Channels! Audiences! Messages! Oh My!
Are you ready to get the most out of your social media mix?
Small business owners know they need to be part of the social media world, but which networks? And how often? And what to post?
Should you be on Snapchat? Facebook? Instagram? All of the above? Well…it depends on your audience.
Most businesses need a mix of social and digital media channels to most effectively reach their target audiences. If you can identify your target audience, you have a better chance of having your messages on social media result in engagement (key)
It’s no secret the biggest US players are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and SnapChat. If you are a B2B, your audience is more likely on one or two of those channels—primarily, whereas, if you’re a wedding planner (or B2C), your audience is likely to be on entirely different channel or channels. That’s really step one in your marketing planning…find that audience!
According to current social media influencers, FB remains the no. 1 choice for small businesses, providing a multitude of business services/platforms and targeting with paid ads. Nearly 80 percent of people on the internet use FB. And most of THOSE spend up to 40 minutes a day browsing on FB. Women “of a certain age” are one of the fastest growing FB audiences and also frequently the buying decision maker, although one piece of recent research identified males 18-24 as FB’s most involved users (I can’t verify that anywhere else!).
Twitter has long been associated with entertainment, food, and fast action, but many millennials are fleeing Twitter in favor of Snapchat, and Twitter is left with 25+ to around 50s age groups now. Instagram, and messenger apps like What’sApp attract the 13-25 year olds. And google? Well, everyone sort of has to be there whether they want to or not, but it’s not the powerhouse it used to be pre-facebook. Spending money on google isn’t likely to generate much response for the average small business owner. It CAN be done if your market niche is narrow enough.
And, if you are a business, looking to connect with other businesses, LinkedIn is probably where you want to be (and it doesn’t matter your age; 13 is the minimum age to have a LI profile). According to most social media managers, there’s no secret science in choosing your social media mix, it’s all based on the analytics and insights collected from your social channels about your audiences. If you KNOW your target audience members, you’re halfway to your marketing mix. If you don’t know, jump on FB or google and start collecting data about who is engaging in your social media campaigns, then USE this data to plan your marketing strategies.
Finally, on ANY channel, video is the best “selling” content you can post. If you don’t have a place to curate that video content you’re collecting, get yourself a YouTube channel since YouTube is second only to google as a search destination.
Whatever your choices in adopting a social media mix, don’t overextend yourself at first. Start small: website, FB, LinkedIn or Insta and manage those until you’re comfortable with the process and you begin to see engagement on your posts. Then you can spread your message through wider platforms and go after every possible target audience member out there!
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