It’s easy for marketers to become overwhelmed by social media. There are so many social networks, and each one can seem essential to your
brand’s success. However, it’s not necessary to spend resources on them all. Rather, pick the channels that make the most sense for your brand. There are two key steps to determine which
social networks are right for you. First, identify your brand’s audience and goals. Second, understand the strengths that each social network offers to brands.
Start with a thorough look at your brand’s social media strategy, and ask yourself a few questions. Who is your brand’s target audience, and
which social networks are they using? For example, we focus on reaching moms who spend a great deal of their time on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter isn’t as popular for busy moms, so it’s
not a big priority for us. What are your brand’s goals – brand awareness, customer engagement, or brand building? Finally, what type of content do you have to share on social –
videos, photos, data, blog articles, etc?
Once you have clear answers to those questions, use this guide to determine where to deploy
your social media resources:
- Facebook – For most consumer brands, Facebook is essential to their social media strategy.
The site is now large enough that it’s a proxy for the entire Internet. A presence on Facebook shows consumers that you have a social media pulse. Therefore, for just about every B2C company,
Facebook is a must.
- Twitter – Brands who want to capture the “right now” aspect of their
product or industry should spend time on Twitter. This might entail customer service answering questions about the product or service (@comcastcares is a great example of this), or real-time reactions
of what’s currently going on in the world. Some well-known brands, such as JetBlue, use Twitter to humanize their brand and communicate with followers in a way that makes them feel like they are
really a part of the company.
- Pinterest – Female consumers, especially moms, flock to Pinterest to
find inspiration, so spend resources on this social network if you target women who seek new ways of using your products. For example, Lowe’s sells basic home improvement products. Yet, it
turned its Pinterest page into an inspirational “you can do it” mecca for consumers who need to tackle daunting household projects. Pinterest is also ideal for brands with ecommerce
business. In fact, nearly one-third of moms made a purchase after they saw the item on Pinterest. One
tip: add a Pin It! Button to all products on your site so consumers can easily share them.
- Google+ - While Google+ has
been around for a few years, brands continue to struggle with whether or not to spend resources on this social network. Because of its geolocation features, Google+ is a great option for
brick-and-mortar stores that also have ecommerce sites. Target specific regions with announcements on sales, new products, and more. In addition, Google+ is surprisingly beneficial for highly visual
brands because videos and photos rise to the top in Google+ feeds.
- Instagram – Consumers love to take
photos of their favorite brands and products. In fact, engagement on Instagram with
Interbrand’s Top 100 brands increased 35% between August 2012 and February 2013. Create a hashtag that consumers can use when they post photos of your brand so you can follow their creations.
Not only are those users increasing brand awareness for you, but they are also providing valuable consumer research on how people use your products.
- Vine –Vine is cool and hip because it’s new, but don’t try to force your way into Vine. Choose Vine if you can do something truly great in six
seconds, such as show consumers how to solve an issue (General Electric does a great job at this) or show a creative product demo.
Ultimately, it’s important that your brand uses social media to form meaningful connections with your consumers. Whether it’s a tweet that
offers brand new, timely information or a pin that solves a simple problem, these interactions keep consumers coming back to your brand. This engagement is contingent on your brand’s ability to
deliver creative content on the most appropriate social channel. Identify that channel and customer engagement with your brand on social media will quickly increase.