‘We must have a Facebook page. But wait…what about Twitter; everyone’s on Twitter. Did you see Company X’s new Pinterest page; we should do something similar…right?’
Social media is a great way to develop a personal identity, establish a reputation and stand out in your industry.
However the most common question I’m asked by those new to digital marketing is how to determine which social media platform is the right one for their brand.
Here are 4 easy-to-follow steps:
1. Understand that you don't have to be on every emerging social media platform.
You know that feeling. Millennials called it FOMO (there’s probably a new word now). The fear of missing out on the new, swanky social media craze drives you to sign up and then realise that it’s either unnecessary, needs too much time and attention, or no-one's actually on it. As a marketer you only have so much time and resources (e.g. money and manpower), so be selective. Let the platform go through its growing pains before jumping into the deep end.
OPELLO Likes: This witty article characterised each of the top 5 social media channels as if they were celebrities, Disney characters and a breed of dog.
2. Know the makeup of each social media site you intend to use and match it with your needs.
Demographics, engagement, language, and user expectations change with each platform. In the US for example, Instagram is the only platform whose demographics skew toward those from Afro-Caribbean and Hispanic backgrounds. Google+ leans toward male users, while Pinterest's audience is overwhelming female. LinkedIn draws 38% of Internet users with an income of more than £40k.
It's important to know and understand these characteristics of fans and followers of each platform so you can match your needs with the right audience.
OPELLO Likes: Marketing software Wishpond did a great job of breaking down the demographics and attributes of several social media sites. I'd start by reviewing this analysis to get a feel for which platforms might be right—or wrong—for you.
3. Compose a social media mission statement
So now you’ve decided which social media channels compliment your brand. Great. How do you next identify the unique purpose of each social media profile? By creating a mission statement.
Your mission statement includes the description of each social media profile’s purpose, and how this purpose contributes to your brand goals.
We will use (social network) for (purpose of this social network) in order to help (BRAND goal).
For example, this is one of our mission statements at OPELLO: We will use LinkedIn for building our company’s professional network to help establish our brand as experts in the field.
4. Just try.
To try is to succeed (eventually). The courageous attitude that comes from fully committing to a new social media marketing strategy is the one that marketers need to take on for the growth of their brands. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It may take you a little while to figure out what your audience wants and what you're able to provide. If your plan doesn't meet your expectations, you can always change it or just move forward without that platform. Nothing gained, nothing lost—except you'll have a little more experience under your belt.
For personal help on choosing a social media strategy for your brand, get in touch with the team today.