Social media is quickly dominating as the marketing platform of choice for companies small and large. Yet with the vast array of new platforms, and old ones that continue to evolve or dissolve, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about which platform to use and whether it’s capturing your target market. Next time you’re debating how to promote a marketing campaign, consider the following guiding questions to help you choose the appropriate platform.
1) Where is your audience?
Think about your audience and consider their personalities and preferences: are you targeting middle-aged women, sport-enthusiasts, or social media gurus? Engagement varies across platforms so investigate your audience and where they spend their time.
2) What kind of story are you telling?
It’s important to ensure that your story compliments the medium. If your story is highly visual and builds off emotions, videos and pictures are the ideal route to go. However, if you’re hoping to engage a wide array of people with different opinions and ideas, Twitter or Facebook is the optimal route.
3) Do you have the resources?
You might feel that a video is the best medium to use for conveying your story but unless you have the time and budget to create a well-edited and engaging video, better put the camcorder aside and build your story through pictures on Pinterest or Facebook.
4) Is your content time-sensitive?
Some of your content might be time-sensitive and require immediate engagement so it’s important to consider the nature and limitations of the communication platform you choose for your marketing campaign. For example, if you’re new to Pinterest, it will take time to develop engagement and to build a community of followers. Even if your target audience is on Pinterest, be aware that building your brand takes time. For time-sensitive material, consider using Twitter or your company blog while you continue to build your social media communities.
5) How will you measure success?
At the end of the day, the communications strategy for your marketing campaign is ineffective if you can’t measure success. Analyze the nature of your strategy and then decide on the platform. For example, is your goal to build presence amongst your target market? Perhaps the number of followers on Twitter or Pinterest is a sufficient metric for measuring this goal. However, if your goal is to measure ROI, analysis platforms such as Hootsuite may be better geared for your needs. Also consider the variety of other metrics that can be used to measure your social media success. For example, take heed of comments you receive on your blog posts, Pinterest, or Facebook page. Comments are a great way to discover how your audience is feeling and exactly what type of content they engage with. Similarly, twitter mentions also shed light onto how people are interacting with your content and your brand. Ultimately, there are many different ways to define and measure success for your social media strategy so perhaps the best strategy for your company is to test a few metrics and see which one provides the most insight for your brand.
Ultimately, don’t forget to consider how your social media strategy fits into your offline and mobile strategy. Make sure to keep messages, themes, and designs consistent across your overall marketing efforts so that your brand doesn’t become fragmented throughout different communication mediums.