The Importance of Finding Your Place in the Social Landscape
The rapid rise of social media as a marketing medium has been, to put it bluntly, something of a goldmine for marketers around the globe.
Through its growth, businesses have found a way to both build the online presence of their brands and bridge the gap between company and consumer in a creative, relevant way.
Properly executed, social media marketing can lead to a whole host of benefits such as: increased exposure, better opportunities for customer connection & communication, and brand loyalty that translates into bigger sales.
But, in a classic case of “everyone else is doing it,” it’s become far too easy for businesses to miss the mark when it comes to choosing the proper social channels.
And that has the potential to lead to a lot of wasted time, money and marketing efforts.
Popular Does Not Always Mean Profitable
What’s the bottom line of every marketing initiative? Say it with me now:
And I hate to say it, but likes and follows don’t pay the bills. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)
Just using Facebook as a primary example, as of April 2018, it boasts an active user base of over 2.20 billion.
That’s a lot of people. And pet pics.
And your first instinct as a marketer or business owner might be to think, hey, there’s definitely an opportunity for me to get in on that, no? Surely there’s a sizeable, relevant audience in there for my products or services.
Not so fast: there’s a little preliminary work that needs to be done in order to understand if the channels you’re choosing are the right ones.
Think About Your Audience First
You’ve got one very distinct advantage when it comes to mapping out a social media marketing strategy: having an intimate knowledge of who your audience is.
Research the demographics of each platform and ask yourself where your audience is most likely to be.
Is it Instagram? If your target market is primarily males, aged 65+, then probably not.
Look at Your Competition
Analyze your competitors, too, and find out what their social presence is like.
If most of them don’t seem to be active on Facebook but have daily pins on Pinterest, odds are there’s a reason for it: they know where their biggest potential buyers are, and they’re capitalizing on that knowledge.
If you’re still tempted to go against the grain and be a pioneer on a social media platform on which your competitors are inactive, just be sure you’re cautiously wise with how much time and money you‘ll need to invest into the initial effort.
Know the Numbers Behind the Big Social Sites
Two things marketers know and love: gathering data and sharing data.
Both work to your advantage when it comes to social media marketing.
There’s a lot of information out there in terms of audience demographics and interests for all of the major social media sites, often from the sites themselves.
To repeat my point regarding the knowledge you have regarding your audience:
Do your research and ask yourself if the folks you’ll find on, say, Pinterest, are the same folks to whom you’re catering your products and services to.
If the data doesn’t tell a convincing story, then move on and focus your efforts elsewhere.
The Bottom Line: Don’t Just Dive Right In
Do your research first.
The landscape of social media is big. It’s huge. It’s gigantic.
It’s very tempting to just dive right in by building profiles on every platform and start connecting with potential and existing customers, especially when you’re inspired by victories from other businesses in this field.
However, a successful social campaign has to start with a data-backed approach that ultimately makes sense for your business goals and the audience you’re trying to reach – not just for a quick virtual thumbs-up, but for building long-term, long-lasting customer relationships.
Anything else is just throwing time and money at a solution that may do more harm than good.
Still curious about how to see success in social? Take a look at our social media marketing packages and let’s talk about the right solutions for your business.