In 2019, every company needs a profile on social media platforms. As a business owner or marketer, you most likely understand this concept, but you’re having trouble manoeuvring the details on how to make social media work for your business.
One of the main causes of a failed social strategy is prioritising the wrong social media platforms. It’s an understandable mistake to make—social media is fickle, and staying on top of the new channels, trends, and current best practices (not to mention the dozens of niche social media platforms like Nextdoor and Meet Up) takes a lot of time and dedication.
That whole “takes a lot of time and dedication” thing doesn’t resonate with business owners who have a to-do list longer than a line at the DMV. So, I’m never surprised when one of the first things they ask during a consultation is, “which social media platform should my business be on?”
Tricky question, and since you’re reading this, you’ve had the exact same one. I’ll tell you this: Before I give our clients any sort of recommendation I always need to know—and so should you—three key things:
- Are you B2C, B2B, or both?
- What’s your target audience?
- What’s your overall goal?
That’s what you really need to focus on. If you know the answers to those three questions, it’s relatively easy to pare it down to a solid two to three platforms to dedicate your time to. (Side note—Yes, a solid two or three; no more. Unless you have a giant team to manage them all or employ a social media marketing company like Blue Corona, do not try to be on too many social media channels. They each take time, and you won’t see results unless you put in the man-hours.)
If you understand that social media marketing matters for your business you’re already miles ahead of other CEOs. To save you time and help you prioritise, I’ve broken down (and only included) the five best social media platforms for marketing, including their main audiences and top industries for the channel:
- After you’ve answered the three questions above and matched your answers with the top platforms, you’re well on your way to a successful social media marketing strategy.
If you want a definitive “this is exactly which social media sites your individual company should utilize” you should get a customised social media audit. It’s free and can give you better, more personalised data and recommendations. Fill out the form below and get started now!
Which Social Media Platform Should Your Business Be On? Answer These Three Questions First
WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE? THESE 10 QUESTIONS WILL TELL YOU
ARE YOU B2B OR B2C?
Are you B2B or B2C? Because that changes things. Unfortunately, we’re not yet to the point where people go to social media sites when they want to buy things. There are exceptions—like looking for local goods on Facebook’s marketplace—but a general rule of thumb is that people on social media are at the very top of the sales funnel. What this means for you is that you might be targeting your ads and social media strategy for the wrong buyer’s stage. Unless your product can be an impulse buy, the likelihood of them traveling all the way down that funnel instead of scrolling to the next post in their feed is slim to none.
The best B2B social media strategies aim to gather leads and generate interest in your product. Do this by regularly blogging, creating lead magnets like case studies and e-books, and promoting your company on the best B2B platforms like LinkedIn.
Be careful, however, because the dynamics of B2B buying have changed, and your target audience might be on other channels.
Every once in a while, I’m served an ad that is blatantly ill-targeted. I’ve gotten bad ads for everything from jock straps (true story) to herbal supplements for overweight pregnant women (also true).
I’m a female, I’m not overweight, and I’m as likely to get pregnant as a new parent is to jet away for the tropics on a whim.
Every time I’m served these types of ads, two thoughts run through my head:
That business should fire whoever is in charge of their ads targeting
When you target the wrong audience, you’re wasting your money—no ifs, ands or buts.
Take out a piece of paper, right now. Write down the answers to the following ten questions:
Where is your audience located?
What is the average age and gender of your target buyer?
What’s their average income?
Are they homeowners?
What are their hobbies?
What industry do they work in?
Do they have kids?
What challenges do they face, and what problems do they want to be solved?
How do they get their information (are they tech-savvy or more traditional)?
WHAT’S YOUR OVERALL SOCIAL MEDIA GOAL?
Which of all of the above are my top-paying and most loyal customers?
There. You’ve just profiled your average buyer.
Stuck? A handy—and simple—tool you can use to profile your target audience is Facebook’s Audience Insights.
I once spent an afternoon with a nephew of mine who had just discovered soccer. After two hours of chasing loose balls and narrowly avoiding broken windows, I made a deal that I’d keep playing with him until he made three goals. Three goals later, I made to go inside, and he stamped his foot and promptly told me,
“Yea, but THAT’S not the goal I was talking about,” he said, gesturing to the net. “That is,” and he pointed off to the bushes in the opposite direction.
As childish as it sounds, that’s actually how a lot of business owners and marketing managers run their social media program. They’ll say, “shoot for the goal,” without disclosing (or knowing) exactly what the real goal is. Chances are, you’ll have the same results as I had with my nephew’s “three-goal” soccer game—disappointing at best.
One thing to keep in mind is that social media is a “see” platform, meaning people go there to see things, not do things. That makes it difficult for businesses with a long sales cycle to make sales straight from the platform.