The first rule of social media marketing is choosing the proper platform(s) for your social media marketing efforts. Each channel does different things and can be used by the efficient marketer in different ways. There’s no one size fits all social media platform. For example, Instagram and Snapchat have younger users. LinkedIn, for many users, is a professional networking and job search site. Most of the users on Pinterest are women, and Tumblr appeals to social bloggers. There are also social media networks that are more specific such as Architizer for architects and Glozal for real estate agents.
Business owners should look at all their options and decide the best social media marketing platforms for them. Yes, we pluralized it because, chances are, you will find more than one that fits your needs. In order to get the best social media marketing plan, you need to figure out which channels your audience uses most often and have a presence there. You need to think about where your audience is, what they are reading and what they are doing. For example, if your business markets to senior citizens, you will not want to use Snapchat or Instagram because they appeal to millennials and those that are even younger.
There’s a lot of trial and error to see what content works on what social sites. However, it’s an important process to go through because social media marketing is often the first touch point your potential customers will have with your company. Use the data provided by the social media platform to see how many visitors your posts get so you can judge whether the platform is going to be effective for you. Since it’s free to set up profiles on almost all social media accounts, your cost is your time. However, the research is invaluable in providing you with the information, going forward, on what social media marketing platforms are the best for your business.
Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform. Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are also popular. The differences among the services must be considered in your social media marketing strategy. Facebook posts are available for years while Instagram posts disappear after 24 hours. If you use video in your marketing efforts, you have lots of choices for social media marketing. YouTube was the video pioneer, but many services now have video capabilities. Twitter, for example, can be used for marketing but also to discuss breaking news about products and your company in general.
What a company sells can affect its choices. Consumer products and services that can be beautifully photographed are perfect for Instagram and Snapchat where images and videos are a main draw. Facebook is set up more for users to click on links that will take them to websites where they can browse or order merchandise. Many businesses use multiple social media networks so they can appeal to the biggest possible audiences. Social media marketing gives your brand credibility and increases customer confidence.
We know that we did not tell you which social media platform you should use. We never intended to. We want you to have some information so you can make educated decisions on which social media platforms are best for your company. Ultimately you need to decide what will work best for your company. We encourage you to try different outlets and analyze them. If you want more insight into social media marketing, continue to follow our blog.