Social Media is increasingly being chosen as one of the most influential medium for Marketing from small to large businesses. Social Media has multiple platforms to inform, attract, engage and delight your customers, most popular platforms (like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) to achieve results when used appropriately. Businesses need to understand their customers’ needs to attract them.
“63% of CMOs rank social marketing as a top investment area.” By a Gartner report.
But the increasing list of social media channels is never ending. Businesses have to choose the right relevant channel for their business to capture their audiences. Choosing a social network that is compatible with your audience’s online habits can be detrimental to your social media strategy.
These are the 6 questions businesses need to address before making a Social Marketing Plan.
I. Who is your audience?
Arriving on a particular type of audience/demographic/sector/segment/age/sex, etc. widely depends on what your business’ focus is. Is yours a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) type of business? Or the type of people interacting with your brand and using your content, information, products, services, and resources, may differ.
II. Which Social Network your audience are on?
A study by a research shows that Instagram is most popular with young adults between the ages of 18 to 29, while Facebook remains popular across all age groups and demographics. While LinkedIn stands for more professional articles, linking more professional people. Therefore, it would not make sense to use a particular social medium only. Rather, using Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook represents a more inclusive approach.
On the contrary, for a B2B business the above mentioned snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. won’t be relevant. LinkedIn might be the best suitable medium.
III. What is the goal of the use of a Social Network?
Social Media has a variety of platforms and each platform or a social site can play a different role in your marketing strategy. Maybe use of LinkedIn to convey thought leadership, Twitter to engage influencers, Facebook to advertise and generate insight, and Instagram for visual storytelling is one strategy. As you expand your social presence to another social networking site, like Snapchat or Pinterest, don’t just re-publish the same content from someone else.
IV. How does your audience consume the content on the Social Network?
Different social media channels support different types of content. Some content seems to be better supported by some social platforms than others. Sometimes it is just that social buzz needed to create that brand awareness. Creating quality content is an increasingly popular digital marketing tactic, it is important to understand where your audience will consume what types of content on what social platform.
For example, long-form, research-driven articles may appeal to LinkedIn users who seek to learn about an industry or improve their professional skills. Meanwhile, an image may gain more traction on Instagram than Snapchat, where it will disappear in 10 seconds or less. Twitter is ideal for companies that emphasize customer service, such as Uber, Lyft, airlines, and restaurants. The platform allows quick, nearly instantaneous interactions in response to questions, criticism, and praise.
V. How different is your business in using the Social Network compared to others?
Now that you know how brands engage on a social networking site, find a way to engage that will resonate with your users, yet distinguish your brand from others. Start with a strategy that makes your brand unique. Then, figure out the role that this social network will play in your social marketing strategy and multichannel marketing mix. While social analytics from across social networks can inform social marketing and marketing in other channels, the content and tactics you use on Facebook are very different from the ones you would deploy on Instagram or in an email marketing campaign.
VI. How will the presence on this social network deliver value to your audience?
First rule of social marketing: It’s not about you. It’s about the value you create for your audience. If your brand’s social presence delivers value to your audience (or helps to expand your audience), that’s the most desired solution! But if it only serves to get the Marketing efforts off your back, it’s waste of marketing budget and resources. Just because it worked for other brands, or attracts millions or some other highly sought after demographic, doesn’t mean it will work for your brand or audience. Don’t alienate your audience by inviting them to an experience that doesn’t deliver clear value or isn’t relevant to their relationship with your brand. Instead, find out if and how your brand can use a social network to achieve meaningful results, whether managing online reputation or driving traffic to your website, or generate leads and align those results to the value you can bring to your audience, such as thought leadership or access to compelling product information or the best quality services you can offer.