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6 Questions to Answer Before Choosing Branded Social Platforms

Insights June 22, 2017

When it comes to choosing a social media platform to boost your brand’s online presence, it’s important to select ones with the highest returns on engagement and possible conversions.

Due to limited resources or time, a lot of companies aren’t able to excel on every platform. Instead of stretching resources to the max, why not focus on the ones best suited for your brand rather than having a subpar presence across all channels?

There are many things to consider when it comes to developing a social media strategy. When added into your marketing mix, social media marketing can be a powerful tool. If executed properly, it can improve visibility, tell your story, increase sales, and boost web traffic.

With an overwhelming amount of options, it can be intimidating to try and select the right platform or platforms. Before you dive in, here are some fundamental questions to consider.

1. Have you mapped out your social media strategy?

Where is your audience right now? Before you even commit to a social platform, it’s important to clearly define your strategy and what your overall goals are. During the strategy process, choosing your target audience should be a no-brainer — you’ve already determined that in your business model. Clearly defining your target demographic will help your strategy succeed. If you can’t clearly state how or why having a particular account helps your business, nix it.

2. How many channels are you managing?

It’s highly unlikely you’re going to settle for only one branded social media outlet. Your brand visibility and reach will crash and burn, and nobody has time for that. On the flip side, signing up and managing five different platforms at the beginning could result in diluted content and may harm your online presence. Start small on one or two channels; build a strong following and expand your reach into other channels later on.

3. What kind of content do you want to create?

Certain platforms favor specific types of content more than others, so you’ll need to answer this million dollar question before you get started. For example, if your business is an image-heavy, B2C women’s brand, leveraging networks like Pinterest with its predominantly female user base would be ideal for traffic and sales. In turn, sites like Instagram can aid in creating a visual brand story while building a loyal following.

4. What are your competitors using?

Start by analyzing what channels your competitors are managing and seeing the highest levels of engagement. Researching which spaces your competition is in can help your brand assess what kind of existing activity is happening in that particular industry.

Track your competitors to learn how often they post if they engage with their audience, and the type of content they’re curating. This will directly impact how you approach your current strategy and aid in long-term success.

5. What are your key performance indicators?

Before you get started, be sure to define your KPIs. A good KPI should guide you and your team in the right direction for your strategic goals. What’s right for one brand’s strategy may not be right for yours, so make sure you choose wisely and research which KPIs will help you achieve your goals in the long run. Here’s some to consider:

Brand awareness

If your goal is to increase brand awareness or make a sale, choose well-established platforms with the potential for a large following – such as Instagram or Facebook.

Be ready to spend some money though; these major platforms have evolved, diminishing unpaid organic reach and are requiring more “pay-to-play” approaches. Ads can, however, generate some impressive ROI with their hyper-targeting abilities.

Lead generation

Is your goal B2B lead generation? LinkedIn may be the champion here. Participating in discussions within targeted groups and making strong connections with the right people and businesses is critical. If LinkedIn isn’t your jam, Facebook and Twitter have excellent and more cost-effective lead generation options, especially compared to an Adwords campaign.

Thought leadership

If your objective is to share industry updates and other company news, focusing your time and energy on sites like Linkedin and maintaining a professional Twitter would be in your best interest. It’s important to engage with other brands and professionals in your industry to build strong relationships in the long run.

6. Are you planning for future growing pains?

After you’ve gotten comfortable managing and posting to all your chosen social channels, you may want to explore a new platform. Setting up a new platform and strategy can be exponentially more work. Simply cross-pollinating the same content isn’t going to be very compelling.

Consider this when you start thinking about new platforms versus optimizing and improving your ROI on existing channels. One thing that can help with growing pains is automation. Signing up for scheduling tools to auto-post content on your behalf can save you some serious time.

Concluding Thoughts

Once you find your niche and what works best in the social media world, a well-thought-out and strongly executed social strategy could be your most powerful marketing weapon.

Always err on the side of caution when a new social platform seems to be the next best thing. I’m all for registering and reserving your brand name, but without a solid strategy with the right resources, consider putting it on the back-burner.

Chasing shiny objects can have negative consequences to your overall quality and audience engagement metrics. In social media, it’s often quality over quantity that comes out on top.

What steps did you take when choosing your brand’s social channels?

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