How to choose the social media channel that works best for your brand LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse, Pinterest, YouTube or Snapchat? What is the most effective social media platform for your business? Should your brand be present across all social media channels? Or only the most popular ones? In this article, we discuss the different options available to brands - and how to choose the best option.
Manage your efforts
With so many options available on the web, it can be really tricky to select the right social media platforms for your business. Too many brands fall into the temptation of being across every single channel, even if they don’t pay the right amount of attention to it or keep it updated with new and engaging content, which can be highly counterproductive and may harm the reputation of your brand.
Instead, brands should think of the pros and cons of each social media platform, and understand what makes sense for them. You should consider the content available to share, plus the type and scale of content, the key messages and whether they’re B2C or B2B, as well as the target audience. You may want to adopt one of the following social media marketing strategies when planning where to invest your time in the digital world:
- Go for the most popular channels among your target audience. If your leads and potential customers are all present in platform X or Y, then you can decide to direct your efforts to those channels in order to better reach them and spread your word to the right people.
- Be present on platforms that are known for being effective within your industry. If all your competitors are present on a specific channel, you don’t want to be left out and risk not keeping pace with the changes and conversations in your market.
- Focus on underserved audiences. It may be interesting to explore unknown platforms - such as Medium, Clubhouse or UpStream - in order to capture new customers, which have not been exposed to your competitors yet. Being the first to join a social media channel may bring a “first-mover advantage” to your brand against competitors.
Key factors to consider when joining social media
There are two main considerations every brand should have in mind when deciding which platforms to join in the social media landscape.
1- Audience research
The key to knowing whether platform A or B makes sense for your brand and business is research into your audience. Most social media channels have specific demographics which are readily available. Having a good understanding of this data will help you know where your target audience is located geographically, how old they are and what time they can be reached on each platform.
Moreover, social media listening and monitoring are essential since they will allow you to understand what your audience is interested in, how competitors and industry influencers are communicating and how the market is engaging with these messages and topics, specific to each social media channel. Engagement between users and brands can be very different on Instagram to LinkedIn, for example.
With so many different options to choose from, it can be challenging to stay organised and maintain sharing regular posts and relevant fresh content. . Luckily for marketers, there are already plenty of tools that are capable of doing - or at least helping with - this job. Buffer, Later, Hootsuite or Sprout Social are well-designed tools that any marketer can use to schedule posts in different social media channels. Some of these platforms also provide insights on engagement, impressions and click-through rates.
2- Content Strategy
What are you going to post? Are you going to write original content, using visual images to catch the eye of the users in the middle of their scroll? Or maybe repost informative articles from reputed sources within the industry? Or even just post links with an appealing Call to Action (CTA) redirecting your followers to your website?
The options are endless, and it is key for your brand to be organised and consistent no matter the platform. However, each platform is different and requires a different approach - one size does not fit all.
If you are a B2B business and you are aiming to generate new business leads, then LinkedIn may be the platform for you. It allows you to target users by industry, company, location or even job title. However, if you are a B2C clothing online store, then investing your efforts into creating visually appealing graphics to reach your audience on Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest, could be most beneficial as these platforms are very image-friendly. Finally, publishers and news agencies or companies may be interested in being actively present in platforms that allow fast-spreading of information. Twitter and Instagram stories are perhaps the most popular means of reaching your audience in seconds with the latest opinion articles or breaking news.
Fortunately, there are professional and experienced social media marketing agencies ready to help you with all of these steps. At Appetite Creative, we have worked with different companies with different social media goals, and we help them increase reach and engagement or enhance their content. You can check our Social Media Marketing project for Spotahome, and how we dealt with that challenge with success.
Overall, you should not invest your time trying to be equally active across every social media channel. Instead, dedicate time to researching the best social media platform for your brand, tailor the content you create and ensure it's relevant and engaging for your target audience. Also, as important as knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each social media platform, is understanding who your audience is, what they are engaging with, and what they are interested in. Getting your social media approach right will ultimately deliver a strong brand presence across key social channels, with compelling content and high customer engagement, to help deliver success and sales for your business,
Jenny Stanley is MD at Appetite Creative. For more information, visit: www.appetitecreative.com