This is a guest post by Vasilena Stamboliyska, a content specialist for Spotcap Australia.
We’ve all become accustomed to the idea of using social media as a promotional channel, but is it really as simple as that?
Not all networks are made equal, and different platforms suit different branding strategies. Knowing which ones will give you optimal results becomes even more important once you decide to put some budget behind your efforts.
The answer lies within your target audience. Once you know who they are, what network they use and how they like to engage with content, you’ll be ready to set off with building your brand online.
Let’s start with the one to rule them all. Facebook boasts some impressive numbers, with 2.07 billion monthly active users worldwide. It goes without saying that this is an audience businesses will want to tap into, and the platform provides many opportunities to do so — videos, blog posts, photos, status updates.
A note of caution, though. Due to the platform’s age and user base, most businesses have a Facebook page already built. At this point in time, it’s considered to be more of a bare necessity, rather than a way to differentiate yourself. As a result, the environment has become intensely competitive. To top it off, younger audiences (aged 12 to 17) seem to be stepping away from the platform.
Do: If you don’t have a Facebook page, make it a priority.
Customers now take Facebook pages as a given, and if you don’t make your details easily accessible through the platform, people might go to a competitor for that reason alone.
Don’t: Don’t keep your efforts just to Facebook, since by now this tactic is considered to only cover the basics.
Include another social media platform to your strategy which is better suited to your target audience.
Twitter is where users connect with their passions and interests and try to genuinely interact with organizations associated with them. Smaller businesses might think this is a luxury only big brands can enjoy, but you might be surprised.
A recent survey of 5,450 users discovered that 78.5% of respondents have tweeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that had caught their interest. The results? 83% who received a reply thought more positively of the SMB and were more likely to purchase their products or services. This makes the platform a great tool for businesses looking to improve and personalize their customer service approach.
Do: Think mobile.
With 80% of users accessing the network through mobile devices, you want your content to be tailored to their experience. Video material proves to be twice as memorable than any other format, so use this opportunity to tell the story of your business, create customer intent and have clear call to actions that can convert.
Don’t: Ignore your audience.
How you engage with your customers says a lot about how much you value them. Answer questions, address complaints and engage their interest by asking them for feedback and opening discussions.
Businesses whose strength is the aesthetics of their products have a major lead on this network, but that’s not to say that others can’t benefit from it. With more than 60% of people saying they learn about a product or service through their Instagram network, you don’t want to dismiss this opportunity.
Instagram’s visual composition allows for businesses to express the personality of their brands and make them more relatable. “In-the-moment” visuals which portray emotions and messages can paint an intimate picture not only of products, but also corporate culture and people.
Do: Use those hashtags.
Not only can you apply your wordsmith skills to come up with witty and memorable plays on words, but you’ll also be boosting the likelihood of users engaging with your post by 12.6%.
Don’t: Forget the call to actions.
Instagram stories with eye-catching headlines and appealing visuals can attract visitors to your website, blog page or any other resource you want to divert traffic to.
While the previous social media examples were better suited for business-to-customer content, LinkedIn is the platform for business-to-business relations. Seven out of ten professionals consider LinkedIn to be a trustworthy source of content. The platform has strong potential to help your business build a strong professional presence and portray you as the thought leader in your niche.
Do: Create content for high profile decision makers.
Discover their pain points and current concerns, and address these with posts that prove helpful to them.
Don’t: Allow your profile to become stagnant.
Maintaining a steady stream of content of two to three posts a week can boost the visibility of your brand.
Aim to provide a better experience for your audience by first understanding their interests and habits, and then doing everything else. Once you’ve taken the time to find what works best for your circumstances, you’ll be able to confidently move forward with your promotion.