Social Media has been one of the biggest marketing game-changers for businesses, especially small to medium size companies in the last decade. It opened up the ability to share your business story, product, or service, as well as recruit people in one handy place. It was also free (initially!) to use, all you needed was some time and creativity to succeed.
Fast forward a decade and Social Media has evolved beyond all recognition, and whilst it still offers all of those initial benefits, it no doubt takes more time, money, knowledge, and effort than it did in the past.
If this is something you’ve struggled to answer for your business, sit tight and have a read of our blog as we can hopefully help you work this out! A piece of business advice that came along well before Social Media is that it’s better to focus on a few things and do them really well than to try and do everything badly, that’s definitely true for Social Media Marketing.
Deciding which platforms are right for your business is about drilling down into where your ideal customer or target audience is hanging out! It shouldn’t be influenced by where you have more followers, or which channel you personally prefer.
You can get more information on this in our Customer Persona blog, but essentially you need to be able to answer these questions about your ideal customer – and you may have 2-4 different types of customer:
Facebook reports over 2.7 billion which is bigger than the population of China! It’s easy to get excited and think that all your customers might be there and there should be high numbers of potential new customers! But the downside of the large user numbers is that there’s lots of noise. Consider how individuals use Facebook: to build relationships and keep in contact with old friends, because Facebook has been around for quite a while now it also has an aging demographic – great if your ideal customer is a baby boomer but not the best place to engage with 19-24-year-olds. It can be a good platform for building loyalty within your existing customer base, whether through your page or a dedicated group. However it can be hard to reach a new audience; due to its large population, your posts have a limited reach-even within your own networks.
Facebook has been having a bit of an identity crisis – it’s great for targeted Ads if you have the budget to spend, but growing a new audience organically is really tough now.
Once upon a time Instagram was all about slick photos and enviable lifestyles! There’s still some of that, but Instagram has been leading the way in developments both in terms of commerce and technological advances.
The demographic for Instagram has also been maturing so whilst you can still target a young audience the over 35’s are a growing demographic. As Instagram also looks to take on TikTok it has launched its own form of short video called Reels and the ability of these to reach new audiences is immense.
As a result of these new content formats Instagram does take time and some creativity to manage, but without having to advertise there is the opportunity to both engage with your existing customers and build a community as well as reach new customers too.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that couldn’t benefit from having an Instagram presence, but be prepared to do your homework and test what works. Instagram is rolling out so many developments often in quick succession that just because something worked one week sadly there’s no guarantee that it will the following week!
It offers more opportunities to reach out to potential new customers than Facebook does, and if you can attract relevant followers it is a platform that for many is seen as being one of the most engaging.
One of the most established professional Social networks LinkedIn used to be all about careers and job hunting, it was also seen as a bit stuffy and old-fashioned! But times are changing – LinkedIn has worked to create a platform that whilst still playing to it’s strength as a business platform has also embraced the use of audio, and now even introduced the ‘funny’ emoji reaction! Being able to engage now as a company page is also a huge step in the right direction for enabling smaller businesses to engage with their target audience.
The demographic is slightly older but don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t target a younger audience, it just depends on what you are trying to offer them. Nearly 84% of LinkedIn users are also on Instagram and research shows that 80% of B2B leads from Social Media come from LinkedIn.
If it’s important that your company and team are seen as experts and thought leaders LinkedIn is the place to be. That said don’t feel that all content needs to be the equivalent of a suit and tie, LinkedIn has moved on from there.
Make sure your company page is up to date and start engaging as your page, but focus more time and attention on your own profile (including making sure you’re in creator mode – we share how to improve your profile here). Make it your priority to share things of value to your audience and be genuine and authentic with your comments. If you want to know if you’re efforts are paying off use LinkedIn’s tool to see how your activity compares with your industry.
Know your audience and you can navigate which platform and content type are likely to be of most interest and value to them – once you’ve cracked that, focus efforts on those that really will have the impact in helping you achieve your goals.
If you’re interested in TikTok, Twitter and YouTube make sure you read the second part of our blog coming soon.
If you’re still left a little bit confused why not get in touch with us to see how we can help your business get on the right platforms with the best content.