Launch a Successful Business Promotion: How to Choose the Right Social Network
It’s no secret that launching a social media promotion for your business is a promising way to increase brand exposure and generate leads while boosting conversion rates. But, there’s a catch. If you choose the wrong platform, you run the risk of spending time and money on an unproductive campaign. Recent statistics indicate that over 70% of internet users are active on social media, meaning choosing the wrong platform can cost you dearly.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
Prior to sorting out the differences between the most popular social networks, it’s necessary to clearly define your promotion’s goals. Do you want to attract your target audience or a new market? Though conversions may be the end goal, do you hope to increase brand awareness in the process? Are you offering an exclusive promotion just for the best brand advocates? The answers to these questions are necessary before moving on to step two.
Step 2: Audience and Industry
All social media platforms are not created equal. Choosing the best platform largely depends on the industry and audience, especially when targeting a new market. Answer the following questions before moving forward.
- What’s my industry? – Don’t laugh! Though it seems silly, it’s important to review industry-specific habits. If you work with a highly professional B2B company, discover where people in that industry spend time online. Similarly, businesses selling tangible products may opt for a more casual social network that places an emphasis on visual content instead of content rich in statistics and research. The preferences of your industry will significantly influence your decision.
- Who am I targeting? – This is where analytics becomes more important than ever. If you’re able to pinpoint the demographics of your target audience, it’s relatively easy to determine which social network will have the largest impact on a promotion’s success. To further enhance the effectiveness of a promotion, spend time thinking about the audience’s problems, needs, and desires. What solution does your promotion offer?
Step 3: Evaluating Social Media Platforms
Once the two questions above are answered, choosing the right social media platform for your business promotion is a breeze. Here’s a short breakdown of the most popular choices.
- Facebook – With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook reigns as the most popular social media platform. A recent report by Social Media Today announced that nearly half of Americans view Facebook as a top influencer in their purchase habits while the majority of users log into Facebook an average of 5 times per day. For businesses, this can mean a lot of exposure if Facebook is the preferred network for your target audience. It’s important to note that because there’s so much traffic on Facebook, having a large audience doesn’t mean everyone will see your post. If you choose Facebook for your promotion, make sure to research peak audience engagement times and choose the publishing schedule wisely.
- Twitter – Boasting over 550 million users, Twitter is unique in that businesses can directly interact with customers in real-time – a valuable opportunity that maximizes engagement. However, with posts limited to 140 characters, business promotions need to be short and sweet. With nearly 6,000 tweets sent every second, it may be challenging to cut through Twitter’s noise and get noticed. But, you can reinforce your brand on Twitter with simple ways. As with Facebook, choosing a publishing schedule that meshes with your audience’s natural Twitter habits will maximize the effectiveness of your promotion.
- LinkedIn – As the top social network for professionals around the world, LinkedIn has earned nearly a quarter million active users. From its extended publishing feature to its recently released showcase pages, LinkedIn continues to add features that reel in top executives and business leaders across the globe. For marketers, LinkedIn is beneficial as it allows brands to promote products as well as new job listings. With LinkedIn, approximately 4 in 5 users are over the age of 35, meaning businesses targeting a younger population may not see the results they’re looking for on this platform.
- Google+ – Seemingly the perfect combination of social and professional conversations, Google+ has become one of the most popular social networks with over 400 million users and another million added each day. For businesses, this can equate to improved exposure given the platform’s extended network of circles. In fact, Google+ users age 45-54 have increased their use of the platform in the last two years, a positive sign for businesses targeting this demographic
- Visual Social Media – YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine have accelerated the popularity of visual content in the past five years. YouTube alone has over 1 billion active users and the other three platforms combined boast another 200+ million. Simply put, visual content grabs attention, increases engagement, encourages sharing and is capable of getting brands noticed by their audience. Though Pinterest users are mostly women between the ages of 25 and 34, YouTube is a more gender neutral platform that appeals to a slightly younger crowd of 18-29 year olds.
Clearly, choosing the right social media platform will ensure your promotion is successful; however, it’s necessary to stay in the loop about each platform’s regulations and best practices. Particularly for rapidly-evolving sites like Facebook, checking for updates to current policies and adhering to existing rules is crucial. Failure to comply with a platform’s rules may lead to stiff punishment, such as profile deactivation – a devastating consequence for any business. To make sure this important detail doesn’t fall through the cracks, assign a member of your team the task of routinely checking business-related updates for the platform you’ve chosen.