At this point in time, it has become abundantly clear that social media is not only an extremely necessary but also a crucial marketing tool for every business of any size. To put it simply – there is no way around using social media for a business’s digital marketing if this business wants to stay relevant in a world that is so very much dominated by online behaviors and transactions. It also comes with great benefits: Social Media can help a business build their brand and connect with their customers, help with product discovery, increase customer engagement and loyalty, and drive purchases. For example, a report by Curalate found that 76% of consumers have purchased a product they have previously seen in a social media post (Curalate, 2017). Furthermore, 73% of marketers have reported social media marketing as being effective for their business (Buffer, 2019). Therefore, as a business owner or marketing professional, you certainly don’t want to miss out on this significant piece of the pie.
Especially when we first start new relationships with clients, we often get asked which social media platform is the most useful or successful for their business. Generally put, the most important and best performing social media platforms for business are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. However, this does not mean that each of these platforms will work successfully for any and every business. The answer to which of these platforms works best for your business depends on different factors.
1. Know Your Audience
In order to determine which social media platform will have the most successful effect on your business, you have to consider who you are talking to and where your audience is present. For example, 86% of people between 18-29 years and 77% of people between 30-49 years use Facebook. On the contrary, only 8% of people that are 65 years or older use Instagram. 35% of people between 30-49 years use Pinterest, but only 17% of people between 50-64 years use Twitter. On Snapchat, about 61% of all users are female, while on Facebook, 46% of users are male. Demographics are one thing (and a very important one at that), but also consider psychographics and sociographics. Think about your audience’s hobbies and interests, their purchase behaviors, etc. Before deciding on one, or multiple, platforms for your business, find out exactly who you intend to target.
2. Define Your Goals
Next, really take the time to think about what you intend to do and accomplish with a social media platform. Do you want to introduce your audience to your products or services, do you want to have a better way of engaging and connecting with your audience, or maybe even offer customers an additional way to get in touch with you, to ask questions and voice concerns? Or, do you potentially want to educate them further on your offerings? All this is possible, but you should have a sound understanding of your desired outcomes and a plan in place on how to accomplish this. Let me give you an example. Instagram is a social media platform that is heavily based around picture content. It’s the ideal space for people to see high-quality images of products and find inspiration. However, rarely ever will they take the time to read long descriptions on Instagram. Maybe your products or services require a bit more research or education, or have a particularly high price point, and you are aware that your customers often read a lot of reviews before committing to a purchase. So what can you do? Well, you could create a YouTube channel and feature educational how-to videos, publish unboxings, show your products or services “in action”, or genuine customer reviews. In the comment section under each video, you can also still engage with your audience, answer questions and concerns, or provide helpful tips. It is very important to know exactly what your goals are before you get started, to consider what has worked for you so far and what hasn’t, what you’d like to do more of, and how all of this can play together.
3. It’s All About The Content
Finally, after you have considered your audience and fine-tuned your goals, think about what content you want to show. Different types of content work better on different social media platforms, and oftentimes, social media platforms also optimize for specific content. And if you potentially don’t already have any content established for your products or services, think about what type of content would showcase them in the best way possible. Maybe short videos or images are the way to go, maybe a podcast would make sense for you, or you should create a series of longer videos or even livestreams or webinars. Of course, the type of content you create depends heavily on different factors, such as your industry and brand, your products, and also your target audience.
The key takeaway is that, if you want to gain exposure digitally and stay relevant in today’s world, there is just no way around social media, it has become so very indispensable. But also think about the benefits it will bring you, such as providing you new leads, tremendously increasing your brand awareness and discovery, generating more website traffic, gaining a lot more insight into your customers and their shopping habits, engaging and connecting with your customers or potential customers, and improving your customer service. Make a plan and consider who your audience is, what your desired outcomes and goals are, and what kind of content you want to showcase. Then, when you’re ready, we’re here to help you find the perfect platform for your needs and purposes and figure out the next steps!
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