Whether you’re a new business just starting your social media journey or one that has been around a while, it’s important that you are maintaining a presence on the right social media channels for you.
And how do you know which ones are right? They are the ones where your target audience hangs out.
So where exactly does your target audience hang out?
Well, first we hope you have a really good idea of your target audience. This means their age, their gender, their location, their parental status, their income level, their job. A detailed user persona will go much deeper than this, but these are the important points you need to know in order to assess where they are likely to be hanging out online.
Let’s take a look at the different social media channels.
So as you can see, it’s likely that your audience is on Facebook somewhere, which is why Facebook advertising and retargeting is so important. If you have a target audience in those demographics it’s worth looking to see if Facebook is the right platform for you.
In order to be seen organically on this social media channel (ie, not with paid posts via Facebook Ads), your business page needs to be producing content which invites consistent engagement (likes, shares and particularly comments), otherwise the new algorithm will condemn your posts to invisibility.
Tweets disappear from the feed very quickly as this is such a fast-moving social media channel, so they need to be compelling and you need to post more frequently on this social media channel than on others. It’s great for B2B businesses and those that benefit from the immediacy of Twitter. It’s also excellent for customer service, although you need to be careful with the tone of voice used – friendly banter works better on here than on other platforms. Good also for social listening, so that you can monitor what people are saying about you and your competitors. Many a social media crisis has begun and ended on Twitter.
You can see that Instagram is where it’s happening for younger internet users. For brands which appeal to teens or to under 25s, this social media channel is a must unless you have no imagery to use. Instagram, like Snapchat and Pinterest, is a highly visual social media channel and you do need a steady supply of high quality and appealing images to stand out here. It is also a channel which appeals particularly to women and to creatives so businesses in these niches should also consider a presence here.
If you want to use insights and analytics to inform your social media strategy you will need a Business Instagram account. Native analytics on here are now fairly good. Most schedules are rolling out direct posting on this channel too since Instagram adjusted their API in February 2018, which will make it an easier social media channel to manage.
LinkedIn underwent big changes in late 2017/early 2018 and is widely thought to be better as a result. Certainly, there has been big growth in engagement across the platform which can only help businesses looking for leads or candidates. LinkedIn is the number one social media channel for B2B and you would be wise to actively use your personal profile and engage with others so that the algorithm improves your reach. However, business pages can find it a struggle. You need employee buy-in to make your business page a success so that employees agree (or are incentivised) to share posts to their personal profile where they will get a wider reach.
LinkedIn can move slowly as some users don’t check their feeds every day, so don’t necessarily expect fast results.
Advertising on LinkedIn can work well, targeted to job titles or business name because people tend to complete their profiles fully and carefully on this social media channel. However, it is considerably more expensive than Facebook Ads.
If you are a product-based business with a strong B2C focus, there are big advantages to being on Pinterest. Although you need to pin a lot each day, a high percentage of repins is perfectly acceptable. Pinterest is also good for driving traffic to your website, for example to your blog. There are new features being introduced in 2018, such as Shop the Look, which promise to add to Pinterest’s allure as a retailer paradise.
If your business produces a lot of videos, YouTube could be the place for you regardless of industry. That’s a lot of potential eyes on your content! Marketing is quite different on this social media channel and you would generally use it in conjunction with another social media channel.
Snapchat is very much B2C oriented as far as brands go, and it suits an audience with a young, fun, dynamic product. If your target audience is over 25, this is not the platform for you.
We hope this overview has given you an idea of the right social media channels for your target audience. Speaking in your tone of voice, in the place where your audience is, is the most important step for your brand to begin building a relationship on social media with your potential customers.
If you would like to learn more about making your social media channels perform to their optimum levels and attract new leads and sales, check out our comprehensive webinar here: https://www.social-hire.com/view/social-media-lead-generation/ .
About the Author:
Cathy Wassell is a Social Media Marketing Strategist with over 20 years’ marketing experience. She's one of Social-Hire's newest team members and spends her free time walking her mad spaniels.
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