Undoubtedly, social media is an essential marketing tool for any company that wants to stay current and visible. 88% of marketers claim social media has helped them increase exposure, while 77% say it has helped them generate traffic. If you’re not taking advantage of social media to its maximum potential, you’re passing up a significant opportunity.

However, getting started may be challenging, and even seemingly simple tasks like selecting a social platform might be more sophisticated than you think. There are numerous social networks to choose from, and developing a strategy might take time and effort. However, the good news is that you may begin by focusing on the most prominent and commonly utilized platforms.

The first step in determining the ideal social media for your business is prioritizing what is important to you. Is it broadening your horizons? Is it producing more leads? Is it about brand recognition?

The next step is to choose which platform will provide you with the most exposure to the right audience. Is your brand visually appealing, making it suitable for networks such as Instagram or TikTok? Is it centered on real-time events, and would it function well on Twitter? Or is your audience diversified, necessitating the use of other sites such as YouTube and LinkedIn? Let’s take a look at social media to find out!

Narrow Down Your Choices

As you are undoubtedly aware, there are social media platforms for everything and everyone, including those that connect people who share common interests, hobbies, demographics, and so on. The idea is that there are too many for you to keep up with them. Furthermore, your time would be better spent on sites that would help you achieve your goals.

The top social media sites for active users, according to the current ‘Digital 2021: Global Overview’ report, are Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, and Instagram.

Define Your Goals

There are numerous advantages to using social media, but it is critical to have precise goals before proceeding. In this manner, you can develop an effective social media plan for your company.

For starters, your aims will influence the social platform you select, the content you develop, your target, and other factors. Here are some of the most popular advantages of using social media that you should consider:

  • Improve your customer service services by giving another channel for clients to express their complaints, questions, and issues. Get some ideas for how to do this by looking at what other brands are doing to implement social customer service successfully.
  • Find fresh leads and prospects who are like your top clients.
  • Reach out to new audiences and demographics on social media who may be interested in your products or services.
  • Increase brand awareness and expose your company to new customers.
  • Discover your audience’s and customers’ needs, desires, and behaviors–increasing traffic and sales to your website.

Determine Your Audience Channel

The entire goal of effective social media marketing is to connect you with your most responsive audience. As a result, it is not advisable to select a platform where your target audience does not operate.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a ‘Field of Dreams’ chance in which your prospects will begin using your chosen social network simply because you’ve made a profile. Instead, study which platforms your target audience prefers and seek them out on the networks they already use.

When beginning this process, it is critical to perform audience research to develop a customer persona. That way, you’ll know exactly who you’re looking for and may narrow down the platforms they use based on gender, demographics, interests, etc.

You may take several approaches to find out where your target audience is online. A simple customer survey is one of the most basic. Inquire about their social media habits, where they receive their knowledge online, and whose influencers they follow.

Another option to learn more about your target audience is to use social media sites. You may tell platforms like Facebook about your target clients for paid advertising, and they will estimate the audience size for you. Analytics can also determine who your audience is and what they are doing.

Determine What Content You Create

Different sorts of material perform better with various social media platforms, so you must carefully assess the content you want to develop and share that would work best for your brand.

Because Instagram is centered on images, it might not be the best place to share long-form content like whitepapers. Various factors, including your industry, brand, and target audience, will determine the type of content you publish.

Application of various social media channels and successful content:

  • Blog postings: For audience engagement, business blogs can be just as effective as personal ones.
  • Podcasts: Work with industry leaders to tap into their social network audience, and use hashtags when sharing to boost reach.
  • Testimonials: Your customers are your most valuable asset, therefore, leverage their feedback and experiences to market your business.
  • User-generated content: This is the holy grail of content because your brand enthusiasts create it rather than you. Take a look at some fantastic UGC campaigns for ideas.
  • Webinars and live streaming: Live videos are perfect for audience interaction and learning more about your customers, especially when paired with a Q&A session at the end.
  • Ebooks: This type of long-form information can benefit potential clients and is excellent for lead development.
  • Videos: The pinnacle of content, videos can vastly expand your reach if something you make becomes viral. 
  • Photographs: Using images to highlight the inner workings of your company, your staff, or even something amusing can help generate engagement and traffic.

Pair Your Goals, Audience, and Content with the Right Platform

Once you’ve defined your social media goals, where your audience is, and what type of material works best, you can evaluate the various social media platforms to see which will best fulfill your needs. To assist you in making your decision, here’s an overview of the top venues in terms of audience size, what they’re ideal for, and what a typical user looks like.

  • Facebook for Business: This platform now has over 2.89 billion monthly active users, with India and the United States leading the way in terms of country usage. Facebook is excellent for lead creation, and its advertising platform allows for very targeted audience targeting.

Facebook is also an excellent tool for developing relationships, demonstrating the human aspect of your company, and converting leads into dedicated followers and consumers. Many diverse sorts of material do well, but behind-the-scenes content, user-generated content, and interest-driven community groups are particularly effective. Video is also extremely popular. With Facebook Live doing well among users, its popularity increased by 26% in 2020 and is expected to rise further. Facebook (and Twitter) are both good for reaching a considerable number of people but keep in mind that there is a lot of competition, so your material must stand out.

  • Whatsapp for Business: Following in the footsteps of Facebook and YouTube, Whatsapp now has over 2 billion active users worldwide. With such a large audience, it’s an excellent platform for gaining traction for your company. In a controversial move, Whatsapp’s parent company, Facebook, stated that it would no longer allow ad placements on the service. However, the platform excels at customer service. Small businesses can respond and interact with clients via WhatsApp Business, and its ‘Catalog’ function allows product showing and in-app browsing.
  • Instagram for Business: Instagram has 1.2 billion users, with 500 million viewing Instagram Stories regularly. That’s a lot of action to take advantage of. For obvious reasons, live video has become quite popular on Instagram as on Facebook, notably during the Covid-19 pandemic. Instagram Shops now makes it easier for marketers to generate money on the platform by allowing them to make purchases within the app rather than having to refer users to a landing page or website. There are plans to add a Shopping tab (similar to the Explore tab) for customers to make buying more straightforward with a single click. Social causes are becoming more significant to Instagram users, allowing businesses to demonstrate topics that are important to them, such as diversity or climate change. At the same time, non-profits use give-buttons to raise funds. So, consider what your brand stands for and the issues you wish to support. Then, share them on Instagram to increase your customer base!

You should also keep in mind that Mark Zuckerberg is planning to unify messaging across all Facebook apps, including Whatsapp and Instagram, which means your audience will soon be able to converse freely across social channels. When it comes to customer service, this is food for thought.

In the end, no one social media platform is best for everyone, as every audience and brand is different. It all comes down to personal preference and what you can achieve with a given application. But if you’re just starting out or struggling with which platform might be best, consider where most of your audience gathers online based on the above demographics. Then, begin making your way through each site, creating a plan of action and a strategy for marketing your content with each one.

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