Are you a business looking to incorporate social media marketing into your marketing plan, but not sure where to start? Social Media can be one of the most powerful marketing tools, but in order for it to be the most effective you must decipher which platforms work best in your niche. Narrowing down the most appropriate platforms for your business will not only save you time, but it will allow you to focus on your goals.
How do you select the best social media platform? Here are a number of steps that will help you determine which channel would be the most effective for your business.
1. Define Your Target Market
First, it is imperative that you narrow down who is in need of your product or service. It is also important to figure out who is more likely to buy the product/service offered. Being specific as possible will only make your selection easier. A few factors to think about are the following:
– What age groups are you trying to reach? Are they millennials, baby boomers, etc.,?
– What is your audience’s income level? Occupation?
– What are your target market’s common values?
– Where are they located?
– What is their gender?
It’s also a good idea to dig deeper into the more personal characteristics of the buyer, such as their behavior, attitude, lifestyle, values and personality. These will help you further define your ideal customer. After your target audience has been broken down, other questions to take into account are:
– Is my product/service affordable for my target audience?
– What challenge does my product/service solve?
– Will my product/service be beneficial for my audience? Will they find a need for it?
– Are they easy to reach? Will I be able to get my message across to them?
– Are there enough individuals that fit my criteria?
– Am I fully aware of what drives my market’s ability to make decisions?
It is important to remember that it is possible to have more than one target market. For each different niche, you may want to examine your marketing messages. If you’re effectively able to reach multiple niches using the same message, then you may not have broken down your market enough. If you discover that only about 25 people all fit into your criteria, you need to reevaluate your niche. The key is to find that perfect balance.
If you’re stuck and questioning, “How do I find all this information?,” do some research on what others have done on your market and talk to your customers…they know.
2. Determine Your Social Media Goals
What are your goals with social media marketing? Are you looking to expand your audience, increase brand recognition, or converse with your current client base on social media? It may be a good idea to conduct an audit of your company, starting with finding gaps in your present marketing plans. Are you trying to:
– Build customer-to-brand loyalty and improve customer service?
– Introduce your customer base to new services, products, or discounts/incentives?
– Create and use a given platform for client feedback?
– Increase website traffic?
– Grow your customer base?
Instead of defining goals based on the number of followers you want to reach, consider the channels that will benefit you in expanding engagement with your fans. The number of fans you have doesn’t measure business success, but is rather a vanity metric. While it may be satisfying to have a large following, a highly engaged audience is something companies should be striving for instead. Determine your social media marketing goals with the channels that will best suit your goals.
3. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
Now that you have your goals defined and your audience characterized, it’s time to educate yourself on some of the key elements of each unique social media channel. While in the process of building your social media strategy, these are a few objectives to consider:
– Brand Awareness: how well a potential customer can recognize a brand, and associate it with a certain company’s product or service
– Engagement: the use of strategic, resourceful content to engage people, and create meaningful interactions over time
– Community Building: a strategy to engage an audience in an active, non-intrusive prospect and customer conversation
– Lead Generation: the process of stimulating and grabbing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline
The objectives you choose will need to correspond with the different metrics that you use to measure your success later on. When it comes to measuring your ROI, some of the areas to look at may include: clicks, fans, followers, retweets, check-in’s, views, and more. Without objectives and associated metrics, you won’t be able to measure how effective your social media marketing efforts actually are. With your strategy, what do you actually wish to achieve?
Here are some tools available to you from four of the major social platforms:
– Closed groups: Create community and a high level of engagement.
– Paid ads: Low CPC create opportunities for branding and driving traffic.
– Messenger: Great communication tool that stays out of the public discourse.
– Stories: Instagram stories boost the reach to your target audience and engage with them in ways you couldn’t prior to their introduction.
– Superior Storytelling: High quality images and long captions make this channel excellent for sharing brand stories.
– Quality Over Quantity: One quality post a day is all that’s necessary. Other platforms, like Twitter, need several posts a day.
– Customer Service: This platform’s style allows customers to communicate with brands to address their concerns without it reaching the public. Airlines use it famously.
– Twitter Chats: Using a brand hashtag, you can create discussions with community members.
– Live Tweets: A branded hashtag can be used to share updates, sales, and event photos.
– InMail: Advertise to individuals who may find the need for your services.
– Posting Blogs: Stand out as an industry expert by writing content that shares your expertise.
– B2B: The best platform to connect with other brands.
4. Identify Your Resources and Skills
While these are a few of the most common social media objectives for businesses, your brand may want to explore more specific or niche goals, such as social listening, press mentions, or customer support. Take time to consider your brand’s unique strengths and challenges before selecting a social media channel.
These are both mandatory in order to execute a successful social media marketing plan for each of the individual network types. Different channels require different skill-sets and methods of communicating with audiences. Not only is it crucial to align your business’ needs with the correct social channels, but it’s also critical that you have both the expertise and tools to successfully use it.
For each distinctive social channel, there are plenty of marketing tools available to generate content. Brainstorm your strengths and explore which techniques and resources are necessary in order for each platform to be successful.
Stuck and looking for professional help? At CGT Marketing, we are highly skilled in all areas of advertising and marketing, especially when it comes to Social Media Marketing. Reach out to us and we can advise and/or handle the proper methods needed to meet and exceed your businesses’ short and long-term social marketing goals.