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Social media is an essential element of a holistic and integrated marketing plan. Different social media platforms allow you to create and share content, reach specific audiences, and accomplish your marketing and business goals. Before you begin expanding your current social media marketing, make a plan. Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- Where does your target audience consume content online?
- Which message(s) do you want to send your target audience?
- What is your end business goal?
Your answers to these questions will help you define your business goals and translate them into social media marketing goals. You will then be able to prioritize which social platform to use. If you are new to social media marketing, Facebook is where you should start. If you already have decent engagement on one platform, where should you go next? Most Americans are active on two to three social platforms, so why limit your marketing to just one?
Which Social Media Platform Is Best for Marketing?
- Facebook – With more than 2.27 billion active monthly users, Facebook is definitely your number one choice. Through Facebook Ads Manager, you can target users based on their location, age, gender, level of education, relationship status, job title, interests, purchase behavior, device usage, and so much more. And it doesn’t end there! Facebook allows you to create Custom Audiences to reach current customers or patients. Custom Audiences can be created from the phone numbers or email addresses you’re already collecting, or from Facebook Pixel to target people who have visited your website. To reach new customers, use Lookalike Audiences; these are created from Facebook’s insights about Custom Audiences to target users with similar online behaviors. You may think “My target demographic isn’t on Facebook,” and you could be right, but Facebook Ads Manager takes the guesswork out of it. This platform allows you to create and serve your message to the right user on Facebook, Instagram, or (through the Audience Network) across the web. As stated by Facebook,
“1 billion+ people see a [Facebook] Audience Network ad each month.”
- Instagram – Owned by Facebook, Instagram boasts more than 1 billion monthly active users and has the same advertising options like Facebook. First and foremost, it’s a visual platform, which provides you with an opportunity to showcase your business’s personality. There are a number of free tools you can use to improve your audience’s creative experience.
- YouTube – YouTube allows your business to post and share an unlimited amount of video content, which you can then share on social media, send via email, or embed on your website. As a product of Google, there is also an added SEO benefit of having a YouTube channel and producing video content on the platform. With more than 1.8 billion active monthly users worldwide, YouTube has essentially become the second largest search engine behind Google. When it comes to paid advertising on YouTube, it takes the lead over Facebook for video. Facebook charges your account for each 10-second view, while YouTube does not charge you until a user has consumed at least 30 seconds of an ad. According to expandedramblings.com,
“YouTube overall reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.”
- Google My Business – You may not consider Google My Business to be a social network per se, but this free platform offers features that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. do not. Posts are searchable via keywords, they positively affect your SEO rankings, and they provide an opportunity for backlinks. You can read more about why you should be posting on Google My Business.
- LinkedIn – This platform is known as the primary social networking platform for professionals. You can use LinkedIn to update customers on your business, connect with industry partners, and recruit new team members. As a professional network, it is the top choice for B2B social media marketing. According to Forbes, “LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for generating leads and now makes up 46 percent of the social media traffic generated to company websites for B2B firms.”
- Pinterest – Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform. Pinterest allows your business to show off your product offerings, before-and-after images (great for home improvement, beauty, and cosmetic surgery industries), and curated pin-boards. As you are probably already aware, its audience is primarily female. Pinterest is an oasis for hobbyists, brides and grooms, and day-dreamers in general. Keep this in mind when sharing content. Travel itineraries, suggested packing lists, landscaping ideas, craft projects, and wedding inspiration are the bread and butter of this platform. But don’t think you’re limited to just engaging with your audience. According to Hootsuite, 87 percent of Pinners have made a purchase through the platform.
- Twitter – Twitter is a quick-paced platform that’s perfect for sharing the latest trends or your business’s take on current events. Its audience skews somewhat younger but is split pretty evenly between men and women. Your business can participate in a larger conversation by using hashtags for trending topics. These hashtags allow you to reach new potential customers in your industry. Twitter can also be used to monitor positive and negative reactions from existing customers, and you can use the platform to provide additional customer service.
How Do You Decide Which Social Platforms to Use?
So, now that you’re familiar with the seven best social platforms for your digital marketing strategy, you should keep these tips in mind. When trying to decide which platform(s) are best for your business, the first review your goals and audience, and then make a plan. Then, meet your audience where they are engaging online. Once you have started sharing on one of these platforms, analyze your efforts and look for areas to fine-tune your targeting and content strategy before jumping to another platform. If you’d like more advice on how to use social media platforms to effectively target your ideal clients, start a conversation with our experts at Local Social Selling at (800) 419-7150.
Whichever type of social media platform you decide to use in your marketing strategy, Search Influence has your back. Our social media experts can work with you to implement a strategy and track the campaign’s performance. Start a conversation with one of our strategists today to make the most of your social media.
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