Month: May 2016

Spring Cleaning – Taking Stock Of Your Social Platforms

 

imgresSpring is a great time to take stock of your marketing efforts and with the social network world changing and evolving so quickly, this might be an ideal time to take stock of the channels you are currently on as well as consider some of the emerging channels being used by businesses today.

As marketers, we need to stay on the cutting edge of social offerings as this medium continues to influence buyers online.  Be mindful of the fact that some of the original platforms have changed since they were launched, and just because Facebook reached your clients 3 years ago, does not necessarily mean it reaches them today. I’ve outlined some top level information about the key platforms to help you evaluate whether these platforms still align with your marketing activities and better focus your social media efforts. 

Facebook

Originally developed in a college dorm room, Facebook was thought to be a social network for young adults to reconnect and keep up with friends by posting statuses, pictures and general life updates.

Currently, 87% of adults aged 18-29 use Facebook, while the next highest age range is 30-49 year olds, with 73%. The percentage of adult users decreases as their age increases. More and more businesses are using Facebook to promote their brand and have a presence on this site. The ability to provide reviews and feedback is crucial for businesses as it acts as an outlet for customer interaction. Some new Facebook features include live video and instant news articles. Facebook is still trying to improve with updated services.

Although Facebook originated from a personal sharing outlet, it has now evolved into a site for businesses and individuals. There are advertising opportunities, and even a source for breaking news.   

LinkedIn

Established as a business-focused social networking site whose main purpose is to allow professionals to network, LinkedIn has grown to be much more than that.

With the majority of users being between the age of 30-49, it serves as a professional social networking website, and is now the number one site for business development. The second largest group of users is 50-64 year olds. The target for LinkedIn is clearly a much older age range than Facebook. There are LinkedIn Groups, LI Pulse, (which is a daily news feed powered by the professional world) and it also has advertising and strong recruitment capabilities.

There are lead generation tools, advertising opportunities, and various other fee-for-service business opportunities worth investigating for your business development activities.

Twitter 

Today it was announced that posting pictures on twitter would no longer count as 25 characters like it did previously. This shows how social media platforms are constantly changing, as pictures have increasingly become more common on Twitter. Twitter is known as a micro-blogging platform. The majority of users are adults 18-29, with the second largest group being in the 30-49 age range.

As a more conversational and timely platform, Twitter requires a serious commitment to tweet at least twice a day, ideally more.  Businesses can get lost in Twitterverse or have very limited engagement without this type of commitment.  Remember to have social media protocol here because if a potential client tweets at you, you need to ensure you have the ability to respond instantly.

Instagram

Originally a personal image sharing platform, Instagram is evolving to cater more to business- driven objectives with Instagram ads and other features.  With over 150 million users, 90% of these users are under the age of 35, but the 30-49 demographic is starting to catch up. If your audience skews younger, and your product/service can best be displayed visually, then this might be the platform for your business.

Instagram, like Twitter, is an instantaneous feed that’s updated often, so you’ll need to be active on a regular and planned basis for your content to be noticed.

While the above social media platforms are considered the most popular, Snapchat and Pinterest are also frequently used social media platforms and continue to grow.

Evidently, each platform has a specific audience and purpose it serves. As it seems most platforms are gearing to suit business purposes, I advise you to consider all the platforms out there and make sure you know which one is right for your business.

Be mindful of evolving channels, changing demographics, and your customer needs, because as each social media channel evolves, so too must your marketing efforts.

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Social Media – Are Your Lights On?

Social-Media11There really is no other medium quite like it! Social media has the unique ability to not only reach thousands of customers instantaneously, but also to influence their buying decisions. It is a marketer’s dream: an inexpensive medium to leverage when creating brand awareness, influencing opportunities, and online marketing campaigns.

It seems there are new social media channels popping up every day, and although they may be tempting, before you add the latest one to your marketing arsenal, I’ve outlined below a few social media guidelines worth considering when evaluating your social media approach to help you decide which new shiny social media platform is right for your marketing objectives.

  1. Do Your Homework

One rule of thumb I tell my clients is to do your research; make sure your audience is listening. If your audience is not on the platform you’ve chosen, then how will you measure results against your marketing objectives? One way to conduct research for social media could be to actually ask your customers in an online poll or quick web survey. By finding out which channels your customers are on, you can narrow down your choices and easily make a decision about which channels you should put your efforts towards.

  1. Who is the Platform For?

Many businesses believe that having a presence on many channels can bring them the most exposure for their brand, but each platform targets different demographics and opportunities. Take a look at the platform, read what people are saying about it, check out the content and get a flavour for the postings, look at the advertising opportunities, and then decide if it’s right for your customers.

  1. Be Strategic and Consistent

As with all marketing, social media needs to be implemented strategically and then implemented consistently. You’ll need to create a plan, schedule, and “voice” to be successful. No one will follow a brand that is in their face one second and then disappears for the next month.

  1. Do You Have Enough Bandwidth?

Once you’ve decided on which new platform(s) you’d like to add, consider your resources. Some of you may already have a presence on many channels, so consider the extra work involved. It’s better to have a strong presence on a few channels that matter to your customers, than spreading yourself too thin and getting a weak performance on several.

There is no doubt about it, social media is a great marketing tool for business, but you’ll need to be clear about choosing the right platforms, scheduling the content and remaining consistent online. If your social media platform has not been active for as long as a week, to a potential customer it could feel like you have turned off the lights and locked the doors!