In todays very crowded social world, choosing the right platform for your business can be quite confusing. I can tell you for a fact from this article I posted last month that we were losing $60,000 a month just by missing out on how we were using Instagram. Now before you jump out of your seat to go set up your Instagram account, perhaps take a moment to understand how you are over-utilizing or under-utilizing social by following these preliminary suggestions.
1. What is your goal with social?
While you may simply say, “I want to reach an audience”, it is exactly that type of thinking that will prevent you from succeeding on social media. Five years ago, perhaps just being on social was helpful, but today you actually need to understand who you want to reach, how you plan to reach them and, more importantly, how to engage with them. Understanding what your goal is with social is key to a great long-term plan.
For example, our goal at Secret Entourage is to use each platform for a unique reason; Instagram is used to “tease” and “inspire” our followers, while Facebook is used to actually “educate” our audience.
2. The same strategy doesn’t work for all channels.
One of the biggest mistakes we’ve witnessed businesses making is their focus on social as one entity. In other words, many simply use bots and software to post the same content on every channel. This is almost as pointless as doing nothing. You have to realize that different audiences are on different channels and they react differently to content on each.
Meaning that for us, videos and articles work best on Facebook, but lifestyle imagery engages more audiences on Instagram. Understanding what your audience likes best requires some effort and manual labor until a process is set in place, at which point it then makes sense to outsource.
3. You don’t have to be the best at everything.
So many channels and so little time. Each channel is like a full-time job and we literally have a person assigned to each platform. Your business may not allow you the luxury of having dedicated personnel for each channel, however you don’t need to be on all channels. Start with 1 or 2 platforms you believe are directly tied to your audience, and become really good at them before adding any more to manage.
Also, understand where you audience is. For us, Instagram and Facebook are perfect demographics, but for someone with a business that perhaps caters primarily to women, then a platform like Pinterest might make more sense.
Once you have setup your goals, created a strategy, and picked which platforms to start on, that’s when the time comes to actually get to work, so perhaps the following tips based on our own experiences will be helpful:
Instagram is king for visual appeal. Regardless of whether you cook beautiful pastries, are a model, or simply have access to luxury lifestyle – anything visually appealing converts very well on this platform, especially if it’s organic in nature. Posting or reposting other images found on the net is misleading and often pointless, although many people still do this. The accounts that generate the most buzz are those that produce authentic content and often do so due to their real access to it.
Facebook is increasingly becoming more video based in terms of engagement. It’s still not YouTube, but it certainly drives very high engagement levels when great videos or viral videos are uploaded. The main benefit is that you can immediately express your reaction or share with people you know, rather than when you watch on YouTube where you have to leave the platform to repost on Facebook. Seeing that video is a newer trend and growing rapidly, we’ve seen great results from posting our YouTube videos directly on Facebook, to the extent that we’ve seen more views in 1 day on Facebook than 3 weeks on YouTube.
Twitter can be a good platform to gain credibility and bring more awareness to yourself and your brand. While it’s more serious and much more difficult to engage a new audience on, for some reason, they are much more loyal and take you more seriously once you have established your presence and credibility on the channel. However, this is the one platform that doesn’t convert well if you are a business. It works much better if you are very personal with your followers and are a person, not just a business.
I hope you have found this insight on social helpful. Remember if you are not on social now, you’re already two years too late. So get ready to get on social and keep in mind that Snapchat is one of the new and more unsaturated platforms, so if it make sense for you and your brand you should jump on it.