Most people would agree that content is important for marketing success—in fact, it’s our whole mojo here at T3 Custom. We believe stuffy and stiff marketing is for the birds. However, most marketers miss a key factor once they’ve created content: distribution.
Instead, they take a piece of content, share it on every channel possible, and hope that it resonates with someone, somewhere. That just doesn’t work. Brands and businesses should instead create awesome content and decide on the best platform for distribution.
So, how can you craft an effective social media strategy when you don’t even know which channels to choose? Not to worry—this guide will help you navigate the complexities of social media channels. Hopefully at the end you’ll come out a little clearer knowing which platforms to use. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Your team should ask three questions to decide which platforms work best:
- What are your social media strategy objectives?
- Who’s your target audience and what channels are they using?
- What kind of content do you want to create?
By answering these questions, you’ll get a better idea of what combination of social media platforms will help you reach your goals.
What are your social media strategy objectives?
If you don’t have a goal for your social media, you may need to take time to figure out what you want your brand message, voice, and overall theme to be. Knowing how to create a social media campaign is fundamental to setting and meeting goals.
Usually there are three main goals most brands have for using social media: increasing brand awareness, driving lead generation, and improving website traffic.
While today’s social platforms have some overlapping benefits for brands, some stand out as unique goal drivers. The following are some examples of how to use these platforms. But other platforms may also be beneficial.
If your goal is to increase brand awareness
Consider selecting a platform that’s established and well-known. Facebook and Instagram have awesome and easy methods for raising awareness and extending reach. They also specialize in paid promotion and have great reputations for impressive ROI (if you have room in the budget for paid advertisement).
In addition, Instagram’s platform has turned into a one-stop shop after they recently released Reels, their version of TikTok. We go over how to use Instagram Reels if you’re curious about how to get started for your brand.
If your goal is to drive lead generation
Consider selecting a platform that’s well-known for building brand affinity, growing groups, and engaging forums. LinkedIn especially shines here, with targeting and search functions that allow for reaching the right people at the right time.
Facebook has also become a viable lead generation platform with features like Facebook Groups, allowing brands to create and organize conversations about their products and services.
If your goal is to improve website traffic
Consider selecting a platform that’s used much like a search engine: Pinterest. Research indicates Pinterest is more effective at steering traffic back to your website when compared to other social media platforms. And this makes sense because of how users engage with Pinterest—it’s a place to share anything and everything.
Whether it’s a new recipe or a fresh marketing post, Pinterest users promote content quickly across their networks. Warby Parker, the hip eyewear brand, reported 11% of website users came directly from Pinterest.
TIP: Meet with your team to set your social media objectives. Once you know your goals, the right social media platforms will become clear.
Where is your target audience online?
Once you’ve chosen your social media platform by answering the questions above, it’s vital you consider where your audience is hanging out. For example, did you know women are more likely to use Instagram than men? Or that over 45% of LinkedIn users earn a salary over $75,000?
Data can help you decide where your target audience is hanging out. It doesn’t make sense to put all of your marketing content and dollars into a platform like TikTok if your ideal audience is composed of 55-year-old men.
Data can also help you understand where your future audience is likely to be. For example, if your financial brand’s future users are coming of age in a TikTok- and Instagram-laden landscape, it may be beneficial to divvy up some of your marketing budget to make sure you’re slowly building brand awareness—without breaking the bank. Audience insights can help surface where you need to be.
Understanding your social media demographics is helpful to guide your social media platform choice because you can cater your content to fit the needs of that demographic. In turn, you can expect better engagement, higher rates of conversation, and more conversions.
TIP: Create buyer personas. They’ll help you understand how each social channel will reach the folks you’re targeting. The more specific, the better.
What kind of content should you create?
This question largely goes unspoken, but it’s important to note. The type of content you create needs to match up with what your target audience wants to consume. What type of content should your brand create?
Do you want to share industry updates and white papers? A B2B-centric platform like LinkedIn would work great for that.
Do you want to share video content? YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are fantastic for video content. TikTok and Instagram Reels are also creative ways to share video content in 15-second bursts.
Do you want to share images or syndicate your content? Pinterest or even a platform like Medium might work best.
All in all, there are many advantages to each platform, but you can only find out what works best by strategically testing each channel. Maybe you sit down and decide you want to try Twitter, but you get more engagement and better ROI through Facebook. Take note, learn quickly, and pivot!
Content distribution doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution for every brand. What may work for your brand may be different from what works for another—and that’s the beauty of social media. Take time to answer the three questions we’ve highlighted here, and then begin to create and distribute.
Remember, it’s important to have conversations with your audience. Choose the channel that allows you to do this the best.