Not sure where to start with social media platforms? read on…
This is one of the questions we receive frequently from clients. There is a proliferation of platforms available today. Every business has unique needs, target markets, and resources available – and for some businesses social media may not be a strategic priority at all!
Before you plunge headlong into any social media it’s essential to have a marketing strategy in place to establish your goals. Social media should be an integrated marketing activity.
There’s a lot to consider, but as a guide here’s a few things you should think about before you begin setting up any new social media accounts:
What are you trying to achieve?
Your social media goals should align with your business goals. Are you starting a new business, aiming to increase sales? Or launch a new product, increase your brand awareness, or target a new market?
If you’re launching a new product to a new market segment, then the social media goals need to reflect this. The platform and content needs to align with the audience’s needs. Which platform will best reach this market?
Where are your target audiences / potential customers?
Check your website analytics to assess where your existing traffic is coming from. What is your conversion rate currently from referrals from social media platforms?
Research data online to see which platforms your target audiences use and their social media habits. By identifying who your customers are you can target more customers like them using the most appropriate platform.
For example recent data from Statista showed:
Two thirds of Instagram’s global users are aged under 34; 31.5 per cent are aged 25 to 34, with just 2.1 per cent aged 65 and over. So if your product is designed for senior customers, and depending on the other factors mentioned here, then Instagram is probably not going to deliver the results or return on investment you’re aiming for, compared to Facebook for instance.
You should also look at current research that shows the best performing sites for your industry. Check out this 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmarking Report by Rival IQ to see how your industry achieves the most engagement, top performing hashtags and more.
How well are your existing social pages performing?
Use your platform’s Insights and Analytics tools to review what content has worked well for you. You can also invest in software that compares insights from your different platforms to make this task easier. Metrics such as impressions, reach, engagement and response data will show which platforms have performed most effectively for your business and identify the type of content your audiences like and engage with.
We often see businesses trying to do all major social platforms, when strategically it would make better sense to only use a couple of platforms. Quality and consistency is a better approach than quantity.
What are your competitors doing?
Analyse your competitors’ social media activities. Which platforms are they using? Where have they gained the greatest following? What kind of content are they posting, how often and when do they post and is the content successfully engaging their audiences? Use this data to identify the types of content or platform/s you need – and how much of it – to set your own goals for social media activities.
We see many small businesses get excited about doing social media, but don’t stop to consider what content they will post, and where will they get their images from. Quality imagery is absolutely essential for social media – photos, graphics and also video.
Before starting any social media platform, ensure you have plenty of imagery available to use, and have a content plan in place. If you don’t have your own images yet, we strongly advise you get a professional photographer to create an image library for you. Wherever possible, do not use image library stock photos; and definitely don’t just copy images from the internet. Check the copyright status of any image before you use it.
How much time or budget do you have to spend on social media activities?
An effective social media strategy requires a dedicated investment of time and money. Running too many platforms without the resources to operate them properly is unlikely to produce the results you want. Set aside regular time to post, manage your pages, respond to comments and enquiries, analyse and measure performance and protect your reputation. If you don’t have time or resources to do it yourself, get an external social media manager to do it for you – Planet Marketing can provide this service.
Do you have the skills and time for the ongoing need to create original and engaging content – regularly and consistently? Different types of content perform differently across platforms. If you don’t have the skills or time to create videos, graphics and write posts then it’s much more efficient to engage specialists to help. A Content Plan is essential to plan ahead and get the balance right. Take a look at Mail’s Chimp’s Top 12 types of social media content to create to get an idea.
Note: even with great content, it’s becoming less easy to grow your social media audiences organically so you should also include social media advertising in your budget. This needs to be factored into your decisions too. Having a marketing plan and strategies in place are very important to ensure you are spending your budget most wisely.
Evaluate your options
Once you’ve answered all these questions then you’ll be well placed to strategically evaluate which platforms best meet your needs. Here’s a handy social media guide from Buffer to give you an idea of how the different platforms currently stack up.
If you need assistance with your social marketing strategies, platform management and content planning and creation then we can help! Contact us for a chat to see how we can get your socials on track.
Planet Marketing provides practical and sustainable marketing advice – helping you determine what marketing suits your business best.