Way back in 2021, (ha-ha), we posted an article talking about “Why You Should Take Your Small Business Digital”. This week, we are going to talk about picking the right social media channels to get maximum exposure for your business.
Step One: Who are you?
It’s time to sit down and lay it all out on the table. Literally or figuratively. If you’re like us, we like visual representations. So, using a table, whiteboard or a wall plot out these questions and answer them in as much detail as possible.
Am I a B2B or B2C company?
What channels am I familiar with? (If you are already using some social media channels for your business you will want to dive into which ones are producing the most traffic and which ones are not.)
What am I selling/offering?
Will we have enough visual content to put on visually driven channels? If yes, what will it be?
If you aren’t visual, are there other non-visual channels that would be better suited to your brand?
These questions are just a start. You really need to learn all about your brand and yourself. Your brand will reflect who you are so the more you know about both the better.
Step Two: Who are they and where are they?
Now it’s time to sit down with your digital marketing team and determine who your target market is, create a customer persona and then find out where they hang out online. Defining your audience in as much detail as possible is important. By asking questions like how old they are, are they female or male, what do they do for a living, where do they live, what are their interests/hobbies/lifestyles, you will be able to pinpoint your audience and then dive into connecting those dots to the social media channels most used by them.
If you have an already existing customer base, then sending out a survey to them to determine where they play online would be a huge step in the right direction (and possibly save you a mountain of time).
Step Three: Creep on your competitors.
Yes, I am giving you permission to thoroughly stalk your competitors. What platforms do they use? How often do they post? What type of content gets the most reactions/shares/comments? Keeping in mind that you do not want to copy what they do. It is very important to retain your own brand identity. While imitation can be the finest form of flattery, you don’t want to copy what everyone else does. You want to use them as an example and build your brand image based on what you offer.
Step Four: What are your goals? What is your strategy?
As with pretty much everything in life, it is important to set goals and have a plan on how you want to achieve said goals. It’s no different for your business. You goal for your business could be brand awareness, customer service, website traffic, etc.
Every goal needs a strategy. It can be tempting to set high goals, but we recommend scaling it back and setting goals that are “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based) and base your strategy off that.
Step Five: Pick Your Channels
You’ve done the leg work and now it’s time to give out some roses to those that you love (or pick your channels for those that maybe aren’t into Bachelor references). We are going to give you a leg up by listing a few and the type of content that you would need to be successful on them.
Facebook – videos and image content that is chosen specifically for your audience. While Facebook has the largest audience amongst the most popular channels, it is important to note that organic reach has declined over the last few years.
Instagram – High quality images and videos. High quality is key. Women are the most prevalent users of Instagram and most popular among millennials. Instagram is one of the best platforms for business that have a lot of highly visual content. The downside is that if your visual content creating skills aren’t the greatest and you need to hire out the creation of that content it can be costly.
Pinterest – Much like Instagram, high-quality images are key. However, this platform is best for targeting females that are looking for content related to fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, or travel. You must be on top of making sure that you are not copywriting material, and you have to be willing to post multiple times a day to generate the results that you want. Using a scheduling tool with this platform is a must.
Twitter – News that related to your brand/industry and your company blog posts are the best type of content shared here. You can use images or gif’s to attract more attention as well. The use of hashtags is a must. Twitter is awesome for customer service, but not so good due to the high volume of tweets that are posted per day. Getting lost amongst the chaos can make it difficult to reach your audience.
LinkedIn – Best for B2B content like company news, job postings, article, blogs, etc.). Even though LinkedIn users are not the most active compared to other channels, LinkedIn remains one of the best channels to reach other professionals with your content.
YouTube – High quality, long form, mobile-friendly video content is what performs best on this channel. The awesome thing about video content is that is can be recycled on other channels meaning you get more out of one piece of content (makes that content calendar fuller!). The downside is that you will need to have the time and ability to create quality content.
TikTok – The feisty, distant, adopted cousin to YouTube (NOT owned by the same parent company). For this platform you will need the ability to create short form video clips (a great way to make teasers for your YouTube content or video content on other platforms). With nearly 689 million active users worldwide and exploding popularity among users aged 10 – 29 (with increasing usage by millennials and Gen X’ers), your target market can be found here. The downside, you need to be active and interactive and stay on top of trends. Be ready to become a bathroom scrolling addict.
Others to research: Reddit, Tumblr, Quora, Ask.fm. There are thousands of channels, this is where quality research comes in handy. So take your time and do it right!
Step Six: Plan, plan, magic man!
Now that you have picked your channel(s) you need to plan ahead for your content. Planning ahead using a content calendar and/or content scheduling platform will reduce your stress and ensure that your content is organized, relevant, and posted regularly. (You might want to go back to our blog from a few weeks ago to get a little more detail on this!)
Step Seven: Consistency is key and analytics are your friend.
Being consistent is important as it builds trust and improves efficiency of your brand image. Using the built in analytical tools in your channel(s) and/or outsourcing the analytics to Google Analytics, SEMrush, Hootsuite, etc. (there are many platforms available to help with this), will give you valuable insight into your customers and your brand’s image/reach online.
Step Eight: Never be afraid of improvement. Be proud of where you came from.
Sometimes we will get lost in the sea of options that are available to our target markets. It can be overwhelming and feel like success isn’t in the cards. Don’t give up. Even when it seems like a brand popped up over night, they didn’t. On average it can take small businesses two -three years to be profitable and up to ten years to be ‘truly successful’, however, take comfort in the fact that roughly 70% of new businesses survive the first two years and 91% of those successful businesses use Social Media Marketing to their advantage.
We might be biased over here at Dreamweaver, but we know what we’re good at and that’s Social Media Marketing. So, if tackling your social media marketing seems daunting click here to contact us today. We would love to help.