Social media sites are like fast food restaurants; to the untrained eye all fast-food places essentially offer cheap, sub-quality burgers, chips and too-large cokes, all have similar, if not the same, things on offer and are so convenient and readily available to everyone- just like social platforms. However, look a little closer and each fast food chain offers something slightly different, social platforms are exactly the same and have each their own unique selling point, a quality they offer that appeals to you, the individual user, which makes it the best option for you and your business.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are often used greedily by those that may not understand them as free tools to push content and endlessly broadcast products or sales messages. They are incorporated in an overall marketing strategy, with no real thought behind their use and immediately the business loses sight of their purpose- to be sociable. Social sites have their own individual identity and charm, they have been created to be unique and offer users an alternative to the already existing social media platforms that are available. Each time a new social site is created; it is bigger, better and often designed with a new purpose in mind.
Facebook was first created within the confines of an American university, for networking among students. Twitter was then created a few years later with a different approach; to instantly share micro blogs and connect users, mainly bloggers, from around the world. LinkedIn was created with the same thought process behind Facebook, but within the world of business networking and connecting corporate businesses, and so the list goes on.
Why should you identify them as individuals?
So why should you, as a marketing agency or small business, recognise their unique qualities in order to maximise your benefit? Just because they are free, easy to master and available to everyone, does not mean you should have a presence on all of them.
For example, if you own a shopping centre then your social engagement is going to be very visually-heavy; images and videos being the main posting content and written words will be at a minimum. Your main target audience will be female, and slot within the age bracket 18-50+ - all of these you will already know having done your market research, and these factors scream Twitter. As a shopping centre, Google+ may not be your first social site to try and gain a strong social audience, as your target audience are largely on Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest would be perfect for posting images of your stores, clothing and any competitions which are running in your centre as well as sharing your blog URL on. It is important you do not set yourself or your business up to fail on social sites. A failing or unsuccessful profile is hard to hide and your clients and customers will be looking for your social presence so hiding is not an option.
Decide where you think your personas will largely be and target that specific social site first. If you are a corporate business, LinkedIn would be ideal to start with Facebook adopted as a phase two approach. Recognising each social channel as its own individual and unique platform will ensure your campaign gets off to a good start and by realising where your target audience will socialise online, will mean you can supply them with engaging content they will actually want to read, watch or share.
Each social platform also has its own tone; Twitter is jovial, more light-hearted and often very tongue-in-cheek. This makes it more difficult for high-brow and corporate companies to interact and behave socially on. Facebook is all about large communities sharing content and opinions, longer posts allow for more in depth content and generally encouraging responses. Google+ is a harder platform to master as it is predominantly a blog-sharing platform, but it is great for localised SEO purposes so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Pinterest is all about sharing images and GIFs which encourages people to re-pin and ‘like’ your pictures. Again, this is a great way to increase your online presence, whilst remaining sociable and it’s relatively easy to gain a strong following on Pinterest without the daily upkeep.
Remember social sites are another investment into your overall marketing strategy and should be used wisely. Post regularly and try to balance your broadcasting posts with engaging content, behave socially and your profiles will reap the rewards! Treat each site individually and you will be on the way to running successful social campaigns in no time.
To find out more about which social media platform might be right for you, give us a call on 0845 121 5566 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.