It’s no secret that social media marketing can be a powerful brand tool. When executed properly, having a social media strategy in place can bolster search rankings, drive more website traffic, and increase conversion rates. This direct line to customers and clients can emphasize your brand’s unique voice while building authenticity. But which social media channels are best for your business?

Choosing which platforms provide the best ROI can be challenging and unique to each industry. In this week’s blog post, we offer useful tips to help you make a strategic and informed decision on which social media channels are right for your brand.

Get Clear About Your Objectives

Great social media content balances creativity with purpose. Therefore, all of your social media channels should support the brand’s mission and strategic goals. Below are a few of the most common goals to consider when building a social media strategy.

Brand Awareness

If building customer recognition among consumers is a key goal for your organization, paid social media advertising may be a determining factor when selecting a platform. For example, Facebook business pages have low organic reach, but they are known for a strong return on investment for paid ads. When it comes to brand awareness, The key metric for measuring success (for both organic and paid) should be impressions. Impressions represent the number of times your content was displayed and will help you determine if you’re reaching wider audiences each week.

Engagement

Social interactions improve brand perceptions and loyalty. Therefore, engagement could be an especially important goal if your brand is a nonprofit or socially conscious business. So which platform will help you increase likes, comments, and shares? According to Sprout Social, Instagram boasts an engagement rate of 1.73% compared to Facebook’s 0.16% per post. Twitter, on the other hand, may be great for impressions, but will be less likely to generate a high volume of interactions.

Community Building

If a strong sense of community is essential to the brand mission, you may want to consider a platform that features private groups and chat messaging. For example, you may want to engage with Facebook groups, Twitter chats, or Slack communities. For tracking purposes, you may want to consider tools such as Grytics, and Hashtracking.

Lead Generation

Social media channels can help brands court potential new customers and drive them to the top of the sales funnel. In fact, revenue increased for 24% of businesses when they used social media for lead generation. Consequently, it’s important to analyze the brand’s audience and how they use various platforms. For example, Linkedin can be a great way for brands to reach other businesses through groups, Inmail, and filtered searches. In addition, Google Analytics can be used to track conversion goals and determine the success of social media campaigns.

While these are a few of the most common social media objectives for businesses, your brand may choose to consider more specific or niche goals, such as social listening, press mentions, or customer support. Take time to consider your brand’s unique strengths and challenges before selecting a social media channel.

Don’t try to be everywhere

Is your brand searchable everywhere from Youtube, to Pinterest, to Dribble? Trying to stretch a brand across every imaginable platform may cause you to burn through resources and miss opportunities for authentic community building. It’s best to take a strategic look at where your audience already exists and which channels are successful for your competitors.

Where is your audience?  

Start by researching your target demographics. If your primary audience is a bit advanced in years, Snapchat may not be the most suitable platform. Similarly, 81% of Pinterest users are women, making it a high priority for brands that sell women’s products. Analyzing data-driven insights will help you take a targeted approach to choosing a social media platform. Social listening tools will be especially helpful in examining your current audience.  

Which social media channels are your competitors using?

Sneaking a peek at your competitors’ social channels can provide a useful baseline in determining the best places to promote your brand. A few social media benchmarks to keep in mind may be: content type, post frequency, follower count, and engagement rate. Need help assessing competitor social channels? Visit our Strategic Assessment page to learn more.

Where can you provide the most value to your clients?

The content you share should provide true value through entertainment, education, or relationships. It’s important to consider which platform will allow you to deliver unique and engaging stories to your target audience. Which platforms most readily align with your skillset and resources?  

Determine Your Skills and Assets

You may have a vision of sharing weekly Youtube videos with premium production quality, but do you have the production skills or budget to put that plan into action? It’s important to develop an inventory of contributors, skill sets, and budget to help you decide which social media channels are best for your business.

Content Type and Frequency

So which platform naturally plays to your brand’s strengths? Consider that platforms like Instagram require high-quality visual collateral. Is there someone on your team who can regularly produce graphics, photos, and video? On the other hand, Twitter and LinkedIn will require written editorial content and industry-specific updates.

In addition to varying types of content, different social media platforms will also vary in their recommended post volume. For example, Twitter demands a higher post volume than Instagram. Understanding the resources and skills you have on your team will be helpful in deciding which platforms to invest in for your business.

Content and Advertising Budget

Along with content type and post frequency, budget is another key consideration when choosing a social media platform. Do you need to focus on organic or paid social media? What will ad creative cost? What is the ROI? How often will you need to produce original content? How many hours a week and how many team members will produce content? Do you have a creative team or would you outsource design and photography? Understanding the costs associated with content creation and advertising will help you determine which platforms are best for your business.

Considerations for Key Social Channels

Once you have determined your primary objectives and assets, consider some of the key elements of each social media platform. Below you will find a few platform-specific considerations when choosing which social media channels are best for your business.

Facebook

  • Closed groups: Fosters close-knit communities and deep engagement.
  • Paid Ads: Facebook’s advertising boasts a low CPC that can enhance brand awareness.
  • Messenger: Through this feature, brands can address customer questions and concerns.
  • Stories: Facebook stories position your brand at the top of the app, allow for cross-posting with Instagram, and provide an immersive experience.
  • Landing page: While Facebook may have low organic reach, it often serves as a secondary landing page and provides social proof.

Instagram

  • Stories: Instagram stories help brands portray authenticity and a personal quality. They also boost reach and help you reach your target audience.
  • Integrates with Facebook business: Business Manager makes it simple to boost Instagram posts on your Facebook feed.  
  • High-quality storytelling: Quality images combined with algorithms that favor long-form captions make this platform great for sharing brand stories.  
  • Lower Post Frequency: While Twitter may require several posts a day, one post per day on Instagram is plenty. This platform is all about quality over quantity.

Twitter

  • Customer Service: Twitter’s communication style allows brands to directly address customer concerns, without widespread, permanent reach.  
  • Twitter Chats: Create engaging discussions with primary stakeholders and community members using a brand hashtag.
  • Share brand voice: Companies with a well-developed and unique brand voice can use Twitter as a way to converse with consumers in a fun and memorable way.  
  • Industry Specific: Twitter allows businesses to engage in industry-specific conversations and share company updates with relevant communities.
  • Live Tweets: Use a branded hashtag to share event photos, updates, and promotions.

Linkedin

  • B2B Reach: Connect with other businesses through groups, Inmail, and filtered searches.
  • Inmail: Advertise to businesses and industry leaders who could require your services.
  • Editorial writing: Write content that shares your expertise and positions your brand as an industry expert.
  • Job posting: Recruit the right candidates for your company by posting open positions directly on the platform. LinkedIn makes it easy to view candidates work history and connections.

Determining which social media channels are best for your business can be a complex process. To learn more about how Arcalea can assist you in developing your social strategy, contact us today.