Social media platforms explained

When you use social media as part of of your marketing strategy, you can either end up uniting audiences across many platforms or inducing confusion through botched messaging. A lot is riding on your ability to quickly produce engaging and on-brand Tweets, Facebook posts and more. If you skip a particular platform, your company may be “invisible” to its users, but if a particular channel is poorly managed, customers may react more negatively than if nothing were there. Fortunately, there are ways forward.

A master of all: Social media platforms explained

Just how many social media accounts is the right amount for your company? That likely Social media platforms explained with craft beerdepends on your products. If your merchandise photographs well, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to skip Instagram or Pinterest. If it looks better in motion, Vine may be a good addition to your portfolio. The challenge is filling all of these channels with relevant, engaging content while keeping them in sync.

Forbes’ Edmund Ingham recently commented that rather than going for an unbalanced approach to social media, i.e. focusing all of your attention on one network, it pays to set up accounts on many different channels and keep each one up to date. This means no abandoning of platforms for days or weeks at a time and no undue focus on one or the other. Equally spaced posts will keep your name in consumers’ minds better than content dumps that only reach a limited percent of your target audience.

One important concept about consistency across platforms is making sure content is unique and fits the channel or social network of your choice. Creating a Facebook post and an Instagram post with the same authorial voice is a good practice. Simply yanking the photo from your Instagram and posting it in a Facebook album is just a drop in the bucket and meaningless to any user who follows you on both.

Seeking out new networks might seem like a time-consuming task, but these untapped sites could be your ticket to front-runner status in your own market. Ingham recommended jumping onto new trends as they begin to gain attention rather than staying out of the fray. If a Vine meme has become popular in your industry and you don’t even have a company account, you may miss out on potential customers. This is a mistake experienced marketers shouldn’t make.

What’s it worth?

The final piece of the puzzle is determining what each element of your social strategy is worth to you. A recent analysis by consultant and CIO contributor Peter Brooks demonstrated that few organizations have managed to quantify their returns, but it is widely desired. The current number of firms tracking ROI from their social initiatives is a mere 15 percent, but once they overcome the challenges of running multi-faceted campaigns, these firms will likely be able to do so through careful observation of their income and outlay.

Tabulating the results of social tends to come down to one very important step: Deciding what you’re trying to accomplish. Brooks recommended drawing a direct line between your approach to social and objectives such as spreading your brand, studying clients and boosting overall revenue.

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