Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business can be overwhelming. Which ones are the best for your business?
1. Take a Look at Your Defined Objectives
The objectives you defined earlier will help identify which social technologies to use. For example, if you are looking to connect with your customers online and send them quick updates about your company, then Twitter and Facebookwould be ideal simply because of its ability to push messages to your community instantly. If you are looking to educate your customers by posting regular articles, then creating a company blog should be your first social media priority. If you have video commercials you would like to publish online, then obviously YouTube would be your preferred portal, and so on.
Keep in mind that the social technologies you choose will need to have the features and functionalities required to help you accomplish your goals. If your company is launching a corporate blog, then you will obviously need to use a blog building platform. But if you need that blog to share and syndicate information, then you’ll have to integrate RSS and social bookmarking tools.
Likewise, if your goal is to establish brand visibility and generate awareness, then you will need a tool that tracks visitor activity and engagement. If your objective is to increase brand recognition or manage your online reputation, then you will have to consider tools that can monitor and track social mentions (32% of marketers worldwide look for this functionality in social tools, according to eMarketer.
2. Where is Your Target Audience?
The next thing to look at is where your audience is most active. This will vary depending on your industry. Think about the demographic of your target customer. Are they primarily male or female? What’s their average age group? What are some of their interests? Based on your customer demographic, determine where they are likely to converge online to communicate. This is where your market research and social media teams will collaborate. Your market researchers will define the demographic of your target audience and your social media researchers, who are now well educated, will shed light on the best social technologies to use based on user demographics.
LinkedIn is used primarily by business professionals, so if your company is a B2B enterprise, then it would be wise to create a LinkedIn group and participate in relevant discussions. On the other hand, if you operate a B2C business and your average consumers are teenagers and young adults, you might want to consider other platforms such as Facebookor Twitter. There are some platforms that are appropriate for virtually every industry. For example, Yahoo! Answers is a community-driven website used to ask and answer questions on any topic. It’s the current largest knowledge-sharing community on the Internet, which means it would be a good website for your company to monitor and use to answer questions related to your industry. This will help build your online brand credibility.
Keep in mind that social technologies that are popular in one region may not have the same level of adoption in another region. Part of the job of your social media researchers is to seek out this information and make appropriate recommendations for your company.
3. Industries Most Active with Social Media
Regardless of which social technologies you choose to use, the important thing to remember is that your company should be incorporating social media into your overall strategy period. Staying connected is imperative especially since many companies, including your competitors, are likely using or planning to use social media.
According to eMarketer, 72% of those in the education industry are already implementing a social media strategy and 17% are planning on doing so. Meanwhile, 71% of communications companies use social media, while 16% are in the planning stages. Sixty-six percent of service companies currently leverage social media, while 64% of retailers/wholesalers use it.
Other industries mentioned in the study that currently use social media are financial services, health, manufacturing, government and energy. It’s obvious that social media marketing is a strategy many industries are implementing.
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