Social media can be a great tool to generate new business, tell your brand’s story and hone in on what your audience needs and wants. Social media can be an overwhelming environment as it changes in real time, 24/7. Social media accounts for roughly 1/3 of time spent online. Whether you’re just starting out in social media or you’re an experienced veteran, these three considerations can help you navigate and keep sight of your objectives:
- Set attainable goals for your brand. When it boils down to it, social media is a fraction of a good communications strategy. Don’t expect it to solve all of your brand’s problems. Sit down and think about where you want to see your company in the future. Do you want to drive business to your website? Do you want to build up your brand awareness and get your story out there? Are you trying to strengthen your customer service strategy? Are you trying to engage more of your audience? Choose a goal that can be tracked and measured over time. Remember: failure is a valuable lesson, and even if you don’t always meet your goals, the “flawed” results can show you how to correct yourself next time. Tweaking language or posting different content is an easy way of making small, but impactful, changes if this occurs.
- Choose the right platforms for your business by understanding your demographics. Facebook is a great choice if you’re targeting an audience that spans across all age and gender demographics. Facebook boasts billions of monthly users and targeting specific demographics for advertisements can be done directly through the platform itself. Nearly 80 percent of Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 54. Instagram, one of the only platforms that requires you to use it directly through its app, typically skews younger (55 percent of users are 29 years old or younger) and tends to have a slightly stronger female audience. Twitter includes roughly 23 percent of all adult internet users and the audience is roughly even between male and female users, the largest portion of them being between ages 18-49. Snapchat’s demographics tend to be the most suited for the youngest quartile of the population – teens rank it as their most important social media platform. Choosing appropriate platforms can make the path to achieving your goals that much easier. Knowing even just a little about your client base can effectively aid you in the dissemination of content. Leverage what you know about your clients effectively.
- Be genuine to your brand. Choose the voice and tone of your brand and stick to it. How you say something is just as important as what you say. What works for some companies will not work for others so don’t feel obligated to have a specific tone. Keep in mind that the way you speak to different generations may require some additional work. Millennials have grown to expect brands to quickly and conversationally respond to their inquiries and posts. Gen Xers and Baby Boomers typically expect a more traditional, formal tone. In the end, your audience is following your company because they have interest in hearing and interacting with what you have to say. Don’t turn them away with a voice or content that does not easily translate across your key goals and messages.
Leveraging the basic information you already know about your audience and the new information you collect from social media can help expand your brand awareness and recognition. Ensuring that you are on the right platforms and staying genuine to your brand’s voice and goals can lead to successful use of social media and place you at the forefront of thought leadership and business development.