“Content is fire — social media is gasoline.” Jay Baer, writer, keynote speaker, and motivational business growth expert.
There’s no denying the power of social media. However, long gone are the days when you only had a handful of platforms to choose from. As reported by a 2020 research summary, social media users are now spending an average of nearly 2.5 hours per day multi-networking across an average of eight social networks and messaging apps.
Considering nearly three billion people are using social media, the content marketing opportunities are immense — but where do you begin? Whether your goal is to increase conversion rates or improve lead generation, you need to focus on the social channels that are right for your business.
What social media channels are there?
There are a handful of well-known social media platforms that should be on every company’s radar. However, there are also many specialized social channels that benefit specific industries and niches. The goal is to focus on the channels that your target audience uses and decide how those channels can help you reach your unique business goals.
Some of the most popular options include:
As of 2020, Facebook has 2.6 billion monthly active users. It is the largest social media site in the world and should be leveraged by every online business. Through Facebook, you can build your email list, target audiences, build brand loyalty, boost SEO, increase website traffic, and so much more.
Being one of the fastest-growing channels, Instagram is highly mobile-based (although users can access their feed through the website version. This channel provides you with an opportunity to be highly visual, sharing both images and videos. While it’s possible to target a wide range of users, nearly one-third of users are between the ages of 18 and 24, and one-third are aged between 25 and 34.
Whether your goal is to network with other experts in your industry or enter into meaningful conversations with your audience, Twitter is a great channel when it comes to engagement. Limits on word count keep posts brief while its focus on hastags and trending terms make it easier reach a new audience organically than many others.
If your company is focusing on B2B sales, LinkedIn is a must. A platform for professionals, LinkedIn can showcase your brand, support your networking and SEO efforts, allow you to remain relevant and even find new employees.
If you are targeting a younger demographic, Snapchat and TikTok are newer video-clip-based platforms with huge audiences to consider. There are also channels with more niche audiences that can be equally effective. From YouTube to Reddit, Pinterest to Trip Advisor, the channels you choose will depend on your specific goals.
How you approach these channels will also differ. For example, if your goal is to market an upcoming webinar, while the channel you choose matters, the steps you take are just critical. Do you plan to run targeted ads? Create event pages? How do you plan on increasing engagement? All of this needs to be considered — your approach matters!
Taking your first steps
While the options may seem endless, it’s important to understand that you don’t need to be on every social network to be successful. In fact, if you spread yourself too thin without a sense of direction, you may not get very far at all. That is why you need to handpick the channels that make the most sense for your company.
When choosing a social media channel, consider your industry, who your target audience is, and what your overall content marketing strategy entails. For example, if your main audience (or potential audience) is women 50 years and older, Instagram and Snapchat aren’t likely your best bet. Instead, consider focusing on Facebook and Pinterest.
As a starting point, see what it is your competitors are doing. Find out which channels they’re most active on and if users are engaging with their content. Next, really hone on in your industry. While industries such as fashion and food will often thrive on Instagram, companies involved in healthcare or telehealth will likely be more successful on Twitter or even YouTube.
You’ll want to adapt your content to get the most out of the channels you choose. This means creating a specific strategy for each social media channel you operate. Focus on what’s trending and your messaging. The goal is to remain unique, yet consistent.
Following the release of IGTV and Facebook Live, video content is booming. In fact, more than half of consumers want to see more video content from the brands and businesses they support.
From a marketer’s standpoint, 88 percent are happy with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media. After all, a tweet that contains a video is six times more likely to be retweeted than a tweet that contains just a photo or text.
Creating more video content will also make you more comfortable with video conferencing — which many believe is the future. Ultimately, it’s important to choose the social channels that best align with your brand, purpose and audience. Post regularly, honestly and create a conversation for your viewers and success will follow.