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Investing in a social media strategy isn’t child’s play; there are leads to be generated and audience members to engage on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Generally, we advise sticking to about three and building your clout there before expanding. Time to hone in on the digital channels that work best for your brand – there’s a vast pool out there, and it’s growing, so get to doggy paddling by following these guidelines.
You probably have clear, impactful goals that build on each other in order to build business. The same goes for your social media strategy. Without one, you’ll likely post content that goes nowhere. Goal setting might be abstract or daunting – we get it. But take your pie-in-the-sky goals and work backwards to form small, measurable steps that don’t seem so bad to tackle. By setting goals, like doubling your leads, you’ll get a clearer idea of where you need to focus and progress.
Who’s your audience? How old are they? Are they educated? What are their hobbies? All of these factors will lead you to the right digital channels. For instance, most Facebook users are under 30 years old and college educated. Instagram users are generally a little younger and urban dwelling. If your business’ demographic is young, these channels are good bets. If you’re audience is largely female, also add Pinterest the mix. You get the idea.
Take a look at the marketing content you’ve created, and analyze and determine what suits your business, and what has resonated with audiences. Take Benefit Cosmetics as a prime example. They realized that young women loved seeing their products testing in quick, sassy videos on Instagram, often featuring their customers and employees. In the past, simple snapshots of their products probably worked well, but their video tutorials and features brought it to the next level. In short, Instagram meshes with the brand perfectly. Maybe you have a similar product, one that can be demoed for audiences to eat up. Or perhaps you have a brand whose audience responds and engages with pithy tweets, sending them to the online shop. Whatever your content is that’s best served hot, see which channel serves as its stage best, and run there.
If your brand is B2B, your channel selection will differ from a B2C brand. Again, it’s about where your people are. B2B? LinkedIn makes the most sense – and the stats prove it. Over 80% of marketers see a big portion of their traffic coming from LinkedIn, followed by Facebook, and Twitter. Facebook dominates as the biggest traffic generator for B2C brands, then Twitter, and YouTube. Niche channels, like Pinterest and Google+, play a part too, depending on your specific audience.
You have to invest to get a return. Marketing departments are spending more on social media ads, analytics, audience research, graphics, and more. Decide how much you can allocate, and you can make it work, even on a dime. You may see that more investment, the better, depending on your return, and you can increase or stay steady accordingly. We recommend investing a little bit in each, as opposed to your whole budget in ads, for example, to see what works best. Once you know your budget, your channel choices can become more clear. Maybe your Instagram account is getting the most traction – allocate a decent amount of your budget there. Facebook may be where your audience is, and you haven’t paid much attention – save room for Facebook ads. Then, see what other channels are of interest and how much it might cost to test those waters. Experimenting is key.
Now it’s time to ponder, explore, and post away. Remember, not everything is going to work the first time, or a channel might have to be abandoned altogether. It’s all about adapting. And of course, don’t forget those metrics, folks!