How To Decide Which Social Media Platforms Are Right For Your Brand
With a plethora of social media platforms on the market, deciding which ones are right for your brand is a complex decision. Meg de Jong, head of social media at Narrative, suggests some key points to help narrow it down.
QZone, Postbar, Line and YY. Kiwibox and Taringa!… there are hundreds of different social media platforms now available, probably many you haven’t even heard of. They rise to popularity at an alarming rate, only to decline into oblivion a short while later. And going on to a platform simply because everybody else is on it, is not a good enough strategy. Navigate the options using these steps:
1. Decide on your social media goals
The first step is to decide what you want to achieve on social media. Possible objectives include:
- Creating brand affinity and awareness
- Having a customer-relations touch point
- Driving traffic to the website
- Building search engine authority
- Having an alternative to a website
- Funnelling sales leads
Once the social media objectives have been outlined, you’ll be in a better position to determine which platforms are most suitable for your brand.
2. Consider your business
Not all industries are right for all social platforms. A service-related business is going to have a hard time making a success of social media platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat, which have a heavy focus on imagery. A retailer, however, can have great success with a good content plan on a picture-centric platform. Check out Target and Michaels for great examples of this.
3. Fish where the fish are
Growing a social media audience from scratch can be very time consuming and will swallow a lot of budget, so it’s important to pick platforms that are used by your target audience. To discover which platforms those are, research the following questions:
- Who is my audience? Doing an audience survey can be very helpful.
- Who uses this social media platform? The Pew Research Center does an annual report on this.
- Where is my audience (customers) talking about my brand?
A social media listening tool such as Meltwater, Crimson Hexagon or Simply Measured can be very helpful at picking up conversations about your brand so that you can respond to them appropriately – although, due to privacy settings on certain social media, these tools will always show a bias towards Twitter mentions.
4. Quality over quantity
Because social media is an affordable marketing platform in comparison to some of the alternatives, it can be tempting to get involved in as many platforms as possible. Try to resist the urge to bite off more than you can chew – a badly run platform will disappoint customers and potentially turn them away from your brand. Rather select one or two platforms that are a really great fit, spend your effort creating great content, and monitor the platform closely, adjusting your content plan if need be, based on engagement.
Social media is a combination of a measurable platform, and one that needs creative magic to thrive. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all formula that works for every brand, so a lot of experimentation is needed – but once you get in the groove, the benefits will be hard to miss.