It’s a common scenario for social media marketers: a trendy new social media platform comes along, and all of a sudden people throughout your organization are asking when your brand or business will be getting on board. However, new social media platforms come with their own opportunities and challenges, and it can be difficult to determine whether a given channel is a good fit for your organization or not.
Here are three of the most important factors to take into consideration when selecting which social media platforms are right for your brand or business:
Like all good PR campaigns, a stellar social media strategy starts with a thorough understanding of your audience. Take the time to carefully think through who you are attempting to reach through your brand’s social media efforts. Is it current fans of your brand? Prospective customers? Community partners? Write them down and list them out; it may even be helpful to rank them in order of importance.
Once you’ve established the audience that you’d like to reach, you can start making more informed decisions about which social media platforms to invest in. Websites like Sprout Social offer a wealth of information about the key demographics each social media platform reaches, such as the chart below detailing the average age range of TikTok users in the United States.
When selecting the social media platforms that you’d like your brand to be on, there should be a logical connection between the audiences you are attempting to reach and the demographics of your desired platforms. Simply put: if your key audiences are not on a given social media platform, then it’s not worth your time (no matter how trendy it may be!).
2. Goals and Objectives
Another key factor to take into consideration is the overall goal of your social media strategy. Are you attempting to raise awareness of your nonprofit? Drive attendance to your arts organization’s monthly events? Spread the word about your new service?
The answer to this question will also help when deciding which platforms to be on, as users engage with each social media channel differently, and the desired actions they end up taking after seeing a post will vary from platform to platform.
For example, if you’re doing social media for a small boutique and you’re looking to sell some of your latest fashion pieces, Instagram’s features like “Shoppable Stickers” make it one of the leading platforms in terms of inspiring users to buy. On the other hand, if you’re looking to establish thought leadership in an industry, LinkedIn’s articles make the platform a better fit.
Need a little assistance determining what your goals and objectives should be? Our downloadable PR planning worksheet can help!
When it comes to the amount of time and money you’ll need to invest in order to be successful, not all social media platforms are created equal. The process of generating quality content can vary greatly from channel to channel, from posting a simple tweet that may only take seconds to producing a professional IGTV video that may take hours of filming to perfect.
While many novice social media marketers may rush to get their brand on as many platforms as possible, this is an all-too-common mistake. Before you even click “Register,” you should take the time to consider whether your organization has the resources — including your time as a social media marketer — in order to truly be effective on the platform. (After all, there’s nothing worse than finding your favorite business on social media, only to realize that they haven’t posted anything in years!)
If you’re unsure about the resources you’ll be able to allocate to your social media efforts, it’s best to start small. Consider launching your social media efforts by sticking to one or two channels, and then expand into other platforms if you find that you have enough time to do so.
Once you have thought through these three considerations comes the fun part: getting started on social media! Best of all, the next time a trendy new platform starts rising up the app charts, you’ll know how to determine whether it’s a good fit for your brand.
Searching for more social media tips? Start with “The ABCs of Successful Social Media Campaigns,” then discover “4 Strategies for Building a Following on Social Media.”