Which Social Media Channels Work Best for Your Industry? The Essential Questionnaire
Social media has grown so much over the last decade, it became an integral part of our lives. In today’s world, no matter what kind of industry you operate in, there’s no doubt that your customers are using social media. The issue that arises is knowing which ones they use.
You don’t want to waste time on a social media channel that isn’t a right fit for your industry. You also know you shouldn’t spread your efforts across all social media, so it’s critical to choose the right channels to focus your social media content around. How do you do that?
It’s much more efficient to stick to a few social media where you are most likely to succeed. By answering this questionnaire, you will be able to narrow down the right social media for your industry.
Is Your Industry More B2C or B2B?
The first step is to take a look at your industry. Depending on whether you focus on B2C or B2B, the buyer intent will be different, and so will the appropriate social media channel. For example, using Facebook Ads is more effective for selling flashlights or watch bands than business software.
Thus, you should select the social media channels that clients in your industry use the most, and use the sort of marketing that fits their stage in the buyer’s journey. For instance, LinkedIn is more appropriate for B2B industries – where marketers focus on sharing information and gathering leads, while Pinterest appeals more to consumers of goods (think clothing and apparel, jewelry, accessories, art, home decor), who are more prone to impulse buying. Below are some of the most popular social media depending on the type of business:
- Business to Consumer: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter
- Business to Business: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google +
While there might be exceptions to these recommendations, they do reflect general tendencies. Also, researching what social media your competitors use – and how well they seem to be doing –can help you get an idea of which social media channels to target.
What is Your Goal?
There are many things you can achieve with social media. If your goal is simply “growing your business”, you should reconsider because it’s too broad and long-term; you need to define a specific goal for the short term. Below are the most common goals pursued when entering the world of social media:
- Get your business in front of a larger audience
- Generate leads
- Increase website traffic and sales
- Grow and manage a community
- Expand your customer service to a platform where customers can voice their questions and concerns
Depending on your goal, some social media are a better fit than others. Facebook is a solid pick for growing a community through public, private or secret groups. Twitter is good for interacting with customers, answering their queries and gathering valuable feedback. It allows you to have a direct conversation with customers and learn their opinions, but be prepared to occasionally handle harsh or provocative comments in front of your audience.
What Social Media Does Your Audience Use?
To answer this question, you need a detailed profile of your ideal customer. Define his or her age, location, occupation, income, interests, aspirations, problems, frustrations, and, naturally, what social media he or she uses. To find out where your target audience spends time online, you can either look up the information you have on existing clients or ask them through a survey.
You can also research the demographics of social media users to get a global idea of who uses what. You’ll find interesting insights, like women comprising the majority of Pinterest users, or professionals above the age of 30 probably being users of LinkedIn.
What Types of Content Are You Focused On?
Some content formats perform better depending on the social media channel used. You should find out which ones work best for the type of content you use them. Again, focus leads to efficiency. For instance, you don’t have to do live streaming just because it’s all the craze.
The following is a summary of the most shared social media content on major social media:
- Facebook: informational / educational content, videos
- Instagram: images, behind-the-scenes content, user-generated content, stories
- Twitter: news, blog posts
- LinkedIn: news, professional content, jobs
- Pinterest: infographics, images, photo guides
- Google +: blog posts
Having a well-defined content strategy will help you narrow down the most suitable social media. Also, you might want to try Medium for blog posts, because it’s getting more popular year after year.
Social media has become an unavoidable aspect of online marketing. The right social media channels for your industry are the ones where these factors overlap:
- Your type of industry (B2C or B2B)
- Your social media goals
- Your target audience
- Your preferred content formats
Publishing your social media content on the right channels will help you effectively connect with your target audience, raise brand awareness and, in fine, grow your business.
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