Which social media is the best for your business?
How do you sum up marketing in one line? Marketing is a way to let customers know that you have the product or the services that they are seeking.
Today, you will find more than 4 billion people active on the internet, with even more logging on every minute. With so many people online, there has been a marketing renaissance where businesses are taking their marketing efforts to the web, where they can easily get in touch with these billions of potential customers.
Among digital marketing efforts, email marketing is one of the most popular methods of online marketing. Similarly, social media marketing is gaining in popularity, sucking people in to spend hours upon hours online.
With people spending more than 135 minutes in a day on these social media platforms, it only makes sense to reach out to consumers across these venues. However, with so many social media platforms to choose from, which social media outlet should your business be using?
Let’s look at some of our favorite social media channels and discuss five ways to determine which social media is the best for your business.
Popular Social Media Channels
When you think about social media, the first names that invariably come to mind are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Snapchat. Each of these channels has its own target audience, unique attributes, and special purpose that combine to make an impact on customers. You should always be aware of these aspects before you choose a particular social media channel for your marketing efforts.
Purpose: Facebook is an excellent social media platform for building loyalty and reputation among your community.
- Facebook has a tremendous reach because of its high degree of popularity. On average, more than 1.47 billion people log on to Facebook every day.
- As more people access Facebook, you gain a wider and wider audience to advertise to in order to drive business to your site. There are different types of Facebook ads like Domain Ads, Multi-Product Ads, Offer Ads, Video Ads, Dynamic Ads, and so on that you can choose from.
- Sharing personal stories and detailed information is the inherent strength of Facebook. Many people log in to share tales from their own life with their community, meaning it is a great place for them to spread the word when they have a positive experience with your business.
- Facebook is a highly interactive social media channel where you get quick feedback on the quality of your products or services, thanks to its reviews and messaging features.
Target audience: Usually the age group of 24 to 45 is the most active group on Facebook.
Purpose: Twitter is a highly popular channel for sharing news and updates. Because you have a 280 character limit on your tweets, Twitter is the perfect media for making short announcements.
- Twitter is the best channel for people looking for quick and reliable information on any product/news, due to its short posts and its trending section, which allows users to see popular news items.
- It is possible to get immediate responses on Twitter because of its highly interactive subscriber base.
- Businesses can use Twitter for their PR activities, as they can make short announcements regarding the release of the new products or services.
- Hashtag communication makes Twitter one of the easiest ways to share news and information with your customers.
Target audience: Twitter has a subscriber base in the age group of 18 to 30 years.
Purpose: LinkedIn is a formal social media platform for professionals and is excellent for building meaningful relationships. Hence, it is great for B2B marketing.
- It is easy to target by industry using keywords and job titles. This means that you can get your message in front of the right people at the right companies.
- LinkedIn, with its high subscriber base (149 million users in the US alone), is an excellent channel to communicate with your target audience.
- Gaining the trust of the customer is an essential pillar of any business. LinkedIn builds confidence as it promotes competence. It is a primarily professional networking website that helps you to get in touch with your past colleagues and potential clients, helping you build your official network. Many people use LinkedIn for job searches and recruitment.
- A professional social media platform to the core, LinkedIn allows you to reach out to the right category of customers, especially if you are mainly a B2B marketer.
Target audience: You can find customers in the age group 22 to 55 years highly active on LinkedIn.
Purpose: Instagram allows you to share videos and images. Hence, it is the best social media platform for brand marketing. Pictures and images can always explain matters better than words can. On Instagram, people can see live demonstrations of the products, thereby influencing their decisions to buy.
- You can use special filters and video styles to make an impact on your customers and craft a unique style for your brand. This platform allows users to get to know you on a more personal level than platforms like LinkedIn, which are just for business or recruitment.
- Instagram allows you to adopt a playful approach while passing on the message at the same time. It’s the place to have fun with color, word choice, and even emojis!
- You can easily use Instagram hashtags to interact with your community – and potential members of your community. Just search hashtags related to your business and you will be able to comment and engage directly with people who have the same interests as your business caters towards.
Target audience: Instagram is extremely popular in the age group of 18 to 40 years.
Purpose: Advertising is all about showcasing your products for potential consumers to understand – and, hopefully, for them to desire. Pinterest is an online media platform that allows users to discover things that inspire them and speak to their lifestyle. When users find something that they like, they pin it to a board, creating a collage of images of those visuals. These boards are shared with their followers and friends, making them awesome places to root your product and build up followers via clever marketing!
- Pinterest has more than 175 million monthly active users, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch potential customers’ eyes. By creating beautiful and engaging displays, you can generate more leads and traffic for your site.
- Promoting your products visually is possible on Pinterest. You can do this by adding logos to your website so that consumers can visit you through it. By choosing the right image size and the following the best image practices, you can get your pins noticed thereby increasing your visibility.
- Pinterest is a highly interactive social media platform that gives you an opportunity to insert CTA options for potential buyers to click on.
- Pinterest’s audience is largely female (about 81%), making it an excellent social media platform to use if your ideal consumer is female.
Target audience: Pinterest has an interactive audience, especially in the age group of 18 to 35 years.
We have now seen five of the most popular social media channels and its unique attributes. Let us now examine the five best ways to exploit the benefits of these social media marketing avenues for your own business.
Identify your target audience
Consider this example… Which section of the population do you think uses credit cards most frequently? Yes, you have guessed it right. The younger generation prefers to use credit cards. Thus, it is much easier to sell a credit card to a person in the age group of 21 to 30 years as compared to a person in his or her late fifties.
Similarly, you cannot sell winter clothing to people living in places where the temperatures rarely go below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The point we make is that you should identify your target audience correctly. It is only then that you can make a forceful impact – and sales.
How do you determine who your target audience is? The best way to do so is to create market personas. Creating a market persona can help you to better understand your target audience, and thereby help you create the best advertisement campaigns for your products and services.
Creating a market persona is easy. Considering the following elements of your market persona will help you get to know your ideal buyer better:
- Location of your ideal buyer
- The average age of your ideal buyer
- The gender of your ideal buyer.
- Your ideal buyer’s average income.
- Your ideal buyer’s hobbies and interests.
- What industry your ideal buyer works in.
- How many children your ideal buyer has (or doesn’t).
- The challenges your ideal buyer faces and the problems they wish to resolve. Your advertisement campaign should concentrate not only on the challenges, but also should provide the ideal solutions for your campaign to be effective.
- The source of your ideal buyer’s information, as this will give an insight into how to build trust with them.
The answers to the above questions can help you identify your target audience. Thus, you will not end up trying to force sales on people who are not interested. Much easier this way, right?
Decide your strategy
Social media marketing depends a lot on your strategy. Decide on your strategy. Are you looking for a B2B or a B2C interaction?
B2B marketing is the strategy involved in selling your products or services to other businesses, whether for use in the production of other goods, or for general purposes (such as office supplies). It also involves selling to retailers for onward selling to the customers.
A B2B strategy involves creating interest in your product, with the underlying aim to gather leads. You can achieve this by blogging or creating lead magnets. One of the best social media platforms to indulge in B2B marketing is LinkedIn – this is because LinkedIn is the most professional or formal social media platform among the five that we have discussed above, so people will naturally be business-minded while scrolling through LinkedIn.
B2C marketing is direct marketing to the end-use customer. There is no intermediary, such as a retailer. In B2C marketing, you interact with your target audience directly.
You need a direct approach for successful B2C marketing. Product descriptions work well, as regular consumers are often uninitiated to your product and would love to know how to use it or style it. Such descriptions can even serve as a buyer’s guide.
If you can supplement your product description with a video demonstration, it also adds significant value to your B2C campaigns. The most popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are the best for your B2C campaigns because you can interact with your customers on a personal level and place product demos right in front of them.
What is your social media goal?
Take this, for example: A young fellow was playing online soccer for the first time. He started rejoicing every time he scored a goal. By the end of the game, he had ten goals to his credit. However, to his dismay, he found out that he lost 3-0 instead of winning the game. How did this happen? The answer is straightforward. He chose the wrong side to score his goals.
You may experience the same feeling with social media marketing. If you select the wrong goal, you naturally end up with nothing on your platter. Hence, it is imperative that every business know what their social media goals are. It will help you channel your efforts in the right direction.
You should ask questions such as,
- Does your social objective serve your target audience?
- How much time does it take for your social media campaign to have an impact on your target audience?
The answers to these questions can help you finalize your social media strategies better.
Identify where your target audience hangs out frequently
Tweaking your campaigns to suit your audience’s preferences is the key to social media marketing. Remember, the trend is changing every day. If a particular strategy worked for you in the past, it does not automatically mean it will work for you today. The trend could be the opposite. Hence, understanding the patterns and knowing where your target audience hangs out is vital.
How do you determine your audience’s preferences? You can use tools like Buzzsumo to understand the popularity of a social media channel at a particular moment. Your primary keywords can help you get the most shared content on social media along with the networks where they are most popular. You can tweak your social media business strategy accordingly.
Remember the adage, ‘The customer is the King.’ Weave your content according to the likes and dislikes of your customer. This strategy will never fail.
We have seen five simple, but effective ways to determine which social media platform is the best for your marketing campaigns. You can see that a lot depends on your target audience, the nature of your business strategy, the popularity of the social media, and so on.
We can conclude by saying that the five best social media channels to market your content should be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, though not necessarily in the same order. Therefore, the key is to have a strategy that is appropriate to the situation instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
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Among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, Pradeep Chopra has been part of the Internet Industry since 2000. He has been a serial entrepreneur for last 17 years and is currently the CEO of Digital Vidya, a leading Digital Marketing and Data Science training company. A graduate of IIT Delhi and a recipient of Adobe Content100, Pradeep is one of the most sought-after international speakers in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.