The world of social media in 2020 feels like a jungle. It’s lush, wild and extensive, and one can get lost exploring the possibilities. But you never want your marketing outreach to feel like you’re in survival mode with your audience.
With so many different outlets to reach your online consumers, it can be hard to navigate the world of social media. But in reality, social media should be on your radar – with the average person spending around 3 hours using social networking to connect and browse per day, you definitely want in on their daily routine. But how can you make sure your business is using the right social profiles to reach your consumers?
With each social media platform comes specific nuances that businesses want to take note of. So, let’s talk about the importance of choosing your social presence wisely and break down each platform to show you how your business could potentially find its niche and reach its audience for maximum marketing growth.
The Importance of Being Picky
Before we get started, you may be feeling unsure about sticking to just a few social media accounts. After all, shouldn’t you want to be on any platform that you can get your hands on? While that may seem smart, quantity is never better than quality.
There are plenty of reasons why downscaling your social media marketing can actually produce a better ROI for your business. To start, it helps you minimize your time and resources being spread out in all different directions while still extending your brand’s overall reach. As with any ROI, you always want to see a larger return than the effort put in, which is why drilling down on your social media strategy is always a good idea.
Not only do you save your effort by being selective with your social presence, but you also optimize your content and nurture your online audience. With the right social fit, you’ll be creating content and shoppable experiences for the right crowd and using the right platform parameters. You’ll also be directly aligned with the right audience, giving you the best opportunity possible to interact, comment, and engage in the hopes of sending more of those followers down the consumer funnel for your business.
How to Choose Your Platform
When surveying different social platforms, there are a few key factors you want to take into consideration with both your business and your audience.
First, you want to truly understand your target audience – their online behavior, their interests and their preferences. This will help you figure out which platforms they may prefer more. You also want to make sure you understand where your competitors place themselves on social media. Knowing where your competitors are marketing can usually be a huge indicator of where you should place yourself as well.
Once you understand where to find your market, you then need to align your business and marketing goals with your social strategy. What are you looking to get out of your social presence? Are you looking for brand awareness or site traffic? Do you want a platform that requires more hands-on time or one you can schedule content and sit back for? Answering these questions can point you in the right direction when the right social platform comes your way through research.
Now that we’ve covered the basics in how to start your social research, it’s time to talk more about the platforms you can choose from when you’re ready to take on your online audience.
Let’s start with the powerhouse of the social media world – Facebook. With Facebook not only being the most widely used social platform (two-thirds of American adults claim they use Facebook), but owning a few other larger platforms like Instagram and Whatsapp, it’s a great starting point for many businesses looking for the most “payoff” from their marketing efforts.
Facebook has a great balance of male-to-female users, with just over half of all users on the platform being female. This is great for businesses that market products to a spectrum of people and do not have a heavy gender-influenced audience. Facebook also tends to have a wide age range of platform users, again great for the broader spectrum of consumers. This is why we place Facebook as a top social contender- it gives you every opportunity to market to at least one persona within your target audience.
Facebook serves as a great medium for content like videos, high-quality images, blogs, industry-related news, memes and more. It’s a hodgepodge of engagement-rich content opportunities, if you will. You also get the opportunity to connect with users through other forms of communication, such as Facebook messenger, comments, live streaming and more.
Facebook is a great platform to find a presence on when your main goal is maximum reach to a wide audience, but if your goals are a bit more niche or intricate, you may want to try your hand at a different platform.
Let’s move onto Instagram – every marketer’s hot commodity right now. There’s a reason why Instagram takes the cake in terms of online shopping: It’s innovative, highly visual and has shoppable product tagging. But it also hosts many other features that you may find useful for your own product.
Instagram is great for posting high-quality videos and images of your product as well as sharing other content. You can post behind-the-scenes photos, share more about your business and brand, share curated content from customers or businesses aligned with your brand, share memes and funny images to your story, and more. If it’s visually stimulating and sparks engagement, it belongs on Instagram.
Instagram is great for a variety of industries, from beauty and cosmetics to fitness, food and drink, retail, and more. It’s a great app for tangible products being sold to consumers through visual marketing. It also helps to mention that Instagram has a user range of 66% female and 34% male, as well as a majority age range of 25-34-year-old users (34%). This is great to consider when looking at your own audience demographic data.
While Instagram does have great benefits for businesses, it does take a bit of consistency and management. Engagement on this platform is a high priority – businesses need to take care to be constantly interacting with their target audience, responding to comments and messages, and putting in an effort to grow their reach through hashtags and strategy. This makes Instagram a pain point for businesses with little time and resources.
Instagram is beneficial for the majority of the marketing funnel. It can help you collect brand awareness if your business is new and looking to expand its awareness. It can also help you bring more traffic and conversions to your website using Instagram Stories, shoppable tagging, and other features. The versatility and visual importance of Instagram makes it a platform that businesses can use efficiently should they choose to put the effort into visual marketing and high platform engagement.
If you’re looking for a platform that conversely offers high payoff with little day-to-day action, Pinterest may be great for your business.
Pinterest is a highly female populated social media platform, which is always great to take note of. It does have a wide age range of users, making age less of a priority when comparing your target audience to the platform demographic. It’s also important to note that Pinterest, much like Instagram, is a highly visual platform and needs visual content created and curated for your brand.
What makes Pinterest so great for businesses with little time to engage and be active daily is its long-term growth. Pinterest content has a much higher shelf life than Facebook or Instagram. Using scheduling apps like Planoly or Tailwind can actually help you curate a week, month, or even a quarter’s worth of content in one sitting. As far as engagement goes on Pinterest, minimal engagement is required (just enough to follow boards, check messages and more).
Pinterest allows you to post products, link Pins back to your website, feature your blog posts and even curate content from other creators that aligns well with your target audience. You can create a large hub of informational and valuable industry-related content that will eventually rack up your site traffic, and potentially your overall ROI. Pinterest is the ideal platform to “set it and forget it” (and by forget it, we mean check in minimally, not ignore it altogether).
While these are the top three social platforms for B2C businesses, there are plenty of other platforms you can sift through if you’re looking for a much more niche audience reach.
Reddit offers a great social platform for those looking purely for audience interaction. Reddit allows you to directly connect with audiences and have genuine conversation. This platform is great for brands looking for reviews, product talk and educational information about the brand.
It is important to point out that many Reddit threads forbid direct promotion of brands, meaning you’ll have to do some genuine people work to create awareness without directly linking to your website. However, If this sounds like the platform for you, then happy posting!
YouTube is a great platform to use if your business sticks to producing strictly video content. It can be great to show off products, create how-to-use videos or even post consumer reviews showing off the product. YouTube has a much younger audience than most other platforms, great for businesses with a young consumer demographic.
YouTube does host the challenge of having a high drop-off rate for engagement, with an amazing retention rate on Youtube being around 60%. Be wary that you may have to work harder to keep your audience engaged on this platform!
Similar to Reddit, Twitter offers real-time conversations with consumers in short-form content that takes minimal effort to create and schedule. Twitter is great for businesses with specific industries, like medical and health, travel, wellness, fashion, retail, and more. Twitter is the perfect platform to increase brand awareness through authenticity and engagement.
Meeting your social match can be a fun process if you have all of the information and resources in front of you. By using your audience research, creating a strong social strategy and comparing your social options, you can point your marketing efforts in the right direction and increase your overall social ROI.