It goes without saying that an eCommerce business must engage with social media to stay relevant and drive sales in today’s market. But with the growing number of social media channels available, choosing which to use can feel overwhelming. On the one hand, some platforms are more popular than others. On the other hand, just because a platform is popular doesn’t guarantee your target audience is on it or that it will work for you. So which rule of thumb do you go by and how do you choose?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to approach your social media strategy. Fortunately, San Diego Media has you covered. This post will break down what you need to know when choosing among today’s infinite social channels.
Reserve the Right to Be Choosy.
Marketing agency TrackMaven conducted a recent study on the growth of social media that found the number of social media users worldwide will reach 2.44 billion by 2018. There’s no shortage of avenues available to go viral and get noticed, but you won’t necessarily be better off having every one of them.
Overextending your capacity by opening accounts on every major social media platform will not only deplete your time and energy but also make it harder to engage meaningfully with your customers. In addition, certain platforms work better for certain industries.
Shopify released a set of infographics that can help you compare the efficacy of the top social networks for your market. For example, the majority of orders that fall under sports and recreation as well as home and garden come from Facebook. In contrast, YouTube usually drives orders for digital and automotive merchandise. Keeping this in mind is important, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which platform will work best for your unique business. This is where weighing the pros and cons of each comes into play.
Know the Opportunities and Limits.
With social media as ubiquitous as it is nowadays, you probably are familiar with the most popular platforms. But do you know the upside and downside of each, especially when it comes to your specific industry?
Created as a tool to help college students meet one another, Facebook is now a global brand that has more than 1.55 billion users thanks to its versatility. With Facebook, you can monitor the relationship status of your ex as well as follow the news, organize events, connect with celebrities and sell merchandise. Businesses can post multimedia, update customers on the latest happenings and more, making it useful for nearly all industries.
With a worldwide following of 320 million users, Twitter is one of the top 10 most popular websites in the United States. The platform allows you to rapidly share content – including pictures and videos – given the 140-character limit, the re-tweet feature and hashtags. As Brittney Helmrich mentions in Social Media for Business: 2016 Marketer’s Guide, Twitter is also a great tool for customer service. People can tweet at you if they like your service or have a concern to report – and you can respond instantly.
An image- and video-only site, Instagram has 400 million users. Anyone can become Instagram famous given the top-notch filters and editing options, but that’s not to say this channel isn’t serious. In fact, top designers have discovered fashion models via Instagram. Other popular content includes food, art and travel. Even if your industry falls outside these categories, you can find success by posting visually compelling content and using the right hashtags.
Pinterest allows users to maintain digital bulletin boards where they can save and display content (images and videos) organized by category, thus offering brands huge potential. Whereas the average Twitter visit lasts 21 minutes, the average amount of time spent on Pinterest is 89 minutes per session. People also tend to trust offers on Pinterest over other social media sites. However, Pinterest is a niche platform compared to Facebook and Twitter. About 80% of people who pin are female; the majority of daily active users are under 40; and the most popular categories are food and drink, DIY and crafts, home décor and holidays/events.
Clearly, each of these platforms offers distinct, useful features that can benefit your business. Analyzing how these features will work for your marketing strategy is the next step.
Ask the Right Questions.
In his blog post “Marketers: You Don’t Need to Be on Every Digital Channel” Jeff Rum points to three questions you must ask when deciding which social media platform(s) to use:
Is it meaningful? Are you genuinely interested in what features this platform provides, and will your customers be? Or are you simply considering it because it’s trending right now?
Is it manageable? Does your team have the manpower to execute your new strategy? Will you be able to create new content on this social network regularly despite your other tasks or will it eventually take a backseat?
Is it measurable? Will this platform yield meaningful results to your marketing efforts? Does this platform provide analytics on these results or will you have to figure out a way to evaluate its effectiveness?
Once you answer these questions, you will be able to narrow your choices down to a couple options.
Need Some Assistance?
There’s no point in broadcasting a message no one will hear, so it's important to figure out which platforms your target customers are using and develop a strategy to make those platforms work for you. San Diego Media can help! Contact us today at 1.800.808.8696 or by filling out this brief e-form.