Part 4: Positioning: How to Choose the Right Social Media Channels
This is the fourth part in our series of blog posts about The Art of Marketing Strategy. So far we have discussed the why, how and what for of Social Media, it’s about time we get to the where. Choosing where to focus your time and effort is an important part of your strategy.
Part 1 – The Challenge
Part 2 – The Calculations: Setting Measurable Goals
Part 3 – The Plan of Attack
Part 4 – Choosing the Right Channel
If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.
So why is positioning so important? Position awareness enables you to see where you are as part of the larger business environment. Part of Sun Tzu’s definition of “position” is where your forces are located compared to the opponent. Thus, to truly understand your position, you need to see yourself through the eyes of the others. This also helps you to broaden your perspective and see your position in terms of all that’s changing and what resources are available. But before we get into the particulars of the different channels, let's remember why are we doing social media:
- It helps acquire new customers, expands brand reach and awareness and enhances conversion
- It improves the already existing relationships and brand reputation and product and service quality
- It gives you access to a market for testing and it helps you meet the people you are basing your buyer persona over
Social media can help you not only generate numbers of leads but also cultivate quality leads. Starting at the right social media channel is a good beginning. These days there are over 200 social media channels, so how do you choose the right social media platform?
The Popular One: Facebook
You should pick Facebook for your “battlefield” if your goals are:
- To build a big community around your product
- To create brand awareness
- To provide customer service
- To promote online selling
- To engage your audience
With over 1 billion daily active users, Facebook is still the most popular media of them all. A B2C business cannot afford not to be present on it and for B2B companies it might be a way to establish leadership and generate new leads. Promoting pages is easy on Facebook and the opportunities for customer-created content and engagement are endless. Facebook comes in handy when you need to talk to your audience and hear their opinion and feedback. It also strengthens the connection between your audience and your company.
Facebook eases the job of marketers by providing you with a direct line to your customer. There is plenty of data available which makes ad creation highly targeted, based on: location, specific demographics, interests, past purchases, etc. Selling through Facebook is not necessary, you can just you use to get people to know your product and visit your website.
The Visual One: YouTube
If should pick YouTube if your social media site goals include:
- Creating visual guides, tutorials and all kind of educational materials
- Going viral
- Involving celebrities in your ads
- Interviewing people or have plans for podcasts
YouTube isn't just about music videos and videos of cats doing human things. Besides advertising, companies can make good use of YouTube to upload explainer videos and tutorials. It is also useful for introducing your company to the world out there in a creative way. People are more inclined to watch a short video than to read. So whether you are B2B or B2C, consider using visual, graphical and animated movements to engage your audience.
Furthermore, YouTube is part of Google so it video results come up higher when searching. Use it to your advantage.
The Short and Sweet One: Twitter
If your social media goals are to:
- Get a big following quickly
- Engage your audience
- Get the attention of the thought leaders in your field
- Curate content for your audience
- Have fun with social media
- But also spread useful information
Twitter might seem a bit shaky at the moment, but it still provides a more sophisticated way to engage customers effectively, while allowing you to be flexible and funny. Whether you are doing B2C or B2B marketing, Twitter provides plenty of opportunities to get attention and involve in a conversation. You can get visual or witty, informative or silly. And is not as intrusive as Facebook.
Twitter is especially important for B2B companies: more than 320 million individuals use Twitter every month. Grab their attention, provide customer service and valuable content. And who knows: maybe paying for ads will help the platform have a future.
The Pretty One: Instagram
Instagram should be your social media channel of choice if your customers are:
- Willing to create content with your products
- Interested in the daily progress you are making or the production
- Looking for visually appealing products
- Looking for style, design and aesthetics
Since Facebook acquired Instagram two years ago, the registered users have grown to over 400 million. Big brands and self-made internet stars, photographers and all kind of influencers use Instagram to allow the audience to follow their brand or lifestyle.
As other channels try to produce more content and allow more information and content, Instagram continues to stay focused on images and telling stories with them. The follow option allows people to be less intrusive and allows everyday updates without being annoying.
Advertising is also an option with Instagram. But make sure your visuals are up for the task- they are all you are offering.
The Professional One: LinkedIn
Pick LinkedIn if your ideal customer is:
- A working professional
- Another company
- Looking for high-quality information and content from you
- Ready to pay for a high-quality service or a product
Although not very popular for B2C, LinkedIn is the perfect B2B social media channel. The platform itself (don’t get us started on the app) is a work in progress and is still improving its offerings.
So far LinkedIn has become one of the top publishing platforms so it’s a good choice to establish thought leadership and gain a following. Generally, people on LinkedIn are more willing to spend more time reading and are less interested in the visuals (unless you are offering a useful infographic or an informative graph).
When using LinkedIn, keep in mind you are there to be social. Don’t be pushing your products or services but rather try establishing a connection and show expertise. Showcase pages are a great way to do this. Here are some great LinkedIn showcase pages examples. This is the social platform where you need to be really social.
Social media platforms enhance exposure, enhance brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, give a boost to your online traffic, give better market insight, improves lead generation, boosts sales and helps develop partnerships. So what are you waiting for? Get ready for battle.
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If you need a strong ally and a positioning strategy consultant, don’t hesitate to contact us.