A social media strategy is a great way to share, distribute, and promote content, establish yourself in your industry as a thought leader and professional, and connect with your audience. It is decidedly present and influential in our everyday lives, making it a powerful tool in the inbound marketing methodology.
But, depending on who your audience is, you may not be able to connect with them on any and all platforms -- each social media platform has distinct offerings and capabilities, and will also attract different audiences.
If you've developed clear buyer personas, you'll know what your ideal customers are interested in, which will help you determine how to grab their attention, something social media is uniquely good at – generating awareness and encouraging interaction. Sharing on social media can drive to your content, and present you as a trustworthy expert in your community. Use what you know about your ideal customers to present your content or ideas to them, and to interact with them.
Aside from the information you have on your buyer personas, collect some data on social media platform performance in your industry. There are two ways to do this:
If your business has social media accounts that already share content, collect and analyze data to see which platforms have received more engagement than others. Chances are, that's where the majority of your customers are. Consider if the content they have interacted with from your brand is relevant to what you want to promote. If it is, you can feel confident that this is the audience you want to continue interacting with. You may find a natural trend if you've been sharing content across multiple platforms -- where you get the most interaction ends up being the kind of engagement you want for your business.
Social listening involves doing your due diligence on various social platforms by researching topics that relate to your product or offerings to see if there is significant activity there. If people are talking about products or services similar to your brand, it is safe to assume that you want to join that conversation. If your competitors and their customers are using a platform, there's a good chance you should be, too.
However, some platforms have different benefits than others. Many companies opt to share content and interact with users on more than one platform; others want to focus on a targeted audience or goal, where they find only one platform is beneficial.
Below are some benefits of different platforms and what they may offer your business based on your goals.
If you are a B2B operation, LinkedIn is your platform. It's generally a good place to share professional insights and content that help establish your credibility in the industry. Promotion here can increase followers.
If you're an active, consistent blogger, LinkedIn is a great place to increase your readership with people that are genuinely interested in learning more about their niche. Sharing on LinkedIn can be considered a bit buttoned-up, since the LinkedIn audience is looking for tangible takeaways and practical information.
Facebook has reach - it is the social platform with the most users, almost 80% of all online adults, according to Pew Research Center.
The audience here is looking for tidbits, shorter reads and views, and information that is surprising or interesting, and generally more fun than that on LinkedIn. If you have video or great images that accompany your content, this is a good place to look for engagement.
Other than promoting interesting blog content, Facebook can be used as a powerful ad tool. They offer sophisticated and targeted advertising and Ecommerce integration.
Facebook is also a resource for customers, similar to Yelp. A Facebook business page can lead to your website but also be a hub of interaction and customer care.
Looking to get into video? Facebook makes it easy with their live streaming capabilities, a trend that will continue to gain momentum in 2018.
Although Twitter doesn't have as many users as other platforms, it's a good platform to supplement your social presence. Use it to promote content on other platforms, and drive traffic there -- awareness around events is also Twitter's bread and butter.
Twitter gives your business visibility, and affords your audience the ability to share easily. The audience here is looking for timely content and insight on trends.
If your clients are from a younger demographic, or certain professional industries, like journalism, marketing, music, and pop culture, this is your mecca. Don't forget to get comfortable with using -- and creating -- hashtags, and interacting with influencers in your arena.
Instagram is another great platform for promoting events, but is also a go-to for businesses that offer particularly visual products or services.
Instagram efforts you the ability to tell stories through pictures or video -- they are also creeping up on Snapchat in terms of popularity in video stories. So you get two-in-one!
YouTube's strength is obviously video. But what you might not know, is that since YouTube is owned by Google, embedding YouTube videos on your website or together with other content can greatly increase your website's SEO value.
If How-To's go well with your product or service, give it a try. Video is also a good platform for telling your brand story, or telling your audience about who you are.
Once you've established where you think you need to be in the social media space, get out there! Remember - regardless of where you present yourself, stay true to your brand. Use a deliberate and consistent plan to start, and then follow through with your social media efforts. Make sure you've got analytics tools in place so that you can measure the relationship between effort and reward -- specifically, audience engagement. Take research on audience demographics seriously when comparing to your own buyer personas. It may be the biggest complement to your sales and content efforts in 2018.
Want to start out on the right foot in the new year? Read more about how Hudson Fusion promotes brands and campaigns through social media, and get in touch if you'd like to discuss what social can do for your business. We'd love to chat!
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