There is no doubt that social media is an essential marketing tool for any company that wants to stay relevant and visible. In fact, 88 percent of marketers say social media has helped them increase exposure, while 77 percent say it has helped them increase traffic. This means that if you are not taking advantage of social media to its full potential, you are passing up a huge opportunity.
However, getting started can be difficult, and even seemingly simple tasks like selecting a social platform can be more complicated than you think. There are numerous social networks to choose from, and developing a strategy can be difficult. However, the good news is that you can begin by limiting your search to the most popular and widely used platforms.
Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use For My Company?
The first step in determining the best social media for your business is to prioritize what is important to you. Is it broadening your horizons? Is it bringing in more leads? Is it a matter of brand recognition?
The next step is to determine which platform will provide you with the most exposure to the right audience. Is your brand visually appealing, making it a good fit for platforms like Instagram or TikTok? Is it primarily concerned with real-time events and would it work well on Twitter? Or is your audience diverse, necessitating the use of multiple platforms such as YouTube and LinkedIn? Let’s take a look at social media to find out!
How to Narrow Your Options
As you are probably aware, there are social media platforms for everything and everyone, including those that connect people with similar interests, hobbies, demographics, and much more. The point is that there are far too many for you to stay active on all of them. Furthermore, your time would be better spent focusing on sites that will assist you in reaching your goals.
According to the recent ‘Digital 2021: Global Overview’ report, the top social media sites in terms of active users are Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
Define Your Social Media Objectives
There are numerous advantages to using social media, but it is critical to set specific goals before you begin. As a result, you will be able to develop a successful social media strategy for your company.
For starters, your objectives will influence not only the social platform you select, but also the content you create, the audience you target, and other factors. Here are some of the most common advantages of using social media that you should consider:
- Find new leads and prospects who are similar to your current customers.
- Reach out to new audiences and demographics on social media who may be interested in your products or services.
- Increase brand awareness and expose your company to new customers.
- Learn about your audience’s and customers’ needs, desires, and habits. Increasing traffic and sales to your website.
- Improve your customer service offerings by providing another channel for customers to express their complaints, questions, and concerns. Get some ideas for how to do this by looking at what other brands are doing to successfully implement social customer service.
Determine which channels your target audience uses.
The entire point of effective social media marketing is to connect you with your most receptive audience. As a result, it is not advisable to select a platform where your target audience does not operate.
Unfortunately, there is no ‘Field of Dreams’ opportunity here in which your prospects will begin using the social platform of your choice simply because you have a profile. Instead, analyze which platforms your target audience prefers and seek them out on the networks they already use.
When beginning this process, it is critical to conduct audience research in order to define a buyer persona. That way, you wll know exactly who you are looking for and can narrow down the platforms they use based on gender, demographics, interests, and so on.
There are several approaches you can take to find out where your target audience is online. A simple customer survey is one of the most basic. Inquire about which social media sites they use, where they get their information online, and which influencers they follow.
Another way to learn more about your target audience is to use social media sites themselves. You can tell platforms like Facebook about your ideal customers, and they will estimate the audience size for you. Analytics can also be used to determine who your audience is and what they are doing.
Examine the Kind of Content You Generate
Different types of content work better with different social media platforms, so it’s critical that you carefully consider the type of content you like to create and distribute that will work best with your brand.
Because Instagram is all about visuals, it might not be the best place to share long-form content like whitepapers. The type of content you create will be determined by several factors, including your industry, brand, and target audience.
Successful content and the use of various social media platforms:
- User-generated content – This is the holy grail of content because it is created by your brand advocates rather than you.
- Blog posts – For audience engagement, business blogs can be just as effective as personal ones.
- Podcasts – Collaborate with industry leaders to tap into their social network audience, and use hashtags when sharing to increase reach.
- Testimonials – Your customers are your most valuable asset, so use their feedback and experiences to promote your brand.
- Webinars and live streams – Live video is excellent for audience engagement and learning more about your customers, especially when combined with a Q&A session at the end.
- Ebooks – This type of long-form content can be extremely beneficial to potential customers and is excellent for lead generation.
- Whitepapers – The ideal content for demonstrating industry knowledge and generating leads via downloads.
- Videos – The pinnacle of content, videos can vastly expand your reach if the content you create goes viral.
- Photographs – Using photos to show the inner workings of your company, your team, or even something amusing can help drive engagement and traffic.
Read More: 7 Vlogging Kits To Get You Started
Match Your Objectives, Audience, and Content to the Best Platform
Once you have decided on your social media goals, identified your target audience, and determined what type of content works best for you, you can compare the various social media platforms to see which one best suits your needs. To help you decide, here’s a rundown of the top platforms in terms of audience size, what they are good for, and the typical user:
Facebook for Business: This is the largest platform at the moment, with over 2.89 billion monthly active users, with India and the United States leading the way in terms of country usage. Facebook is excellent for lead generation, and its advertising platform allows for highly customized targeting of specific audiences.
Facebook is also an excellent platform for developing relationships, demonstrating the human side of your company, and converting leads into loyal followers and customers. Many different types of content perform well, but the key is content that reveals a different side of your company – behind-the-scenes content, user-generated content, and interest-driven community groups. Video is also hugely popular, with Facebook Live performing well among users, increasing in popularity by 26% in 2020, and expected to continue on an upward trend. Facebook (and Twitter) are both excellent for reaching a large number of people, but keep in mind that there is a lot of competition, so your content must stand out.
YouTube for Business: YouTube has over 2 billion active users and is watched by 74% of American adults. It has enormous potential for reaching your target audience as the second-most visited website after Google.
Obviously, video is the type of content you want to create if you want to be successful on YouTube! An intriguing finding is that videos containing the term “beginner” have doubled in popularity, which could be a great way for you to get views. Is there anything you can teach those just starting out about your business? Is it possible for you or a colleague to host a tutorial to demonstrate the value of your brand or service?
Paid advertising on YouTube is also worth experimenting with because viewers on this channel are highly engaged, with 70% purchasing after seeing an ad. Discover key strategies for establishing and growing your YouTube channel in order to achieve success.
Whatsapp for Business: Whatsapp has over 2 billion active users worldwide, trailing only Facebook and YouTube. With such a large audience, it’s an excellent platform for gaining traction for your brand. In a controversial move, Whatsapp’s parent company, Facebook, announced that it will no longer allow ad placements on the app. However, the platform excels at customer service. Small businesses can respond to and chat with customers via WhatsApp Business, and its ‘Catalog’ feature allows for product showcasing and in-app browsing.
Instagram for Business: Instagram has 1.2 billion users, with 500 million of them viewing Instagram Stories on a daily basis. That’s a lot of activity to take advantage of. For obvious reasons, live video has become very popular on Instagram, much like it has on Facebook, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Instagram Shops now makes it easier for brands to make money on the platform by allowing them to make purchases within the app rather than having to direct them to a landing page or website. There are plans to add a Shopping tab (similar to the Explore tab) for customers to make it easier to buy with a single click.
Social causes are becoming more important to Instagram users, allowing businesses to demonstrate issues that are important to them, such as diversity or climate change, while non-profits use donate buttons to raise funds. So, consider what your brand stands for and the causes you want to support. Then, share them on Instagram to increase your customer base!
You should also keep in mind that Mark Zuckerberg is planning to merge messaging across all Facebook apps, including Whatsapp and Instagram, which means your audience will soon be able to communicate freely across social channels. When it comes to customer service, this is food for thought.
Social media is a must-have tool for any company that wants to stay relevant and gain exposure online. The key to selecting the best social media platform for your company is knowing which ones will work best for you. You must have a thorough understanding of social strategy, research, and content, as well as the ins and outs of the most exciting platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as TikTok and YouTube.