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What is the Best Social Media for My Brand?

Nov 28, 2018 8:31:30 AM

Is every brand right for every social media platform? Apparently not, since companies that sell sneakers to teens don’t waste time with campaigns on LinkedIn. Businesses already know that targeting a specific audience provides the best ROI and social media platforms appeal to different demographic groups, so the trick is to figure out which one will work when you are branding.

What is Branding?

Branding is a critical developmental process for any company and, if done incorrectly, it can cost time and money- something few businesses can afford to lose. That's true for small companies, large ones, B2B or B2C. Proper branding is the key to getting an edge in competitive markets. None of that describes what branding is, though. A brand is something like a name, phrase or tagline that makes a company stand out. For example:

  • Facial tissue is a product
  • Kleenex is a brand

The fact that someone might ask you for a Kleenex proves how effective the branding was for this company. Here’s another one; teens don’t just want to wear sneakers, they want to wear Nikes or Jordans. It’s the brand name that makes the company bubble up in a sea of similar competitors.

Branding and Social Media

Branding existed way before social media but, today, the two are closely related. Social media allows you to engage with customers and potential leads in a personal and targeted way. In 2005, only about 5 percent of adults in this country used social media. Today, that number is closer to 70 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

Businesses can reach audiences all over the world for less using social media. Through social media branding, companies like yours propel themselves ahead of the competition. That kind of reach wasn’t available back in the days when Kleenex and Nike were making their bones, but it is standard operating procedure now. Some key benefits of social media branding include:

  • Increased brand awareness as more people become acquainted with you via the various channels.
  • Brand loyalty because social media provides a way to connect to your audience.
  • Enhanced conversation opportunities with each post.
  • The human element with better customer interaction.
  • Improved brand authority as you interact with major social media influencers.
  • Rising inbound traffic because posts contain links back to your site.
  • Richer customer experiences with one-on-one communication.

Social media branding creates a personal experience for your customers that doesn’t blow a hole in your marketing budget.

facebook-instagram-logos-266246What Social Media Platform is the Right One for Your Brand

Understanding how the various social media platforms reach different audiences is an essential part of any branding strategy. New social media platforms pop up yearly, but only a few seem to remain relevant. These few continue to pick up new users monthly, and that’s why businesses focus on them.  

It is possible for companies to stay active on each of the mainstream platforms, but that is a difficult strategy to maintain without one dedicated person to coordinate each campaign. It is better not to overreach, especially as you are branding.  

The most practical approach is to pick one, two, or three of the networks and put them to work for your company. The question is which ones do you focus on when branding?  Each of the major social media networks has pros and cons but, ultimately, it is the audience that makes one platform better for your business than another. That requires you to figure out who you are trying to communicate with by asking questions like:

  • What need does my company fill?
  • Who has this need?
  • What demographic best fits into my market?

Once you identify your audience, it’s time to look at the platforms. Consider five possibilities and why they might work for you.

1. Facebook

Facebook is undoubtedly on the top on most lists just because of the volume of users. At last count, Facebook averages around 1.47 billion users each day and 2.23 billion per month. It is also the most recognizable platform. Facebook has some insightful tools for branding, as well.

A business page allows you to increase your exposure not only on the site but via organic searches, as well. Each person that follows or likes your business page comes with friends that are potential leads. It offers a reach that is difficult to find on most social media platforms.

Overall, Facebook is an excellent go-to network because people of all ages frequent it. Most companies are active on it, as well, so it works for B2B. Monitoring engagement through likes and shares is easy, and it works to promote almost any brand.blur-close-up-computer-9276292. Twitter

Next in recognizability is Twitter, which reports about 336 million monthly users all over the world. Twitter might be the better option for a company that needs a global reach. It also provides an active forum for customer service needs. Customers can use it to discuss specific problems or to offer feedback on a product, and you can reply when they do.

The use of retweeting, hashtags and video posts make this site a must have for interaction and visual content, too. In some ways, it serves as a media outlet for businesses in real time. It does the same for the competition, so you can monitor what is going on with them.

It is the research capabilities that makes Twitter a likely choice from brand building. Twitter has a search engine that you can use to follow brand mentions, product names, the competition, and relevant industry topics. You can engage, as well, when something pops up. If a user posts #needacar and you are a car dealer in that same area, you just got a line on a lead.

Like Facebook, Twitter’s target audience is just about everyone, but it offers more for the small to medium business. According to a Research Now survey, 93 percent of people that follow a small business on Twitter will or have already bought from them. Eight-five percent of users that do follow enterprises on this social media site says it’s crucial they provide customer service through Twitter, as well.

3. Instagram

Instagram is all about the visual, so if your business relies on images to promote a product, that’s where you need to build your brand. It works best for the laid-back audience as well. Instagram is also a site people can use without worrying about a new notification every minute or getting email after email.

The audience there is growing, too. In 2017, its parent company Facebook reported Instagram had 800 million users with more signing on daily. Companies can get away with showing a little personality on this site, which is one reason it is so popular with celebrities looking to build a brand. Other industries that do well on Instagram include:

  • Food
  • Lifestyle
  • Travel
  • Fashion
  • Luxury

The audience for Instagram tends to be younger, which is why brands like Nike, Starbucks, and even National Geographic do well there. It is not the right platform if your target is seniors or B2B, though.

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a popular B2B site, but not the right choice for B2C companies. This network is full of recruiters and job-seekers, too, so businesses that are always looking for new talent should consider it.

LinkedIn has some marketing tools that make it an obvious choice for the B2B company looking to grow. For example, you can publish content on the site to increase your internet presence and reach out to other business.

LinkedIn is the place to go to show you are an industry thought leader, to tell your company’s story and to build a brand voice. Professionals that are looking to make business associations will likely go to LinkedIn first.

5. SnapChat

The fifth social media site is a toss-up between SnapChat, YouTube and Pinterest. SnapChat is growing in popularity, though, and it offers more ways to interact with potential leads. As of 2017, around 158 million people were on SnapChat, and they tend to spend about 30 minutes a day there. It is probably one of the most flexible platforms around, too, but it does appeal to a young audience, usually between the ages of 18 to 24. On this one platform, you can:

  • Offer coupons
  • Offer VIP Access online access to events in real time
  • Feature employees and followers
  • Show product demos
  • Connect with influencers
  • Do promotions

It is a visual platform like Instagram but with a little extra flair. The downside to SnapChat is you have just a few seconds to connect, so creativity matters.adult-communication-connecting-1080846

You need to use social media to build your brand. Once you are clear on that one fact you can start planning how that will happen, including what platforms are best suited for your business. If you are still unsure of how to go about picking a social media platform, here are some tips:

  • Consider what network your target audience is likely to use. The goal is to communicate with your audience so, go ahead and figure out what platform does that for you.
  • Investigate how each of the different networks operate. How much time will each one take to maintain a week? Is there a way to optimize the effort and when is the best time to post. For example, midweek around five is a good time for LinkedIn but Saturday afternoon might be better for Facebook.

If you are still not sold on social media, keep in mind that your competition is already using it. Branding is the key to establishing your business and social media is one of the essential ways you get there. The longer you wait to build that brand the more there is for you to lose.

Social media takes a few hours a week to manage, and it can lead to more conversations, better website traffic, and enhanced customer relationships. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you develop that brand on social media.

 

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