Is there any business in 2021 that isn’t looking to advertise or grow using a social media platform? You’d be hard-pressed to find one if they exist at all.
Getting into social media is never the problem—heck, my 75-yr old mother is on Facebook—the problem is figuring out which platforms are worth using and where to start!
Social media is undeniably powerful…if it is used correctly and effectively. The key is narrowing down the most appropriate and useful platforms for your individual business and niche. Not only will this hyper-focus save you time and money, but it will also allow you to track and focus on specific and measurable goals.
So how do you select the best social media platforms for your marketing efforts? Here are a few tips to help you decipher the best channels for your business.
Identify Your Target – “Target Market” is a fancy way of asking yourself, “Who wants to buy what I’m selling?” The common error is to assume everyone is your target market (a truer statement would be that if everyone is your target, then no one is). Your best bet is to focus down your market as much as possible.
Imagine you are aiming at hundreds of targets in an open field versus a single target. If you aim at all the targets, yes, you might hit a few, but you are much more likely to hit the mark if you aim for that one, specific one.
Not sure you’re being specific enough? Let me give you some examples of what you can ask yourself:
- Who am I currently trying to reach?
- Where are they geographically?
- How would you describe them demographically?
- What are their ages?
- Income levels?
- Occupations? And occupational hazards (for example, I once did a targeted ad for construction workers with bad backs who got off work before 5:00 pm….get specific)
- Common values?
It’s important to dig deep and then dig some more. You are trying to build relationships and solve problems and you need information to do that. Once you have your defined audience, you’ll need to rethink your list even more with questions like:
- What is my product/service solving for this customer?
- Is there a need for my product/service?
- Is my product/service affordable for my ideal customer?
- Are there enough people in this market to sustain my business?
Now, I am not saying you have only one target market and you are married to this one, tiny fraction of the population; but you are creating a marketing strategy for each subset of your niche. Your message to a single mom of four kids will be quite different than your message to a bachelor pad of fraternity brothers. Both need toilet paper, but your approach should be different.
At the same time, if you find only 15 people exist in your niche in the world, you should rethink your categorizations. Balance is key.
If you are having a hard time quantifying your clientele, then start by outlining your favorite, current clients. What are they like? What do they want and need? Ask them if you want further clarification!
Set Goals – The number of followers and subscribers is a vanity number, not an indication of how well you are doing in your business. If your goal is to have 1 million followers, you better have a strong plan to get there with real people. A highly engaged audience is what you are striving for instead!
Are you looking to:
- Increase brand recognition?
- Expand your audience?
- Offer something new and exciting to existing clients?
- Build brand loyalty?
- Improve customer service or relations?
- Grow your customer base?
The answer is probably “yes” to all the above, but your focus needs to be on one. And finding a focus starts with knowing where you are. Conducting a quick (or even a thorough) business marketing audit will help you identify the gaps you need to address.
Choose Wisely – There is a reason there are so many different social media channels—each one incorporates various unique elements that appeal to different markets.
While looking at these platforms and your marketing strategy, you must consider more than just your own familiarity. What are you actually trying to achieve? Is this community building? Organic engagement? Brand awareness? Lead generation?
Your objectives should directly correspond to your strategy and how you measure your return on investment.
Each social media platform features different tools to help you meet those goals. Here are some of the most popular (on the most popular platforms):
- Paid ads
- Private and public groups
- Paid ads
- Twitter chats
- Live tweets
- Posting blogs
Know Thyself – Most (I might even say all) businesses have similar objectives when it comes to social media marketing, but you may also want to explore your company’s more specific goals—such as customer support, outreach, etc. Where does your business excel? How can you emphasize that even more through social media?
Different platforms and channels require different skill sets. A well-thought-out Instagram post is plenty for one day, but Twitter might require engagement several times a day. What are your peak posting times and days for each platform?
Your business goals need to authentically align with your social media presence, which might require some finesse from platform to platform.
Don’t be overwhelmed with the incredible variety of options out there, and, more importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There are a plethora of avenues, paid and unpaid, for social media guidance. AF Consulting Team is well versed in marketing, branding, and social media marketing and eager to help you realize both your short and long-term goals.