5 Questions To Help Choose The Best Social Media Platform For Your Brand

This post is inspired by a question that marketers grapple with every single day.

“What is the most effective social media channel for your content?”

Let’s save you some time and tell you the one line answer to that question right at the beginning- there is no one line answer. What the rest of this article will do though, is to tell you how you can get to your answer. It will help you figure out how to find the channel that will work for you and your brand.

Answer these 5 questions, and we guarantee you that you’ll be a lot closer to finding the answer to that elusive question. So, here goes:

WHAT do you want?

A good starting point to creating worthwhile content is asking yourself what you are trying to achieve from the exercise. This not only helps in building a content strategy but also helps breaking it down into smaller goals.

For eg: If your overall marketing goal for the year is to increase engagement for your brand among new mothers, your content goals should reflect it. This could also trickle down to the kind of tactics and channels that you would want to employ to achieve your larger goal. Ask yourself- “would it be more effective to publish a weekly blog post or should you run a photography contest on Instagram or Facebook?”

WHO is your audience?

When you’re trying to impress a guy or a girl you like, what’s the first thing you do? You find out all there is to know about them. Marketing is a lot like that.

Marketers tend to stop at demographic profiling when it comes to understanding their target audience. Today’s needs go beyond the plain sketch of demographic data to include more detailed personas. This means it’s not just about getting to know the broad age, income and gender bracket of your audience, you need to know their key characteristics and differentiators.

WHERE are they?

We’re getting closer to answering the question we started off with. Now that you know what you want and who your audience is, find out where they really are.

The 2014 Pew Research report on social media suggests that women dominate Pinterest with 42% of online women using the platform, compared to only 13% of men. So if you’re looking at promoting your small jewellery business, having an active presence on Pinterest might do you good. On the other hand, if you sell men’s shaving blades- Pinterest might not be the best place to go to.

Your social media channel choices can also depend on your content goals. Remember our first point right at the beginning?

Research also shows that while growth of members on Facebook is slower now, people on the site are the most engaged when compared to other platforms. A sizeable chunk of 70% users engage with the site on a daily basis. The same can be said of only 13% of users on LinkedIn. So if engagement with your audience is your primary goal, Facebook is the place for you to be.

For eg.: If you’re part of the mobile gaming industry and are releasing your next game that you hope, will have gamers hooked on to their phones, you might want to run a Facebook campaign.

Wondering why? Check out this graph:

Mobile gaming_EpicBeat

 

A search on the topic on EpicBeat, shows that engagement level for mobile gaming is exceptionally high on Facebook in comparison with other platforms.

You might not find it to be the same if you were trying to promote your law firm. So, choose your channel wisely.

WHEN are they around?

It can help to take some effort to find out when your audience is around too. This would help dictate the frequency of your content production and distribution. There is a fine balance between saying too much and saying too little- and that’s what you need to find. Posting too infrequently might mean you never get seen and posting too often could lead to unfollows.

The key to finding that balance is to find out how often your audience wants to be engaged with. Mari Smith, who is one of the most popular social media influencers out there, suggests on her blog that frequency of tweets should be around 6- 7 on weekdays and 3-4 on weekends. On the other hand, if Facebook is your preferred battleground, focus on posting more in the evenings and on weekends.

HOW do you want to do it?

That brings us to the last and final question- how do you want to present your content? This is a function of all the questions we just answered. A better understanding of your audience and your goals will help identify what is the best way to talk to them. An analysis of where they’re at, will help understand what kind of content is best suited for the platform.

If you’re using visual marketing as part of your content plan like Ben & Jerry’s or Coca Cola, you might want to harness the power of Instagram or Pinterest. On the other hand, if you’re looking at getting the attention of a B2B audience with white papers or detailed reports, you might want to try LinkedIn or Slideshare.

Even within articles, you can further customize your content by finding out what formats work best for your topic of interest. Let’s go back to the Mobile gaming example to make that a little clearer.

Article type_EpicBeat

 

It’s clear that your best bet is to write a listicle around the topic, if you’ve indeed decided on writing an article on mobile gaming.

There you have it- the 5 questions that can help you identify the social network that makes sense for your brand.

 


Now that you’re closer to knowing the channel that would suit your needs best, find out what you should be talking about. To get insights on what kind of content and conversations are creating a buzz in your areas of interest, check out EpicBeat.