow professionals looking for industry-specific content.
Sharing Video Content
There are two types of video content:
- For short-form videos targeted at a younger audience, consider Instagram or Snapchat
- For longer videos with universal appeal, consider Facebook, YouTube or Twitter
Sharing Image-based Content
If you’re a business to consumer (B2C) brand with an exciting product to sell, consider Pinterest. Whereas if you’re looking to build an inspirational visual brand story, Instagram is the ideal platform for your business goals.
Sharing Editorial Content
If you want to establish yourself as a trusted industry thought leader, businesses can post articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform and expose their brand to over 300 million users.
5. How Many Channels can I Manage?
Finally, you must ask yourself, “How many channels can I manage?” When it comes to deciding how many social media channels to use for your business, striking the perfect balance can be tricky. Too many, and you’ll spread yourself too thinly and dilute the impact of your efforts as a result. Too few, and your brand visibility and reach might suffer.
A social media scheduling tool like Sendible can help you save time and maximise resources by letting you schedule posting in advance for a number of different social media accounts. This level of automation enables you to incorporate more channels into your strategy, but it’s always important to start small, and then add new channels into your strategy as you grow more comfortable and confident with the content you are producing.
Need help choosing the perfect social media channels for your business? Have a chat to the Bang Digital social media marketing team today. With many years of experience helping other brands achieve their business goals with the right platform, we have the tools and knowledge to help make your social media strategy a success.