Grandma gets a phone call. Your golf buddy gets a text. Your college friend gets an email.
Whether we realize it or not, we all target our communications, because different people in our lives have different expectations of us. It’s not any different when it comes to choosing social media platforms for your business.
By now, we can all agree that there’s a place in the marketing mix for social media – even Grandma’s on “The Facebook.” Often we’ll have a new client come to us and say, “We need to be on Facebook,” or Twitter or SnapChat, or whatever the latest craze is. But when we ask who the target is for a particular platform, many can’t tell us.
Many execs know that social media is important, but aren’t sure how to harness it to develop their brand story. There are many tools in the social media wheelhouse, from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to Instagram, and they all can be used to build a great conversation – if you are thoughtful in your targeting.
Understanding what you’re trying to achieve through social media (i.e. goals) is the No. 1 key to success when it comes to developing a strategy. (Beyond having goals, the strategy is also very important.)
Let’s look at an example. One of our clients markets its product to residential and commercial customers. Understanding the differences in these market segments helped us craft a social media strategy, which, by the way, does change and develop over time. Using Facebook to engage with the residential customers is a great option. These homeowners peruse Facebook in the evening to look for friendly, interesting and useful content. On the other hand, LinkedIn is the perfect place to engage with commercial customers who are looking to stay on top of what’s happening in the market during the day.
A great example of the importance of flexibility in social media is this client’s Twitter presence. Originally, the goal was to engage primarily with media on Twitter, but we found that we were getting great engagement with the client’s industry and trade groups, as well. We now work on targeting these audiences in our posts, in addition to media.
Sure, we could fire up every social media platform and start posting away, but if your target audiences don’t use social media platforms like YikYak, Tumblr or Pinterest, will it benefit you?
It’s also important to know that just because your competitor is making Vines or pinning images and links doesn’t mean you have to. A good social media strategy is one that you can execute and manage well. If you don’t have the resources to manage your social media accounts, they could actually hurt you. Remember, these platforms are living, breathing mechanisms of communication. They need active participation to be successful.
So what’s the bottom line? Before you open a new Snapchat or other social media account, understand your audience, understand the platforms and understand the investment you will need to make in order to be successful.