Social media has quickly become one of the most effective marketing methods that a business can have at its disposal. From posting daily content to collaborating with industry-leading influencers, there are huge possibilities opportunities that come with utilising social media for marketing.

There are a variety of social media platforms available, but that doesn’t mean that they will all suit your business. Each platform has its own demographic of users, who use each platform differently. As a result, it’s important to plan your social media marketing strategy around your customers rather than go with a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Before getting stuck in with social media marketing, businesses need to be aware of how each platform will affect their marketing efforts and, in turn, which platform is right for their investment.

We’ve put together our top 5 factors to consider before deciding which social media platforms to use for your marketing.

Define your goals

One of the most effective ways to get the most of your social media is to think about your audience's behaviour and interests. What would get them engaged or involved in a conversation online?

Put in some time to research your audience, whether that’s potential or existing customers. Find which social platforms they’re more likely to use and which communitieis and conversations they’re getting involved in.

Once you’ve done the research you can then define your goals. The use of social media varies from business-to-business, some brands use social media to offer customer support, while a large majority use it to build brand recognition and develop stronger customer relationships.

For example, English supermarket giant, Marks & Spencer, use Twitter to answer their customers’ questions and concerns. This isn’t just a helpful source for customers to get answers but it also helps to nurture the relationship between consumer and brand.

Find your strategy by determining what you want out of the conversation – are you there to build awareness, a community or to generate leads directly?

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B2B or B2C?

Social media usage can strongly depend on whether you’re a B2B or B2C company. The approach can be completely different based on your target audience.

Companies in the B2B space are more likely to benefit from using Linkedin to reach potential leads and help connect with decision-makers. Whereas B2C businesses may be better suited to Facebook or Instagram as these platforms can help gain exposure and engagement on a direct client level basis.

It’s important to be active on platforms that your audience use, due to social media content having a huge impact on purchasing behaviours. 62% of B2B buyers make choices based on digital content alone so it’s important to get your strategy aligned to your audience and business purposes.  

Tailor to your industry

The industry you work in can play a huge part in deciding which social media platforms to use for your marketing. For example, a brand that depends on its visual content to drive traffic and sales may want to make sure of  social platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook which are ideal for companies wanting to showcase their latest products via imagery.

Additionally, you can check out what your competitors are doing.  Put in some time to research which platforms they use and monitor the levels of engagement. What works for them, might also create opportunities for your brand.

But it can also help you avoid any mistakes that they are making, saving you effort and giving you an advantage.

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Who will run your social media?

Juggling multiple social media accounts can be hard to keep up with. Each platform will need to have content created as well as being monitored and managed regularly.

In order to be successful it’s important to keep up to date, post regular content and engage with users. For small businesses it can be hard to keep on top of, which is where agencies can help bridge the gap – providing ideas and generating content that can help start conversations.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone in-house to manage your social media accounts, then it’s important to align your goals with the social media strategy so you’re targeting the right people and generating growth for the business.

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 What content to post?

An important decision to make before creating your social media profiles is which type of content you’ll be making. Every social media platform has a different type of audience, so it’s best to tailor content to suit.

For example, if you’re planning on making video content, then YouTube may be a good place to start, where you can then share your content on other social media platforms too in an easily digestible format.

However, if you’re a B2B business sharing whitepapers and industry updates, LinkedIn might be the best platform for you.

It may be that you span across a few platforms and tailor your content according to the type of audience that you have. What’s important is that your content is relevant to your audience – that way they’ll be more likely to engage.

Ready to bring your social media a-game?

There's no better time to refine your marketing strategy and grow your online presence than right now. When running a business, it can be tricky to juggle your day-to-day duties and run your social media channels. But having a presence on social media can help build your brand and generate some great business opportunities.

That’s why many businesses hire a digital marketing agency to help manage their social media channels and run their overall marketing strategy for them.

If you need a helping hand to achieve your marketing goals or simply don’t have the time needed to activate your strategy, we’d love to hear from you.  

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