HOW TO: 6 Questions to Determine the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business
On average, the internet user has eight social media profiles, but with almost 200 social media platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones you should join to help your business objectives? Not all social media platforms are made equal. Each platform has its own group of users, each with its own characteristics in how they engage with content. Without further ado, here are six questions to ask to help narrow down which social media platform(s) are right for you:
What is the role of your business?
Consider whether your organisation is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) facing. Your products and service offerings, the personality of your brand and KPIs will all impact your platform choices.
B2B companies should instantly have LinkedIn at the forefront of their strategy – with over 620 million professionals and 63 million decision makers, LinkedIn found that an average of 46% of social media traffic to a company’s homepage came through the platform.
More focused on e-commerce? Instagram’s integration with Shopify enables users to effortlessly browse and purchase products through a range of features including clickable tags, shoppable stories and in-app checkout.
Although, it’s not all straightforward – spend some time understanding the channels you’re considering and make sure you are familiar with how users communicate on each. As well as helping you identify the best social media platforms for your business, it’ll help mitigate any marketing fails.
What are your KPIs?
Social media can have a variety of benefits, but it’s important to have a clear set of goals to know what you’re aiming to achieve. These goals will not only help influence the social media platforms that you choose but also the type of content you create, the language you speak and the call to action you use. Here are a few examples of key performance indicators that you might focus on:
– Growing brand awareness
– Driving website traffic
– Increasing sales
– Customer support
Certain platforms are synonymous with specific KPI’s. Twitter is a popular platform to improve customer support services, primarily due to key partnerships with customer experience plugins such as Zendesk. It’s now commonplace for larger brands set up a separate Twitter account to better manage enquiries and to keep negative sentiment and complaints away from the main brand channel.
For example, fashion brand H&M’s main brand handle is @hm and they clearly link to their customer service handle @hm_custserv in their Twitter bio where the account’s DMs are open for anyone to send them a message.
However, you should evaluate if you have the internal capacity to maintain a secondary Twitter channel – 72% of Twitter users expect a reply to their complaint in less than an hour, which may be impractical if you are the only person in charge of social media for your brand.
Who is your audience?
Narrowing down your audience will help you to determine your platform and choose the most effective one(s) to pursue. You may want to segment your audience into categories or by mosaic persona. Delve deeper than just age, location and income as interests, purchase intention and subcultures all influence which platform(s) they use.
Where is your target audience?
Establish a presence where your content will have the biggest impact. After profiling your audience, looking at their demographic can help determine which platforms they use. Instead of chasing the latest social media trends, spend time truly understanding your audience and where to reach them. Assess which platforms your target audience is actually active on. Facebook, for example, has the most active members of any network, but if your target demographic is more engaged on Snapchat, that’s where you should meet them.
What platforms are your competitors using?
What platforms your competitors are using shouldn’t be the only reason you establish a channel, but it is always beneficial to analyse what others in your industry are doing, so you can make an informed decision. As a starting point, identify which platforms others are currently using, what is working and what isn’t as well as noting how their audience responds.
Do you have the resources to consistently create content for this platform?
Just because you can have a TikTok account, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. All social media platforms need some level of commitment; some platforms require more effort and strategy, whilst others can be much more reactive. For example, you may choose to use Twitter for reactive comments, but platforms that place a larger value on images may take longer to create content for. Instagram may require the skills of a Graphic Designer, whilst TikTok demands time to research trends, produce video content, and publish at the optimal time.
Also consider the people handling the account. Do you have a dedicated social media team that can successfully manage multiple platforms, or does the channel fall to an individual whose primary job role isn’t social media? If it’s the latter, perhaps focus your efforts on one or two key networks to avoid channel neglect.
After answering these six questions, you will be able to make an informed decision not just about which social media platform(s) your business should be on, but also about which could provide best return on investment of your time.
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