There are plenty of social media platforms on the market, but choosing which platforms to utilize can have a lasting impact on your business and personal promotion. With rumors of Instagram incorporating live video streaming and Twitter’s surprise decision to shut down Vine, the six-second video capture app it acquired just four years ago, the social media platforms you choose to implement into your marketing strategy matter.
As the marketing director for a tenured staffing agency, I wouldn’t recommend being on every social media platform. Be cautious before joining in on the market’s newest and most popular trend (i.e. Vine). However, it is important not to limit yourself or your business to just one platform’s user demographic reach. One platform may deliver substantial results for one industry, but then have no correlation to a different audience.
The one consistent mistake I see when it comes to social media marketing is broadly using social media platforms that fail to support your underlying agenda. When I began my career, social media management was imperative to our firm’s marketing strategy. Little did I know, my employer, who has been in business much longer than the term social media has even existed, had a social media account for numerous social media platforms available to the public. Tumblr, Vine… you name it, we had an unattended account with little branding and content.
While restructuring our social media accounts, the decision to create a Pinterest account was something I could not get behind. I tried to understand why Pinterest should be implemented into our strategy in the first place. Where did this fit into our overall objective? And how would this platform distribute our industry insight, showcase our job openings, and communicate effectively with customers/clients while attracting new business through increased brand awareness? Trying to promote employment services to users looking to pin recipes or gift ideas was far from ideal.
Subsequently, I came to the conclusion that our organization was too quick to chime in on what was “in” at the time. Because of this, our social media strategy was being partially ignored and spread too thin to maintain it successfully. This realization was my first of many lessons in social media marketing: You should only utilize social media platforms that will allow you to market towards a tailored audience that supports your organization’s overall strategy, while at the same time providing mutual communication and beneficial information.
Depending on your personal or business objectives, find a few social media platforms and master them. Don’t choose your favorite one and don’t pick a platform simply because it’s popular or new to the app store. While it is important to keep up with the market’s current technology and trends, unless your marketing department has the time and the resources to devote day in and day out to each platform, avoid overextending your social media strategy.
Based on these experiences, here are my top five pieces of advice that social media marketers should keep in mind:
- Connect with the right audience. Having a tailored audience is paramount to social media marketing success on every platform. Follow industry influencers, interact with relevant posts to broaden your market reach, and save lists and audiences to help achieve your campaign’s goals.
- Market relevant industry data and information. Create industry-related content; publish blog posts on current issues or with helpful tips, perform market industry research and create infographics to keep your audience informed. Share curated content; respond to societal news and join in on what’s trending.
- Post and share at precise platform times. There’s no point to posting or sharing content if no one sees it. For Facebook, popular posts times are 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. For LinkedIn, post between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. as well as from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. when user activity is at its highest.
- Brand on the correct platform for your business. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be everywhere online all the time. While it is important to stay up to date with social media features, evaluate each platform thoroughly before integrating it into your marketing strategy.
- Remember your organization’s main business objective(s). Having realistic goals allows you to guide clients and customers through your social media marketing funnel more smoothly. Make sure your CTA is clear and concise so users know what they are being asked to do.
And lastly, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Committing to only one social media site or app is just as ineffective as being too broad across multiple platforms. You never know, last month’s Vine star could be this week’s job seeker.