Everybody knows that social media is an extremely effective way to increase brand awareness. Yet with so many social media platforms available and new forums being continually developed, it can be confusing to know where to focus your time, attention and marketing budget. Getting social media right takes practice and expertise. Posts need to be interesting and engaging, whilst also appealing to the right audience. If you’re not attracting the right consumers, your social media efforts will not add value. The real question you should ask is ‘Which social media platform is best for my business?’
Tailor To Your Target Market
Researching the social media preferences of your target market, such as age and demographic, is an important place to start. For example, approximately 60% of Snapchat users are under 24, making this a useful platform to appeal to younger audiences. It helps to understand which social media platforms have a more visual appeal and which offer greater networking opportunities. Social media is about brand humanisation. It’s an active voice, which adds a ‘behind the scenes’ quality to your business. This generate trusts, alongside brand awareness.
Visual Social Media Platforms
People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear. Using visual platforms to promote your brand makes you more memorable. If your business relies on your customer liking what they see; such as fashion, food, lifestyle or luxury brands, visual platforms present tangible opportunities for growth. 40% of consumers are more responsive to visual content, so if your product looks good, the images will speak for themselves and generate positive interest.
- Instagram - A report from Forrester Research indicates that Instagram generates 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Of course, this is dependent on your target audience being present on Instagram. The photo editing facility enables you to post attractive images. You can use hashtags, to make it easier for followers to identify you, whilst gaining visibility of all photos shared using that hashtag.
- Snapchat - This free photo sharing app presents a creative way to market to a younger audience. Use snapchat stories to create a 6-image slideshow, which remains available online for 24 hours. Compared with other social platforms, Snapchat is currently low competition. So, if your target market is known to use Snapchat, this presents significant opportunities. You can increase engagement with customers by asking them to snap when using your product, especially useful for promoting local businesses.
- YouTube - Video marketing is powerful. Linking video content to your website boosts search rankings, whilst speaking volumes about your brand. Truly engaging or humorous content can go viral.
- Pinterest - Pinterest generates 400% more revenue per click than Twitter and 27% more than Facebook. Images shared on Pinterest will appear in Google searches, where consumers can then visit the webpage when they like what they see. This increases links back to your website, creating more opportunity for inbound leads. Pinterest can be integrated with your website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, so new pins can be posted to news feeds. See what’s trending, keep ahead of the curve and find new ways to keep your branding and products looking fresh.
Networking Social Media Platforms
Social media is a cost-effective way to place your business in front of the consumers that matter. Just like face to face networking, efforts need to be concentrated on reaching the right contacts. It’s useful to identify key players; whether suppliers, potential customers, or satisfied customers who will be happy to promote you, and network towards them.
- LinkedIn - Every business can benefit from LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn to grow your network, reach new markets, promote events and share information. Join groups in which you have an active voice to build credibility. LinkedIn can provide a powerful source of referral marketing, when content is shared between professionals who value your services and view you as an authority in your field.
- Facebook – Personalise your company with a social voice. Add images to your company Facebook Page, or link to useful content your customers will enjoy. Include Facebook links in your e-marketing to drive traffic to your site. Facebook insights show the reach of your posts, enabling you to gauge the performance of each post, to maximise engagement. The direct messaging facility, combined with the capacity to advertise promotions or competitions, makes Facebook a powerful lead generation tool, as well as one of the most versatile social media sites for businesses.
- Twitter – The 140-character limit can prove problematic, but Twitter is a great way to share opinion, engage with customers, or to start a conversation. Twitter’s open nature means you can monitor competitor activity and view your competitor’s contacts. Businesses who communicate openly and honestly with customers, embracing both positive and negative feedback as an opportunity for development, will enjoy increased brand credibility and consumer trust.
- Google+ - As Google+ is owned by Google, having an account and creating a profile will increase your online visibility. Each +1 you receive is the equivalent of a Facebook like, with each positive interaction acting as a social recommendation. Be sure to create an engaging profile, which Google will use as your page’s Meta Description. Visitors will see this when they find your company in search results.
Any social media platform which appeals to your target market is right for your business. However, you will need to allocate ongoing resource, to maintain your social media presence in a consistent and positive tone. At JDR our marketing experts can offer advice on the most relevant social media platforms for your audience, and talk you through ways to create engaging social media campaigns. It’s time to show off your social side, increase inbound leads and generate new business.