As a business owner in today’s connected business environment, you already have the general idea that a strong social media presence can help promote your brand.
You know how effective social media marketing is in connecting a brand with its clients, increasing awareness and maintaining a strong relationship with a target market. – And so you hope to emulate this success with your own business.
The problem is, you may be confused as to which platforms to sign up for in order to effectively promote your brand to your potential clients.
Effective social media marketing isn’t just about knowing how to promote yourself and your business; it also involves knowing which platforms is best to market in, and how you can effectively use available features to suit the needs of your brand.
Knowing the basics will help you know which social media platforms to work with.
State Your Aims
Before going ahead and thinking of which social media channel to use for your brand, you must first determine what your purposes will be when you create a social media account. This way, you can lay out your proposed social media plan more decisively.
Determine which points can be adapted, and move along to choosing a channel.
When determining your objectives for your social media marketing campaign, keep these pointers in mind:
- Do you want to promote your brand to a niche market, or do you aim to increase your b2b presence? Knowing the intended target of your social media campaign will help you choose the appropriate channel for the job.
- Do you want to go head-on against your competition? If you can determine what platforms your competitors are using, you will either have to devise a plan to get ahead of them or divert your resources to other social media channels.
- What materials are you using to promote your brand? Most social media sites are optimized for a specific kind of content. For example, YouTube, NicoNico, and Vimeo are notable video-sharing platforms, while Pinterest and Imgur are notable for image-hosting and sharing. You can easily pick up a social media site to sign up for if you know what type of content you will be focusing on in your campaign.
Once you have determined your main objectives for starting a social media campaign, you can go ahead with the next step.
One for All, or All for One?
One of the prevalent questions when it comes to choosing a social media platform would be, ‘Should I stick to one channel, or should I go for as many of the popular sites as I can?’
With a multitude of social media sites to choose from, it can be daunting for you to determine the appropriate platform to employ for your business. The number of social media profiles you have can dictate how large and how wide your brand’s reach can be, after all.
In many cases, sticking to the more established social media platforms is recommended, especially for first-timers. Facebook and Twitter feeds have a solid reputation of keeping you connected with your target market in real-time. It allows you to gauge their perceptions and moods almost instantaneously and giving you a better picture of how to serve them better.
Established brands and your competitors may have a plethora of social media platforms that they use to promote their brand, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow their lead. Keep your marketing aims in mind to help you single out the platforms that you will definitely need.
If you’re planning to stick to just three or four social media accounts, having a LinkedIn profile should be on the list. While it may not directly affect your client acquisitions, it can help establish your brand among fellow professionals. An excellent LinkedIn profile establishes a more professional image of your brand and increases your brand authority.
Where is everyone?
Knowing the platforms your target market are in can help ease your social media decision-making. Once you determine their regularly-visited social media sites, adjusting your strategy accordingly will be easier.
You usually don’t have to exert a lot of effort to learn the demographic breakdown of most popular social media sites. Professional statistical data providers like Pew Research release relevant data on a regular basis, which helps industry professionals to leverage their marketing plans accordingly.
In some cases, however, you will have to do some checking on your own. This usually happens when you’re looking at potential platforms to your current list of active sites. You may have to put in extra effort to check some of these niche social media platforms, but the returns can be massive if you know where to look.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other potential niches in other social platforms that you don’t use as much. They can turn out to be another potential market for you, if you know their demographics.
Work within Your Boundaries
Facebook and Instagram are now providing paid options; allowing brands to increase their social media visibility through priority ads and link recommendations. These paid options are effective but you have to consider how viable they can be for your brand. If you are just starting out with your social media campaign. Choosing whether or not to allot a budget for extra ad options for social media is crucial for your brand.
- Take advantage of newer social media platforms. There are sites that offer cheaper or free alternatives to the paid options available on bigger platforms. Startup channels like Snapchat can help you deliver your content without needing to spend a fortune on fees.
- If you do choose to go for paid social media options, remember to work within your budgetary limits. You can scale back on your paid social media campaigns while increasing your presence in other niche platforms.
- Don’t fret if all your initial social media options have paid features that you can’t access with your current budget. Remember that your skills and knowledge will still determine how your marketing campaign will go. See which platforms are best suited to your current capabilities and go ahead.
Social media marketing is a time-consuming process; even selecting which platforms to use can already use up much of your time. Once you find the right platform for your business, you can effectively promote your brand to the right audience. Make sure to leverage your strengths, work within your bounds and know the quirks of your chosen platform; this way you can ensure the success of your social media campaign.