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Using different social media channels to achieve different marketing goals


If you’re short on time today, here’s the quick and dirty!


→ There are a crazy number of social media platforms, but if you’re a small U.S.-based business, just focus on being active with 2-4 accounts


→ How do you know which channel to use? Use our simple formula: marketing goals ÷ audience = most valuable platform(s)


→ When you know what you want to achieve through social media and who your audient is, use our guide below to determine which channels you should use.



What if we told you that there are over 100 social media platforms?


It’s okay, no need to lose your mind quite yet! Thankfully, unless you’re an international company appealing to a variety of specific audience bases, you really only need to worry about approximately 7-10 of them.


But that number is still pretty daunting. Let us be clear, you don’t need to have accounts with ALL 10 of these platforms. You just need to consider all of them when planning your marketing strategy. And we’re going to help you parse down your list so that you don’t go into cardiac arrest every time you think about the phrase “social media”.


We’re going to start by taking you through a memory exercise. Think back to when you first set up your social media accounts. Whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or a different channel…


Did you have a specific reason for setting up each account?


Most likely it was one of the following:


1. You heard all businesses should have social media accounts


2. You wanted to get a ton of online followers


3. FOMO - everyone’s online, if your business doesn’t have an online face, you’re missing out


Now, think back to when you sat down to write your first post. Perhaps you were thinking something along the lines of “where do I even start?!”


Or, maybe you had a few posts in mind that you could publish at least to get you through about a week or two of content.


But after a while you likely started questioning the purpose of all these different channels. And it’s a fair point to wonder why you need to keep up with 3-5 different social media channels. Here’s the KEY to determining which social media channels you should use and HOW:


**Determine what you’re trying to get out of using social media.**


5 letters matter when it comes to any marketing: G-O-A-L-S.




So, we’re going to help guide you through figuring out which channels will achieve which goals. Full disclosure - this guide is a quick reference and will point you in the right direction. From there, of course, you need to figure out where your audience is spending their time, which is the ‘yin’ to the ‘yang’ of choosing your platforms.



Top 4 social media platforms and their purpose: which ones are right for your biz?


Photo by @solenfeyissa from Unsplash

FACEBOOK


What’s the purpose: This is an all-encompassing general platform. The tone is very casual and the main activity is interaction, dialogue and engagement.


Who uses it: Almost everyone - approximately 69% of U.S. adults (mostly females, but many males as well) use Facebook. You’ll want to use this platform if you’re targeting an adult crowd - teens and social media users in their twenties are moving away from Facebook as their primary platform.


What goals will it achieve: This is where your focus should be on your customers. Engage and chat with them - network within your local community as if you were out meeting your neighbors. You can use Facebook to build your general audience base.


→ Should your business use Facebook: At this point in time, your business SHOULD set up a Facebook account. It’s a standard for businesses to be present - while this may change in the future - social media is about the ‘NOW’ so you should definitely have a basic account.



TWITTER

What’s the purpose: In short, Twitter is a site to chat and gab with one another about relevant and current topics. Twitter is the place to actively interact with your customers and community on trending topics throughout the day.


Who uses it: Hootsuite sums it up perfectly: Twitter is key for people whose jobs involve thinking and communication.” 22% of adults use Twitter, with most of them being Gen Z, 18-24 year-olds (presumably because they have the most time to be actively engaged.


What goals will it achieve: This is probably the most active platform. What do we mean by that? If your target market is the type to spend time online engaged within those active and ever-evolving conversations, you will achieve a lot of engagement and personal interaction with your customers.


→ Should your business use Twitter: We’re not going to lie - Twitter is a huge commitment if you want to truly get value from it. If you - or someone who can run your marketing and speak on your company’s behalf - can allot the time to Tweet multiple times per day and actively interact with your industry/ community, then Twitter might be a great platform for your business.




INSTAGRAM

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

What’s the purpose: Whereas with Facebook and Twitter you read the post then look at the adjoining picture, Instagram is the exact opposite. This site is all about the visual content. As far as businesses are concerned, the purpose is almost purely promotional.


Who uses it: Instagram is where your Gen Z and Gen Y audiences spend their time (ages 18-30s).


What goals will it achieve: If your target market is Gen Z and Gen Y, Instagram will help you showcase your products/services to increase brand awareness (get people to learn about your business) and drive potential customers to your website.


→ Should your business use Instagram: Instagram is almost as standard for businesses to have, simply for the sake of the strong trends and easy interaction. However, due to its algorithms and user demographics, your business will get value from it if you sell directly to customers between the ages of 18-40.



LINKEDIN


What’s the purpose: LinkedIn is the central hub for professional networking. It focuses on “helping people connect with colleagues and develop [their] careers,” and tends to be a bit more formal. For businesses, the purpose of this platform is to share professional announcements as well as staff accolades and recognition.


Who uses it: As you guessed it, the demographics of LinkedIn users are those in the working force, ages 18-65. Unlike most social media channels, LinkedIn is heavily influenced by senior-level professionals and executives.


What goals will it achieve: The number one goal your business page will achieve is giving potential employees and customers a snapshot of what your company offers. LinkedIn also recently created PRODUCT PAGES which can act as mini-landing pages for your major products/services.


→ Should your business use LinkedIn: This is where you’d focus on your professional audience, especially B2B companies. Use LinkedIn to interact with potential customers, employees and partners who take the time to invest in networking professionally. (*Note - if your company publishes articles, research materials or white papers, then LinkedIn is the best platform to showcase this content.)



We hope you find this guide helpful!


P.S. -- If you have a sneaking suspicion you should be on other popular platforms as well - such as Tumblr, Snapchat, WhatsApp, or reddit - send us a chat and let’s determine where your business will get the most engagement.





Sources: Influencer Marketing Hub, Search Engine Journal, Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Pew Research Center, Hootsuite, Neil Patel, LinkedIn, LinkedIn


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