Social media has been leading the charge in marketing tactics for quite a while. Taking your customer outreach efforts onto these digital platforms is a great way to reach large audiences with relatively little work. But with so many options, it can be hard for businesses to decide where to focus their efforts. Luckily, Small Business Examiner has taken some guesswork out of the equation.
In the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, SME questioned 3,700 marketers about their social media marketing strategies. The benefits of social media are clear. Of participants, 90 percent noted that these marketing efforts have generated more publicity for their company. Increased traffic and customer loyalty were also cited as key results of social media campaigns.
So, we know the end results, but which platforms were used as the means? Unsurprisingly, Facebook reigns supreme. A considerable 93 percent of respondents cited the social media site as their most used marketing channel.
Twitter took the second place spot with 79 percent of participants turning to the blue bird for their social media needs. Somewhat surprisingly, LinkedIn and Google+ took the third and fourth spots respectively.
Later in the survey, respondents were asked to name a single social media channel that they considered the most important for their business needs. Like in the survey, Facebook took the top spot with 52 percent of marketers citing the platform as essential.
However, LinkedIn took the second spot with 21 percent. Twitter fell to third with just 12 percent of survey participants needing tweets to survive. And the last channel was YouTube with 4 percent of the votes.
Creating an actionable audience
In order to understand if something is successful, there must be a way to measure effectiveness. In the world of social media, success has a lot to do with what the content inspires your audience to do. A good social media strategy will create what is called an “actionable audience.”
In the world of content, this means a customer base that will digest your marketing materials and then engage with your brand. As the SME survey revealed, there are certain platforms that marketers seek out as opposed to others. Much of the reasoning behind this stems from the ability to create an actionable audience. With this in mind, here are our top three picks for ideal social media platforms:
[icon name=”facebook-official” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Facebook
Any business that isn’t currently using Facebook for marketing needs to seriously reevaluate its marketing strategy. The user-friendly platform is essentially a no-brainer. With over a billion active users, Facebook is a great way to share multiple forms of content to a broad audience. High levels of interaction can translate to solid conversion rates. Features such as Custom and Look Alike Audiences make sure your Facebook efforts hit the correct target audiences.
[icon name=”instagram” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Instagram
According to Business News Daily, Instagram has an impressive 300 million active users. For businesses with visually appealing products, Instagram is a great outlet for marketing. The SME survey found that 71 percent of marketers cited visual content as the most useful material for marketing. Product pictures can be a great tool for inspiring customers to act. The app is mobile-friendly and can promote brand interaction on-the-go. Give Instagram a shot if you want to take a unique spin on your marketing efforts.
[icon name=”twitter-square” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Twitter
Like Facebook, Twitter allows users to share every type of content on a single platform. However, Twitter takes a much more bite-sized approach. Many companies use Twitter as a customer service platform, explained Business News Daily. Let your consumers tweet concerns, praise or product questions to your Twitter handle.
This is a quick and easy way to boost customer interaction levels with your brand. The source suggested not only sharing information about your business but also relevant content about your industry that could interest your readers. Remember, retweets are a great way to advertise your brand indirectly through existing customers. Share some interesting content and watch your interaction rates soar.
Whichever channel your business chooses to use, social media is a great strategy for marketing. In an increasingly mobile-world, users want digital content that is easily digestible. Cater to these preferences via social media.