Social media marketing can yield an impressive ROI and help you achieve various marketing goals, helping you engage with customers and increase their brand awareness. It can be a powerful tool to provide more information about your company's benefits and gain social proof. However, the success of your social media strategy depends on your choice of the right social platform. After all, you don't want to put in all that effort to grow a presence only to find none of your customers are on it!
By evaluating your target audience, discovering main touchpoints, and understanding which channels it uses the most, you can identify the best social platforms for your needs. With the right approach to market research and budget allocation, you can maximize the ROI and take a huge step toward meeting your marketing goals.
Let's find out how to choose the right social media platform for your business.
Determine Where Your Target Audience Spends Time
Today, 4.89 billion people use social media worldwide. That's more than half of the world's population who spend an average of 2.5 hours browsing feeds across over 200 platforms. That many people spending so much time on a platform that draws their attention creates an excellent opportunity for you to reach your target audience – if you know where to find them.
Since only an inflated marketing budget can accommodate social media marketing efforts across all social media platforms, you need to focus on the channels your audience uses the most. A few ways to find this information include:
- Surveying current customers
- Checking the competition's social media efforts
- Researching influencers your audience prefers and checking which platforms they are active on
For example, depending on your industry and niche, you could allocate more effort to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok or focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Research Platform Demographics
Once you determine which platforms to consider, you need to look at the platform's demographics to see how well they overlap with your buyer persona. The general rules to consider for your social media strategy include the following:
- All demographics use Facebook (over 9 billion monthly active users)
- Twitter has a younger and more educated audience
- Instagram's largest age group is 18-24 years old (more Gen Z users than Millennials)
- LinkedIn has a higher-income and more educated audience (the largest age group is 30-39)
- TikTok is one of the fastest-growing platforms that caters to younger audiences
You should also consider the location of your ideal customer. If you target international markets, you may want to go beyond popular social media and focus on over-the-seas platforms like WeChat, Tencent QQ, and Viber.
Evaluate Unique Features for Each Platform
Each social media platform comes with a unique set of marketing features that you need to consider, including:
- Targeting options
- Paid advertising costs
- Content formats
If the content you produce doesn't match content formats leveraged on social media platforms, you must decide if you are willing to repurpose the existing content or create new assets. Alternatively, you may want to choose platforms that can accommodate existing formats.
Analyze Competitor Presence Online
Once you narrow your list to several candidates, check how many direct competitors use each platform. It can provide valuable insight into how much effort you would invest to achieve a significant presence.
Take the time to see how your rivals are using each platform:
- How many posts they are sharing
- How often do they share these posts
- How many users engage with their content
By conducting a comprehensive competitive analysis, you can understand whether some free niches are available and determine how to use the competition's mistakes to your advantage.
Optimizing Your Social Media Content
Even if you have many digital content assets, not all of them may be suitable for the social media platforms of your choice. You can often adjust the existing materials to suit your social media marketing needs. However, you still need to create fresh content that fits the requirements.
Things to consider when creating content for social platforms:
- Size of written text – all platforms have different limits. While Facebook offers a generous limit of 63,206 characters, Twitter only allows 280 characters.
- Graphics – each platform sets its requirements for image sizes. You may need to resize your visual assets or create new ones for some platforms.
- Type of content – some platforms like LinkedIn prioritize text-based posts, while Instagram focuses on images and YouTube only accepts videos.
Repurposing content is generally less expensive than creating new assets. However, repurposing doesn't mean sharing the same content across all channels. By adding a few unique tweaks before posting your content on each platform, you will likely get more attention from the target audience. Today, 48% of marketers focus on repurposing instead of direct sharing.
Which social media platform is the best for my business?
The rule of thumb is to go where your ideal customer is. However, if the customer uses several platforms, you can choose the one that suits your needs better, then slowly build your presence on multiple channels.
Leveraging social media marketing on the selected platform requires the right tools. McClatchy's AdManager can help you build a solid social media campaign across the most effective channels.
To learn more about this solution, contact us today!