How To Choose The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business
Choosing The Right Social Media Platform
As a business owner, you instinctively know more people than ever use Social Media platforms. You therefore also know more of your customers than ever can be found there. This means a fantastic opportunity to get your valuable product or service in-front of them, and show them how beneficial it can be to their lives. After all, every product or service is ultimately creating a solution to a problem. The role of Marketing is to communicate how your product or service solves that problem, and why yours specifically will make the most difference. But how do you choose the right social media platform for your business?
To get maximum results from Social Media, you need to carefully select where to put your focus, and which platforms make the most sense for your audience, and for you to achieve the outcomes you have set. That could that brand awareness, lead generation, or customer service.
Each platform inherently has a different purpose for the user. For example, the reason I log on to LinkedIn is to connect with likeminded people, build relationships, hear from industry leaders, and establish my own authority and expertise in the digital marketing arena. When I log onto Instagram however, the reason I log on is to see what is going on in the world of who I follow, catch up on their stories, and scroll through their lifestyle/home decor posts. I have a different intention and mindset when I log on to the different platforms I use, and I expect to see different content on each platform that ties in with that. On LinkedIn I expect to read blog posts (articles) and professional work updates, and engage with my network using messaging discussing our problems/solutions and how business is going for us. On Instagram I expect to listen to Mrs Hinch's most recent Cleaning tips on her stories, 30 second comedic snippets from Heather McMahan on her stories, and lifestyle tips from The Skinny Confidential on her pink posts and stories. If I saw any of these on the other platforms, it wouldn't resonate and quite frankly just wouldn't work. The engagement level would significantly drop. Your communications need to speak directly to the person where they're at, in the particular mindset they're in when using that platform.
With so many different platforms, it can feel very overwhelming trying to keep up with them all, or even just decide which ones to focus on for your business. Keep in mind that it is best to focus your resources on the platforms where your specific customer is most likely to hang out, and be open to exploring new products/services such as yours on that platform. This is the best strategy rather than scatter-gunning your message across all of the different platforms, just for the sake of 'covering all bases'. The right message, on the right platform, at the right time, is what will bring you results.
So how do you choose the right Social Media platform for your business?
The first step is to know your audience persona/avatar. Who are your customers, and where do they go to find solutions to the problems you can help them fix. For example, chances are if they're a business owner looking for Marketing advice, they're on LinkedIn. But if they're a skateboard fanatic looking for the latest skateboard, they're probably on Instagram and YouTube. Hubspot has a really great tool for creating your persona here -> https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona
Now you have your persona, let's look at the different options available to you.
With over 2.3 billion users, the chances of your customer being on Facebook is almost guaranteed. The more posing question you might be asking yourself however is 'are they on Facebook for personal life use, or business use, and how do I know it'll work?' The two mindsets are very different and it is something to keep in mind as people tend to primarily use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. However, whichever mindset they're in, people are constantly looking for ways to 'up their game' and solve their problems. Be that personally by finding the latest widget to improve their quality or experience of life, or business by finding the latest technology to improve their business. As long as your content achieves that purpose by showing them how your product or service can help solve their problem, it's relevant and will get engagement.
You can also use Ads to target users that fit your specific buyer persona. For example if you are selling a Technology service to CEO's in London only, you can set your advert to only show to users in London, who are CEO's. The reason you can do this is because Facebook is able to find users that have entered 'CEO' into their Facebook Profile, and place your advert directly into their feed. Doing this you know you are only targeting business owners that might be interested in your technology. Making sure the advert 'lands' and drives awareness for you is the next challenge, and something that takes a lot of strategic input. This is what clients ultimately come to me for and if you'd like some help with that, just send me an email email@example.com.
Primarily Used For - Building Brand Awareness and Prospecting in both B2B and B2C markets.
Best Tool To Use on Facebook: Facebook Ads. Arguably one of the best advertising tools in the online world right now, you can create ads at a cheaper rate compared to other tools such as Google Adwords, and the targeting potential is phenomenal. Connect directly with your buyer persona without wasting any money on people who aren't going to be interested in what you're offering.
This platform is a visual-centric platform, owned by Facebook, and is the fastest growing platform in 2019. With over 1 billion users to date, the audience here is largely under 35 years old and content that typically does very well are videos and instagram stories (which are also videos). The recent growth of influencers means the platform is taking up serious momentum for brands as a key pillar in promotion strategies. Due to the increasing growth of the platform and the nature of how users engage with content, engagement rates are 10X higher than Facebook and 84X higher than Twitter.
This is mainly a B2C platform and is excellent if you have a product or service aimed at <35 year old consumers. The B2B audience is growing but primarily Instagram is still a B2C marketplace.
Primarily Used For - Building Brand Awareness
Best Tool To Use on Instagram: Hashtags. Build your audience by getting found by people already searching for what you're posting about.
Users primarily use this platform to reach out to companies for customer support enquiries, follow their influencer and celebrity idols, research competitors, and find out the latest news. With over 500 million tweets sent out per day, the platform pushes you to update your profile more than the other platforms, if you are to keep up with communications.
Writing short, quick status updates, alongside stats, questions and quotes is a great way to build engagement, and drive traffic to your website.
Primarily Used For - Customer Service Enquiries and Social Listening
Best Tool To Use on Twitter: Search. Use the Search Bar to look out for people actually talking about what you offer online. Is someone frustrated with their current provider and potentially looking to swap to a new one? Write them a line with how you can help.
Where B2B business relationships are primarily built and maintained, and skills and knowledge and shared. This platform allows you to seek out new prospects, keep up to date with colleagues and business associates, learn new things, and establish your own authority and expertise within the professional space.
Primarily Used For - B2B Prospecting and Relationship Building
Best Tool To Use on LinkedIn: Sales Navigator. Take out the time consuming task of finding your target clients and business partnerships (JV's) by using Sales Navigator.
There are a TONNE more Social Media channels out there, Pinterest, Google+, Periscope... the list goes on. These are the most common 4 my clients and I use as they fit our buyer personas. Which ones do you use?
If you'd like some help deciding which channels your business should be using, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Social Media Management services page and I'd be happy to help you decide.