Where, when, how and who you share content with in today’s always on, cluttered social media drenched world defines your brand.
Digital has wiped traditional marketing off the map.
And, the right or wrong social media channel defines your digital footprint.
There is no one size fits all blueprint for your business.
Social media marketing is not going to deliver significant marketing ROI by itself!
You need to create great content and share it across multiple platforms. The more the better.
Big Picture Monthly Usage Stats for the Top Tier Social Networks
- Facebook: 1.3B
- Twitter: 270M
- Instagram: 220M
- LinkedIn: 225M
- Google+: 530M
- Pinterest: 40M
- YouTube: 1B
- All, which is no decision.
- None *as above
- Several Platforms
- We Recommend 1-3 Platforms for most businesses
Variables to Weigh
- Where are your customers congregating socially? (“connected consumers”)
- The competitiveness of the social platform?
- Your demographic “fit” with the platform?
- Regional, Local or Global focus?
- Where are Your Competitors?
- What Type(s) of Content are You Creating?
- What Digital Metrics are Being Used
- Will Community Management be done internally or outsourced?
- Marketing budget and staffing.
How Top Tier Networks are Being Used
Critical Metrics to Review & What we Recommend
Whether your business to business or consumer focused, any social media channel selection should be built on a Persona Profile Analysis.
Blogs still rock: don’t think about embracing social until or unless you have 30-50 blog posts to share. Blogging is still one of the best ways to generate web site traffic, SEO and connectivity with “prosumers.”
Facebook is a must for consumer facing brands. But, it’s crowded, competitive and many of these consumers have the attention span of gnats. So, create stellar content and be prepared to advertise to generate ROI.
Twitter is best B2B platform along with LinkedIn. It’s a tech savvy, geeky water cooler great for brands marketing to other businesses.
LinkedIn is great for biz focused brands (company and profile pages for all staff): it’s getting crowded and publishing content is now a must to stand out.
Google+ is starting to get traction; best place to share content and drive SEO results (it’s Google). Gorgeous interface that makes it easy to share content and interact with others.
Pinterest rocks for any brand targeting consumers and the female demographics are stellar. Like other social channels, its morphing to a full blown eCommerce platform and with broader (mainstream and male) demographics.
Instagram is getting waylaid by SnapChat and other apps/services that appeal to younger more fickle demographic; but, it’s “fighting back” with an increase in functionality. Great for targeting millennials, boomers, not so much.
As this graphic above via Pew Research indicates, demographics trump everything else.
Social Platforms by Company Size - Our Template for Success
- Startup to $5M targeting B2B: Blog, LinkedIn & Twitter, move to G+ in one to two quarters
- Startup to $5M targeting consumers: Blog & Facebook (with advertising); Pinterest after traction with Blog & Facebook
- $5-10M: Blog, G+,Twitter and LinkedIn, YouTube Channel
- $10-20M: Blog, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn & Facebook (2-3 updates per day & advertising), YouTube dedicated channel
- Wild Cards for Consumer “facing” Biz: Tumblr, Instagram, Vine and SnapChat (test one for 90 days and review conversion analytics)
Social Platforms by Industry
Local Services (Restaurant, Realtor, Retailer) “Localized Blog Content” with topics/keywords mapping to your customer’s needs and/or local market: Blog & Facebook, with Pinterest & Instagram 1-2 quarters later.
National or Global Focused Services: “Topical Blog Content” address needs of your market segment: Twitter & LinkedIn (profiles for all staff & company page updated regularly) primary platforms & SlideShare within 90-180 days.
National or Global Product Company: “Product or Solutions Centric Blog Content” that speaks to your consumers, Facebook organic status updates and Ads & Pinterest, YouTube, with Instagram or Vine presence after first 120 days.
Best Practices for Marketing Content Across Your Social Channels
- Start slow: content marketing is a marathon
- Establish benchmark measurements at the outset.
- Keep moving forward: don’t get bogged down in the proverbial trenches.
- Align content marketing with other strategies.
- Involve your entire organization whether it’s five or fifty people: great content ideas come in all shapes and sizes: sales, customer service and/or exec staff.
- Great content marketers “newsjack” and “borrow” from others.
- Mix and match snackable short form (images, under 300 word blog post, videos) with long-form “evergreen” high value content.
- Content marketing is expensive “chunk” and repurpose content to leverage your costs.
- Recognizing standing out on some of these platforms will be determined by algorithms and tactical marketing is critical.
What you need to Know to Stand Out in Today’s Noisy Social Media World!
- 50% or more of your customer engagement will be on smartphones in next 12 months #bemobile
- The “Google Effect” determines how consumers find you via smartphone, device or web search.
- Nothing is new forever: product life cycles are shorter and more compressed.
- We are seeing a shift to self educated buyers; this goes for consumer focused brands and B2B.
- Content is everywhere and anything: your brand voice gets heard via content creation and syndication.
- It’s a 6-8 second click of death competitive world. Image trumps content early in the sell cycle.
- Technology is embedded in every marketing activity. Tech savvy brands are winning in the marketplace.
- It’s an iterative virtual global economy and don’t be the proverbial frog in the water.
Social Media Gotchas You Need to Grasp Going In
- You don’t own your content on social platforms: you’re homesteading and don’t forget this.
- These are one to many platforms and standing out is challenging: your competing with celebrities, thought leaders and your direct competitors.
- These are public companies, with a vested interest to drive their own business.
- You will reach maybe 1-3% of your connections on average.
- Where and how will the chairs be filled once the music stops. Everything is subject to change.
- Expect the lines to get more blurred on social for “paid” vs. organic content.
- Every social channel you select and utilize requires integration with your back end analytics and CRM apps.
- Expect the continued “celebrification” of social media to increase moving forward. See: Andy Warhol was right.
- If you are not publishing content across the social web aggressively you may not get heard.
One of the biggest issue we can make you aware of as you contemplate selecting and optimizing social media channels is grasping how quickly these platforms are morphing feature sets and the importance of technical expertise embedded in your organization.
Or, outsourcing some of these skills with a trusted partner.
Success comes down to sourcing and sharing great targeted content across multiple channels, engaging with the community with enough frequency to stand out but not “drown” the audience, coupled with integrated conversion/call to action elements and analytics measurement.
Deeper Dive Links
Image Credits: Pinterest, Inc, Leverage New Age Media, Statista, Pew Research,