Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, WhatsApp… Social media channels are everywhere around us. Marketing blogs tell us to be present in order to sell, build the brand, and communicate with the customers, and suddenly yet another new platform pops in the market.
How to tackle the ever-growing offering of different channels and choose the best ones for your business?
1. Think about your audience
The first thing to ask yourself about is your audience. In the end, the most crucial thing is to be where they are. While Instagram’s biggest user group are people under the age of 29, Facebook wins on the popularity of the older age groups. 70% of the users of Pinterest are women and a massive 81% of people in the age group of 15-24 use YouTube.
If the vast majority of your audience spends their time on Instagram, investing plenty of time and effort on Facebook is probably not beneficial. Study the behaviour of your audience and learn their preferred ways to communicate. By not offering them a chance to contact you via their own, preferred social media channels, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, and expecting them to send you an email or call instead will probably drop the number of contacts, as well as decrease their customer experience.
Remember to think of different kinds of target groups. For example, a company may want to communicate to both potential consumers and investors. While the same message may work for both, it is beneficial to think about the differences and choose the channels with those differences kept in mind.
2. Think about your brand
Besides thinking about where the audience is, think about the message the used channels pass to people. Remember, the brand image is not communicated by just visual style, marketing campaigns, or a slogan but by every act of the company – the social media channels included. Think about a company aiming to provide insurance services for young-minded travellers and not having an Instagram account, or a clothing line trying to sell clothes to Gen Z without having a presence on platforms like TikTok.
3. Think about your resources
Be realistic about the available resources. When thinking of the brand presence, most entrepreneurs and business managers want to be on every channel possible, often with as few resources as possible. It is important to keep in mind that every channel has their preferred type of content, and while some content can be rotated – say, the same video used on both TikTok and Instagram Reels – most content needs to be created uniquely in order for it to work.
To help cope with the workload that running social media brings with it, consider using freelancers and other individual content providers or agencies specialized in digital content. Remember to have a dedicated person within the company handling the processes in-house and overseeing the processes. By using professionals you don’t just save valuable time but make sure that the brand message stays clear and coherent, and there are no gaps in publishing the content.
To make sure the limited resources – whether in terms of workforce or financial means – are spent in the smartest way possible, it is important to stay true to oneself and acknowledge where the line stands. You cannot and you do not have to cover every channel. Choose the ones that create value and focus on doing them properly.
4. Read the data
The massive upside of the digital era is the available data. Every action from social media likes all the way to the website or online store of your brand is trackable. Use pixels, link tracking, and proper analytic tools, and track the behaviour of your customers – and don’t forget to read and analyze the data.
Social media channels are considerably cheap channels to experience on, especially when compared to the traditional channels such as television or outdoor advertising. Test different things, analyze how they went, and learn from the data.
At its best, the plate of your used social media channels compliments each other, giving your brand different kinds of content for different kinds of purposes and for different kinds of audiences.