How to Choose a Social Media Platform

How to Choose a Social Media Platform

Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, oh my! With all the social media platforms out there and your CEO asking you to “do the social media thing,” how do you determine what platform is best for your brand?

According to Social Media Examiner’s research, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.1

Aligning your social media efforts with business objectives is half the battle, but you still need to understand how they work, so your efforts won’t be wasted. Answering these four questions will ensure your social media strategy has a strong foundation.

What social media platforms support your goals?

I’m a firm believer that if a social media platform doesn’t support your marketing goals, you shouldn’t invest your time or budget in it. Take time to determine what your goals are and how that translates to your organic social media strategy. Is your primary goal Top of Mind Awareness? Twitter is a high-volume platform great for pushing out large amounts of information in quick bites. Is your goal focused on company culture and recruiting? LinkedIn has an excellent section for posting jobs and resources for recruiter accounts.  What about driving website traffic? Pins on Pinterest consistently delivers the highest number of outbound clicks. We’ve created a quick guide for you to reference during this process, so you know what each major platform primarily delivers to brands.

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Which social media platforms does your target audience use?

One of the quickest ways to determine what platform your brand needs to be on is by understanding who your target audience is and what social media platforms they are using. Personas are perfect to fully picture who you’re trying to reach. (Don’t worry if you don’t have one! We can help you focus your marketing efforts by creating personas.) If you’re targeting 50-year-old men interested in landscaping, you really don’t need to worry about Snapchat right now. If you’re targeting suburban women ages 30-40, Pinterest is your go to. The chart below will help you quickly find where you need to be to reach your target audience.

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Do you have the resources to use the social media platform effectively?

If you’ve decided to be on a social media platform, ensure you have the resources to use the platform correctly and maximize the effectiveness. It’s better to not have a Twitter account at all than a Twitter account that spits out a sales-y message once a month. If you can’t regularly post quality lifestyle images once a week, stay away from Instagram.

There are excellent social media management tools to help you keep up with the volume of content (like Buffer or Hootsuite) and agencies to help you develop a strategy and content (like us!), but you need to do the research and be realistic about your budget. We put together a chart showing you what types of content perform best on each social media platform.

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Can you measure the results of your social media strategy?

Most likely, your new social media strategy will require more time and resources to execute and you will need data to support that investment when your CEO asks if the “new social thing” is working. Not every social media platform has the same analytic information so a social media management tool (like Buffer or Hootsuite) can help you pull detailed reports in real time. If you decide to use the in-platform analytics, here’s a quick reference of what each platform has available.

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At the end of the day, your social media strategy can be a huge asset to your business goals. Reaching your audience with the content they want on the platform they already use can produce results to make your CEO happy.

Still have questions? You don’t have to do it alone. Contact us for help with your social media strategy.

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