How to Decide Which Social Media Channel to Invest Your Time In
With 4.2 billion active users globally, social media should be considered a key marketing tool for small and medium sized businesses.
Social media channels provide the ability to target and build an audience and customer base at a relatively low cost. If your business doesn’t already have a social media presence, then you should make it a priority to get online. Before you do anything, you’ll need to determine which social media platform is right for your business.
Taking some time to think about your digital marketing goals will help you choose the right social media channels for your business, saving you time and effort in the long run.
What are the benefits of using social media for my business?
According to a SproutSocial.com report on social media usage in 2020, 80% of marketers say having a social media marketing strategy has positively influenced sales.
Social media channels are also used to:
- Build brand awareness
- Build brand voice
- Develop positive relationships through direct engagement
- Increase sales or leads
- Manage reputation
What Should I Know Before Starting Social Media Marketing for my Business?
Before setting up new social media accounts for your business, consider what you want to achieve through digital marketing. A good starting point is to answer the following questions:
- What are my goals? Increasing brand awareness? Higher sales? More website traffic?
- What is my competition doing online? Analyze similar businesses. What channels are they using? What seems to work well for them?
- What does my audience look like? Who are your current customers or supporters and what platforms do they use?
- What resources do I have? Who will be responsible for social media management in your business? What skills do they have and how much time can be dedicated to content creation?
Which Social Media Channel is the Right One for My Business?
Now you have an idea of your target audience and what you hope to achieve. Use the information below to decide which social media channels are the right fit for your business needs.
Facebook’s 2.5 billion monthly users are primarily adults over 30 years old. An ideal place to share basic business information such as opening hours, location, website address etc; Facebook is also good for businesses looking to build brand awareness and increase engagement with customers and supporters. Advertising on Facebook is relatively cheap, easy and allows you to target specific audiences.
With over 1 billion users monthly, Instagram is most popular with teens and young adults, so ideal for a business with a younger target audience. Because Instagram content is image-based, it’s great for businesses with a highly visual product such as food and art or those selling artistic skills such as photographers.
YouTube is a hub for news and entertainment videos and has become the second most used search engine globally after Google. It boasts 2 billion monthly users, mostly under 50 in age. It’s a good option if your business can benefit from posting video tutorials, instructional content, interviews or product reviews. Most businesses can find a way to make YouTube work for their product. Bear in mind though, that viewers expect quality videos, so skills in video creation and editing are required.
Popular with the tech and B2B industries; Twitter’s 300 million monthly users are mostly adults aged 30 – 50 years. Twitter supports short written statements of 280 characters, which is great for bite size content and direct communication. Twitter is recognized as a successful platform for customer engagement since it’s easy to interact with your audience and build loyalty.
Most of Pinterest’s 300 million, predominantly female, monthly users utilize this popular tool for bookmarking ideas and inspiration for everything from home décor to vacations. With its highly visual content and now video-driven content, this has become a crucial tool for product discovery. It’s a good platform for lifestyle related businesses and helps to increase click-through rates for various e-commerce websites.
Although heavily focused on professional networking, LinkedIn has 260 million active monthly users. LinkedIn’s customer base is primarily in the 30-50 age group. Company profiles on LinkedIn can showcase your business and foster interaction with others to promote networking, assist with employee searches, job searches and more. LinkedIn is also good for those looking for B2B marketing and lead generation.
Snapchat’s 300 million monthly users are mostly under 25 and are using the platform to socialize via temporary images and videos. Good for businesses wanting to reach a younger audience with selfie style entertaining videos, eye catching images and quick polls. Due to the temporary nature of posts, content doesn’t need to be too polished.
Tiktok is appealing to a younger audience aged 16-24 years. The 800 million monthly users are looking for entertainment and information via short videos. Tiktok isn’t a platform for traditional product advertising or placement, but is a good opportunity to work with influencers and build brand awareness.
Hints and Tips for Successful Social Media Marketing
Now you have a better idea which social media channels are right for your business, it’s time to get started with content creation and management. These hints and tips may be useful as you navigate the world of digital marketing:
- Targeted advertising – targeted and pay-per-click advertising are relatively cheap and easy ways to reach your desired audience
- Switch it up – vary the type of content you are posting to keep your audience interested and increase post reach
- Quality over quantity – quality content on a couple of channels is better than poor content on many
- Use management tools to automate and simplify – scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer allow you to plan ahead, or manage multiple channels on one dashboard like Later
- Keep analyzing – remember to do regular audits to see what is working and what isn’t
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