Social media – picking the right channels in 2018

Jan 11th, 2018

When it comes to online marketing there are many things that businesses can do to enhance the performance of their company in a digital world. We all know that social media is one of the most influential ways to speak to your audience and generate traffic but which platform is right for you?

This handy social media walkthrough will guide you on your quest to set up your business on these platforms and help decide which the best strategy is for you as you look to start the New Year with a bang.

The considerations that businesses have to make revolving around social media are not only about the correct platform but the correct posting strategy.

Regardless of the size of your team you should be able to build a plan that will communicate directly with those you are targeting and include your existing customers in terms of the latest developments products or services that you offer.

With so many different platforms to choose from it can be a real maze and one of the other considerations you have to make is the actual size of your team that will be in charge of the social media and how they are going to target customers on a regular basis. It really is all about audience where social media is concerned and if you are finding a channel with which your customers can resonate then success will surely come.

With all of this in mind here are some tips and tricks that will really help your business bloom as you start the New Year.

What are your goals?

A study by the Digital Marketing Institute found that by spending just 6 hours per week on social media, two thirds of them found improved lead generation. This is a figure that highlights not only the importance of using social media but the difference it can make to your business.

One mistake that many businesses make is that they don’t realise the difference between the individual platforms. They don’t understand the reach these platforms have or indeed the dedication it takes to implement the perfect plan. Some of the most successful businesses on social media of food and drink companies, these businesses target the customers with highly structured posts including image heavy messages that show off particular deals or indeed products.

Food photography has become one of the social media trends that has grown enormously over the last 18 months. If you are able to entice customers both new and old to your business with these types of products and product shots then it is fair to say that sales will increase. For this reason Instagram is the go to platform of choice for many in this industry but that is not the case for all businesses and all industries.

Facebook is one of those platforms that doesn’t really have the B2C offering of other platforms, but it is great for sparking conversation between friends on why they would buy a product or use a service from a company. In truth this may be the best platform for building brand reputation.

Twitter on the other hand is a fluid social media platform insofar as tweets appear for a very limited time especially if the person following your business has many different accounts that they follow.

People like this can expect to miss your message should you not be posting regularly this is where the strategy is vital for this particular platform.

If as a company you can plan to target customers regularly throughout the day or at key business times ie your trading or opening hours or again as a reference food businesses ahead of mealtimes when potential customers are making their own plans, then success can be fruitful.

YouTube and Instagram are also considered social media platforms, YouTube in particular is handy if you want to show the creative side your business by making videos or interactive content with which the customers can relate to.

LinkedIn is benefits are that you can communicate directly on a B2B level with people that may be able to help, this includes recruiting new staff or opening up dialogues between other influencers and other businesses that may be able to provide you with the products you need to grow your business.

Type of content

They continued by looking at the differing platforms based on the content you produce:

If you want to share industry updates, company news and whitepapers

These content formats are traditionally suitable for B2B audiences who can be predominantly found on professional platforms such as LinkedIn and SlideShare. If you have a company Twitter account or an individual one that you use for professional purposes, these are also ideal platforms on which to engage fellow professionals with industry-specific content

If you want to share video content

If your video content is short-form and targeted at a younger audience, you may want to consider Instagram, Snapchat or Periscope. If it’s longer and more universal in its appeal, Facebook and Twitter can also generate high levels of engagement. Not to mention YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine with over 3 billion searches a month.

If you want to share image-based content

If you’re a B2C brand with an engaging product to sell, you might want to consider Pinterest. According to Shopify, 93% of users leverage the platform to plan purchases. Instagram is ideal for building an aspirational visual brand story and Tumblr is a channel that leans heavily towards imagery that’s suited to a younger demographic.

If you want to share editorial content

For businesses who want to establish themselves as a trusted industry thought leader, publishing an article on LinkedIn’s publishing platform can expose their brand to over 300million users. Medium is another highly popular publishing platform, 95% of whose readers are college graduates and 43% of whom earn six figures or more.

Study the competition

Equally important as analysing  and choosing the channels your target audience engage with is taking into account what social media accounts your competitors are managing.

Ask yourself what type of content do they post? How regularly do they post it? How many likes or shares do their posts gain?

By checking how active your competitors are on social media, as well as how well their followers engage with what they post, will provide you with valuable insights that you can then replicate to guarantee success for your own strategy.

Again, you can use social listening tools to ascertain which brands in your industry have the most extensive reach and largest influence on social media.

Click Consult is an award winning search marketing agency committed to leading and communicating industry best practice, to find out what Click can do for your brand – contact us today.

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