Social Media has become even more of a buzzword over the last few years with many brands rushing to join various platforms, some of which have well over 1 billion users. If you are deciding which social media platforms your organisation should use, this blog should help to address that.
First, before you make the headlong sprint to have your company on every single social media platform that’s buzzing right now, you should probably ask yourself or your marketing team a few questions.
1. Who is your organisation’s target audience?
There is simply no point in your organisation being on a social media platform where your target audience isn’t present. For example, a company selling investment options to a target market of 40-60 year-olds would get very little traction from being on a platform such as Snapchat or Vine. Remember you are going to be spending significant amounts of time posting, creating social media strategies and crafting just the right content to reach and engage your audience; so make the most efficient use of your time by choosing the right channels from the get go. This has been one of the biggest mistakes I have seen some Caribbean organisations make in my experience, and it is one that can be easily avoided with proper planning and analysis of your customers.
If you have absolutely no idea which social media channels your audience uses, create a printed or digital questionnaire to find out which channels are most popular among your customers. Even better if your organisation can afford it, make this questionnaire have viral potential by offering a giveaway to those filling out the form. You will get more respondents and it could very well save you a lot of money in the long run by ensuring your company is on the right social media channels.
2. What are your organisation’s goals from using Social Media?
If the primary use of social media for your organisation is to increase brand awareness your social media strategy and tactics would be slightly different from an organisation who is looking to use social media channels to drive sales via ecommerce or to their physical storefronts. This is something that will require discussion before your organisation commits to going full steam ahead with investing time and money in making social a significant part of your marketing strategy. Your goals should all fulfil the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) criteria so that if any strategies need to be tweaked, this can be easily done because the organisation knows exactly what numbers it is seeking to impact.
Your organisation’s goals will inform the social media channels you will need to employ. For example, a company selling clothes exclusively online will prioritise being on social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook over being on LinkedIn while a company that sells its goods or services primarily B2B will prioritise being on a social media channel such as LinkedIn over being on Vine or SnapChat.
A key takeaway to remember is that whatever your goals, your brand messaging and language will need to be consistent across all the social media channels you use.
3. How much time should you dedicate to Social Media everyday?
Updating your organisation's social media platform is not something that can be relegated to a once a week activity. Too many times I have encountered social media channels from regional organisations that can take many days or even weeks to respond! Yes weeks, now imagine what opinion that forms in a customer’s mind about your brand. You wouldn’t take weeks to answer a customer’s call and this is the same way you need to treat all social media queries and interactions for your business. If your marketing team is stretched then being on a social channel such as Twitter is probably not the best fit for your organisation as Twitter requires almost daily engagement with your audience to get the most of this platform. Knowing how much time your team can dedicate to social media will help inform your decision on which channels are best for you. Being consistent and setting aside just 20-25 minutes a day to engage with your social media channels will make more sense for your business than overreaching and having inactive platforms. Using tools such as Hubspot, HootSuite or Buffer to schedule posts and monitor your audience and campaigns can be a massive help in utilising your time efficiently.
In conclusion, consistent activity which is of value to your target audience is the key to a successful social media strategy. Too many times social media seems to be an add-on that some organisations do just to be where their competitors are or because it is the ‘in’ thing to do.
I hope this blog post was informative on answering the question of what social media channels your business should be on. We would love to hear what were some of the key reasons for your organisation choosing its current social media channels and how our free social media questionnaire below helped you.
Download our free social media questionnaire below which will help your business to develop a coherent social media strategy.