Where does your brand fit into the social media conversation? That’s the million-dollar question, but to answer it you first have to determine three things: your audience, how your content will further your business, and how and where your content will work best.
Know Your AudienceBefore you dive headfirst into the swirl of social networks, you need to determine your target audience. Undoubtedly, you’ve spent many hours thinking about your target demographic. What needs does your product or service meet? Who will buy your product or service (gender, age, income level, etc.)? Who will most value your product or service (make a list of its core values)?
Next, you will want to gather data on your audience via surveys (collect the positive responses to determine your target demographic). If your product or service is similar to others, conduct online research to find out what groups are purchasing your potential competitors’ products. You can also go out into the field to study what they are purchasing. Finally, your family, friends, and colleagues are an invaluable resource; not only for getting a sense of the products and services they use but also by asking their opinion about your product and for additional ways it could be used.
Once you know the right people to reach, you can create personas for them and make sure they match your website demographic.
Know How Your Content Will Further Your BusinessFirst and foremost, your content should support your strategic goals. If you’re starting out and want to increase brand awareness, target larger platforms such as Facebook. You can also effectively get your name out on Facebook by paid promotion via social ads. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to target potential customers based on demographics, interests, location, etc. On the other hand, if your focus is on lead generation to gather potential customers, you could join groups and participate in discussions on LinkedIn.
Ultimately, you want to bolster your website traffic and search ranking. Search engines value interaction with your content. If people are engaging with it, you will eventually notice your search ranking will go up. In addition, through interaction and listening to your audience, you can collect valuable data that can help you make better business decisions. By utilizing social networks, you can also share your engaging content in a timely and easy manner.
Now that you know your audience and what your content can do for your business, you need to determine the types of content that will appeal to your audience. You will not only have to take into consideration what will further your business goals and brand identity, but also that some formats will not work as well on certain social platforms.
Know How and Where Your Content Will Work Best
If your focus is on editorial content and you want to be regarded as an industry thought leader, LinkedIn is your best bet. Publishing an article on the business-oriented social media site could expose your brand to more than 300 million users. Similarly, LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare are good for sharing company news and industry updates.
For products that have a visual appeal, your go-to platform could be Pinterest. According to Shopify, a whopping 93% of users utilize the platform to plan purchases. On the other hand, Instagram is a great tool to create and build your brand story, while Tumblr should be targeted if you hope to reach a younger demographic.
Finally, if your focus is on video content, particularly if it’s long-form video and has a larger appeal, you will want to focus on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. However, if it’s short-form video and for a younger audience, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, and Vine are good choices.
Infographic courtesy of: Brafton