Many businesses know the importance of social media but very few invest in a comprehensive strategy for each platform.  From Facebook to Snapchat, each social media platform has its own audience and a one size fits all mindset isn’t the best approach.

At times marketing on behalf of a brand can be frustrating, depressing, lackluster, just about any negative phrase you can imagine.  Digital marketing for years has been a love and passion of mines.  However, every once in a while you come across an employer/client that sucks the very soul out of the industry.

When determining whether you should invest in a digital marketing consultant or not, the first thing you should do is determine are you looking for somebody to create a strategy for or are you looking for somebody to simply execute.  If you are so married to your way of doing things, then you should probably hire an intern or somebody just looking for a resume pad to join your team, have them just post whatever you tell them, and handle all the mundane customer service related private messages.  If you really want marketing assistance from a professional, then you must understand that there is the probability that the way you were doing things up until this point was incorrect.

Hiring a marketing agency or professional means that you are acknowledging what you have been doing up until that point has not been effective, or only in certain areas.  If you are fortunate enough to find an honest marketing agency they will explain to you that digital marketing doesn’t mean you have to do everything, if you don’t have a product that is useful for the masses then PPC may not be the best idea for you.  Facebook has an audience, Twitter has an audience, and LinkedIn has an audience; all of these audiences are on their respective platforms for different reasons.  And I am a firm believer in if you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.

Facebook:

Facebook is the King, right?  Yes, Facebook is the largest social networks, and people probably spend more time talking to each other on there than they do having an actually conversation with their friends or family; but that doesn’t mean that you have to be on there.  If you want to market on Facebook there is one major factor you must understand, the days of posting to your 100k followers for free are over.  Whether you have 100 followers or 1 million followers you better believe you’re going to need to run promoted posts.  The bright side is that advertising on Facebook is still significantly cheaper than SEM (Search Engine Marketing).  You many however need to change the way you measure success.  Facebook has worked hard to make sure users aren’t forwarded off their site on mobile devices.  Users experience an in-app browser, shopping page for online retailers, and Facebook’s very own video hosting.  Because of this you should potentially put more emphasis on engagement as opposed to website referrals.

It would also be extremely wise for you or your brand to invest in quality video content thanks to all the money Facebook has invested in video, to respond to the popularity of Snapchat.  Videos are the first posts to show in the Facebook newsfeed, and by their own admission the platform would like to reach the point where auser’s News Feed is completely video. Facebook has rolled out Live Video and influenced users to upload video directly to their platform as opposed to sharing from YouTube, users can upload a short video in replacement of the typical profile image, and the platform supports video comments for posts.

freestocks-org-72172-unsplash

Twitter:

Twitter is a great platform for those who have a steady stream of content, more likely bigger companies or agencies that work around the clock to develop content.  They can post multiple times throughout the day, while simultaneously engaging with users who mention them for customer service issues or topical responses. If you know that you can only generate a couple of pieces of content per month, and you don’t have steady stream of users reaching out to you for product related questions, then you should probably nix the Twitter strategy.  This platform is almost entirely about engagement, with the fast paced stream of updates it’s virtually impossible for you to be relevant without users retweeting or responding to your posts.  Most recently Twitter has begun featured almost entirely videos in their “Moments” stream(including a small text caption), and allow videos up 140 seconds to be posted to accounts.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is a network strictly for business professionals, they’re whole platform is centered around creating business relationships and leads.  It isn’t the platform to post funny memes, gifs, or videos of cats riding bicycles.  It is designed for business professionals to find interesting sources of information.  If you are business the specializes in B2B sales, then this is probably the best platform for you.  Keep in mind that the engagement on this platform is extremely low.  While many have benefited from many leads coming from the website, last February it was reported that on average the engagement rate is 0.054% across all posts (read more about engagement rate on buffer.com).

Instagram:

Now officially a subsidy of Facebook Inc., this platform is strictly image and video oriented.  There aren’t any clickable links, outside of your bio, and now the algorithm has changed from a chronological stream to a more interests-themed focus.

jakob-owens-564871-unsplash

In effort to show users what they may have missed since they last logged on, Instagram’s new algorithm will show posts for users you are more likely to engage with.  If youdon’t put more emphasis on developing quality images/videos with proper research into industry related hashtags, then users will probably not even see your posts.  Also Instagram has rolled out Instagram ads which will come into play more for brand profiles.

Snapchat:My Post

The newest sensation that everybody has flocked to, users create videos up to ten seconds at a time to broadcast what city they are in, what food they are eating, and what they would look like with a flowered wreath hanging on their head.  It has become so popular that every other social media network has invested millions of dollars into video hosting. Snapchat has given fans and customers the opportunity to see what their favorite artists or brands do in their daily lives.

Each platform is different and caters to a specific mentality, just because somebody is on Facebook and Snapchat doesn’t mean they interact with each in the same way.  Before you commit to any social media platform have a specific strategy in place, and maintain the consistency of your overall brand voice.  If the audience on a popular social media site does not align with your brand voice that’s ok, there are a lot of platforms and new ones spring up very often.  Last but not least, you should never make the mistake of thinking your company doesn’t need social media at all.  Social media has proven it is here to stay, it will do nothing but get bigger and bigger for the foreseeable future.