There is no doubt that social media has a big role to play in digital marketing. But is there really a “better” platform to use in your campaigns?
The rise of the Internet has been so quickly followed by the emergence of social media that it is difficult for anyone not to link them together. This is even more true for the millennial generation, who grew up with both.
Having started as a way to stay in touch, the goal of social media has broadened. If it included less tasty elements, it was also a way to spark public debate and raise awareness.
Along with that, there has also been an increase in the commercial use of social media. As the web has provided more and more opportunities for digital advertising and the development of content marketing, social media has also provided parallel opportunities.
Indeed, many digital marketing strategies now involve combining the two – and for good reason. By being able to supplement the content of your website with social media, you can reach more people and also reach the same potential market in several ways.
What are your options?
Having established that social media has a big role to play in marketing, the question can be asked.
The simplest answer to this query is that there is no single correct answer. This is for several reasons:
● Different products and services can be marketed more effectively on one social media platform than another, but it will not always be the same.
● Your buyer may be more likely to use one social media platform than another, so it all depends on your target market.
● The most effective marketing campaigns can use multiple platforms.
Differences between platforms and why they matter
With all of this in mind, it is important to consider the different options and what each of them can offer you.
● Facebook and YouTube are the most used platforms in the UK, with over 40 million users each. This means that these are the best options if your priority is to reach as many people as possible.
● Facebook and YouTube are the most viable options for video. Facebook can combine this with other content, while YouTube has the advantage of being able to host longer videos and will attract people specifically looking for this form of content.
● Instagram is very effective for a mixture of still images and videos, the first being a priority. Text is less important, so it’s useful when the focus is on the visual aspect of a product.
● While Facebook and YouTube have diverse user bases, Instagram is more geared towards a young, female audience, making it an ideal target if it matches the character of your campaign buyer – and a bad option for targeted older male clients.
● LinkedIn is geared towards the professional services industry and, as such, is a more specialized form of social media that can be used to market professional services.
● Twitter has a diverse user base and is better suited for short, catchy text content, although including links can connect tweets to other content.
These differences are coming up with a good example of how a marketing campaign can be used in different social media and at the same time also to highlight different aspects of goods and services you offer or present them in somewhat different ways.
For example, suppose you want to reach a market that can sometimes have free time, but not all the time. Obviously, anyone who watches a long video on YouTube will have enough free time to do so, while those who only have a few minutes to spare could check out Twitter instead.
If your target market is someone who works full time, this combination of different media might work well. For example, they might have time to watch a video during their round trip to work, but only a few minutes to watch Twitter during their mid-morning break.
Use of PPC
It’s not just by using different types of content that you can reach people through social media. Pay-per-click advertising is also available on various platforms.
Again, there is no even a single answer to the best option. But there are some factors that are worth considering in this. For example:
● Facebook has the greatest potential audience, costs little to use and offers microtargeting.
● LinkedIn is likely to have the most relevant audience due to narrow demographics and it’s possible to target high-value audiences with great precision.
● Twitter ads are interactive and can be retweeted again and again.
At the same time, these different options also have their drawbacks. For example:
● Facebook ads will only be visible if people pay, so your organic reach is reduced.
● LinkedIn is very good at reaching people, but it has a higher cost than other PPC options and ad readers matching your buyer personality will not be interested in your services as they use the site to search for ’employment.
● Twitter ads are limited in the same way as any Tweet is limited to 140 characters and the targeting is sometimes a bit random.
With these different factors to take into account, it is important to think carefully before deciding which PPC option is best. You should also keep an eye on the progress and stop a PPC campaign if it is not running through a particular platform.
Be prepared to be flexible
Just as you can change your social media strategy if it doesn’t work well, you can change the platforms you use. But, as mentioned above, you will probably find that the most effective campaigns use the different means of connecting with potential customers offered by each platform.
Therefore, being flexible in this case may simply mean changing the marketing mix; do a little more than one thing on one website and less than one other thing on a different platform. For example, a new product launch can be better served by more visual aids and less written content.
A good digital marketing agency can help you find the most effective way to integrate it into a larger digital marketing strategy in the most suitable way to help your business gain prospects and new customers.
Contributed by Raunak Pandev, a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing company that provides world-class search engine marketing services and website & application development.