We’re in a social media revolution, and there’s no telling what the future will bring.
Think back to 2006, when both Facebook and Twitter were launched: over the past 11 years, they’ve had a phenomenal and unexpected impact on marketing and commerce. New platforms are introduced every year: some will evolve into “the next Instagram” and others will fail to take off.
You know a strong presence in social media is essential today, but the sheer quantity of platforms is so overwhelming that paralysis sometimes sets in.
Here’s some good news: experts agree that the best strategy is to pick two or three platforms and devote your digital strategy to mastering them and attaining a strong presence. It’s not realistic to achieve mastery of multiple platforms–the bandwidth and resources requires are too great. The prevailing wisdom is to craft a social media presence that’s deep and thorough on the few platforms which are best suited to your needs, rather than to generate a shallow and ineffective presence on many.
So how do you choose the right platforms for your business? Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each platform: B2B vs. B2C, highly visual vs. service oriented, brief vs. in-depth.
Also, consider your goals. Forbes.com offers these top ten benefits of social media marketing: http://bit.ly/2wgqGUX
- Increased brand recognition
- Improved brand loyalty
- More opportunities to convert
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher brand authority
- Increased inbound traffic
- Decreased marketing costs
- Better search engine rankings
- Richer customer experiences
- Improved customer insights
While all of those goals are worthy, you’ve got to prioritize. A younger company in a competitive field may prioritize increased search engine rankings, whereas a high-touch business like a restaurant or tour company may consider richer customer experiences or improved customer insights more important.
Where will you get the most traffic? It’s tempting to pursue the platforms with the highest numbers. According to Wikipedia, as of April 2017 these were the top five, based on active use accounts:
- Facebook: 1,968,000,000 users
- WhatsApp: 1,200,000,000 users
- YouTube: 1,000,000,000 users
- Facebook Messenger: 1,000,000,000 users
- WeChat: 889,000,000 users
However, what’s more important than total users is demographics. Where are your customers hanging out? Research the demographics of the platforms you’re considering. Only 9% of Facebook users are between 18-24, so that’s not the platform for you if your audience is young. Snapchat, however, is a perfect target for young consumers: 60% of users are under 24 and 100 million users consume 30 minutes of content daily. LinkedIn is an excellent platform if you’re offering B2B products or services: with its business-focused membership, sharing content here is a great way to establish credibility.
Because the best platform depends so much on what type of business you’re in, your customers, and your marketing goals, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It pays to research the characteristics of various platforms, and study what the competition is doing. Search online for inspiration in “social media success-story” articles and case studies.
If you need some help with social media, contact us to schedule a marketing strategy session with one of our team members, which will include our insights into social media and guidance so you can master that side of your promotions. In the meantime, check out this handy Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you pick the best platform for your business.