If you’re not leveraging the right social media channels to grow your business, you could be losing a lot of potential customer engagement and ultimately sales. Simply put, to engage customers and prospective customers, you need to go where they live, and increasingly where they live is on social media. Here are 5 Questions you should ask yourself in order to help you know how to Choose the Right Social Media Channels for Your Business.
Consider the following statistics from Hubspot:
- 66% of businesses which spend as little as 6 hours a week on social media increase lead generation
- 63% of Facebook and Twitter users go to those sites to explore issues “outside the realm of friends and family.” (Pew Research Centre, 2015)
- 74% of people use Facebook for professional purposes. (HubSpot, 2017)
- More than 50% of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)
- 90% of all marketers say their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)
So, the question is not so much whether you can improve sales with social media; it’s which social media channel is best to grow your business.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before settling on a social media strategy:
- What are my primary goals?
What you do on social media should be seamlessly integrated into the rest of your marketing strategy, and the goals should be the same. For example, if your goal is to boost brand awareness, you should consider sponsored ads, especially on Facebook, which has a wealth of data about its users and which can often be less expensive than Google AdWords. If, on the other hand, your principal objective is lead generation, LinkedIn is probably your best option.
- Where are my customers?
It’s important to match the demographics of your target audience with those of social media sites. For example, more women (38%) than men (26%) use Instagram, while the opposite is true on Facebook, where 56% of users are men. Similarly, the more educated someone is, the more likely he is to use LinkedIn, where 50% of users are college-educated, and just 12% have only a high school diploma. You can use tools like Sprout Social to unpack the gender, age and location of your current social audiences. The point is, to get the best results on social media, use the channel where your customers are.
- Where are my competitors?
Take the time to see which social media sites your principal competitors are active on, what they’re doing there, and what kind of response they’re getting. Since they’re in the same industry as you, finding out where they’re successful will help you construct the best strategy for your business. Again, there are online social listening tools to help with your analysis; for example, you can use Buzzsumo to find out where your competitors are getting the most social shares.
- What kind of content will I be posting?
Different social media sites work better for different types of content. For example, if much of the content you intend to share is in the form of company news and white papers, you should probably opt for LinkedIn or SlideShare. If, on the other hand, you’ll be posting videos, you might want to go with YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope of Vine. Pinterest is best if you’ll be sharing a lot of images (for example, if you’re in the fashion industry).
- Should my business be on 1 social media channel, or 2, or 3?
The large majority of retail brands (more than 90%) are on 2 or more social media channels. Whether or not that’s the right strategy for your business depends on whether you have someone in-house (or are working with an experienced digital marketing agency) to make social media their principal or exclusive focus.
Conclusion: Here’s the key takeaway…
Like anything else in marketing, you can’t succeed with social media unless you clearly identify your goals, do the requisite research and planning to construct a strategy, and commit the necessary resources to see that strategy through. To learn more about the ways our web design, e-commerce and digital marketing services will help you achieve your key objectives and grow your business, contact us today.