With so many social media platforms to choose from, each with its own unique audience and features, finding the right one to invest in can be overwhelming. That's where careful research and strategic planning come in. The truth is, just because a platform is popular doesn’t mean it’s where your company should be engaging, and you don't need to be on every social media platform to see results. By strategically selecting the right platform for your business, you can maximize your marketing efforts and achieve greater success in reaching your target audience.
Determine the who
To effectively reach and engage your audience, determine who your target audience is and where they are interacting. This includes understanding both your current and ideal audience. Additionally, researching where your competitors are engaging can provide insight into what platforms may be useful for your own strategy. But pay attention to whether customers are actually engaging with them on those platforms. Evaluating what’s working for your competitors and what’s not will help you avoid potential pitfalls and capitalize on successful tactics.
Establish the why
It's important to identify the message you want to convey and what goals you hope to achieve through social media. Are you trying to sell a product or service? Do you want to generate leads or increase brand awareness? Or are you looking to fill an open position or communicate with customers? By understanding the purpose behind your social media strategy, you can determine which platform is more tailored to your company and can better achieve your marketing goals. This will also create more consistency in your branding across the social media channels you choose as this affects what you post.
Learn the what
Consider your team's capabilities when choosing which platforms to focus on. If your team lacks the resources necessary to produce creative content and track trends, then platforms that require detailed video content may not be ideal since creators often commit a lot of time to making trendy videos that are engaging. Learning what kind of content you should post involves tracking common trends and types of content on each platform, and then marrying your marketing goals to them. It’s helpful to follow successful accounts with similar goals to see how they’re engaging with their audience, and to see how their content differs from channel to channel.
Break it Down
LinkedIn has become the cornerstone of professional networking and lead generation, especially in B2B. This platform allows you to leverage your business connections to both fulfill company needs and provide solutions to others’.
- Goals: lead generation, hiring, networking, increase website traffic
- Target audience: business owners, decision-makers, prospective hires, industry professionals, trade & business associations
- Type of content: business/industry insights and advice, product or service value-adds, employee highlights and accomplishments, mixed media formats (text, video, graphics, polls, article/blog links, and more), advertise company content
- Marketing capabilities: can target job titles, job functions, company names and locations, communicate with clients, receive organic feedback (comments/likes)
For better or worse, Twitter is now relied on as a trusted news source for many users. It’s also one of the largest hubs for conversation on just about any topic.
- Goals: brand awareness, brand engagement, stay up to date on industry news, brand news and updates
- Target audience: industry professionals, trade & business associations
- Type of content: short, digestible text, images and gifs, short-form videos, thought leadership, industry insights and news, conversation starters, FAQs
- Marketing capabilities: paid promotions, communicate with clients, receive organic feedback (comments/likes), reposting/sharing opportunities, list of followers
TikTok is among the newest and fastest-growing platforms. With engaging videos and a fast-paced scrolling method, this social media channel is meant to quickly grab the attention of your audience in an exciting and creative way. Failing to do so means you could get swiped past without hesitation.
- Goals: brand awareness, brand engagement, community building, humanize your brand, expand audience, show company culture
- Target audience: industry professionals, students and interns, prospective employees and clients
- Type of content: short-form videos, trends, searchable content, how-tos, product and service education, behind-the-scenes, comedy and creativity, FAQs
- Marketing capabilities: engagement insights and data, search capabilities, ad campaigns, paid promotions, communicate with clients, receive organic feedback and engagement (comments/likes/duetting), list of followers
Tried and true – YouTube has been a reliable platform for all forms of video content. Most DIYers know they can come here and find a how-to on anything from making to building to fixing. Nowadays, B2B companies can leverage this niche audience and post content that goes into more detail than some of the other platforms allow time (or attention) for.
- Goals: product education, industry education, build interest, increase website traffic, community building
- Target audience: industry professionals, DIYers, students and interns, anyone interested in learning more about your products/services
- Type of content: traditionally long-form video, value-add content, how-tos, industry education, FAQs
- Marketing capabilities: engagement insights and data, communicate with clients, receive organic feedback and engagement (comments/likes), list of subscribers
Instagram originally gained popularity for its lifestyle-focused content. However, as its abilities and audience have grown, B2B companies have achieved brand recognition and engagement with the right approach. Instagram has since capitalized on marketing interests and created a variety of in-app business tools.
- Goals: brand awareness, lead conversion, brand engagement
- Target audience: industry professionals, students and interns, those looking to learn more about an industry and/or how to break into an industry, current employees and clients, prospective employees and clients
- Type of content: images, short-form videos, trends, creative ads, product ads, office culture, real-time updates of events (stories), FAQ, product education, employee highlights and accomplishments, advertise company content
- Marketing capabilities: engagement insights and data, ad campaigns, paid promotions, in-app storefronts and purchasing, communicate with clients, receive organic feedback and engagement (comments/likes), reposting/sharing opportunities, list of followers
Facebook has lost some interest from younger audiences over the years as they’ve shifted to platforms like Instagram and TikTok, but it remains the main form of communication and community building for many looking to connect – whether to people or businesses.
- Goals: brand awareness, build community, engage with others
- Target audience: industry professionals, anyone interested in learning more about your products/services
- Type of content: digestible and conversational text, company photos, memes, short-form videos, value-add content, how-tos, industry education, conversation starters, FAQs
- Marketing capabilities: engagement insights and data, programmatic ads, ads manager, communicate with clients, receive organic feedback and engagement (comments/likes), reposting/sharing opportunities, create curated community groups
The business approach to social media should be to become a chameleon. You want to blend in with the popular content and trends, while subtly advertising for your brand. Post content that is creative and engaging while still getting your marketing goals across, and users may be surprised to find that what they're seeing is actually an ad. They might even start following you simply for the entertainment you have to offer – which keeps you top of mind and at the top of the newsfeed.