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In a world where new social media platforms show up every year, it can be difficult to select the right channels for your brand or campaign.
Moreover, this step should be established before the content creation phase begins, since it’s crucial in deciding the format you’re going to use. For instance, while it’s clear that the message will be delivered online until you select the right channels you can’t know if the content will be in the video, image, or text format.
Each social media platform favors a certain type of content. For instance, YouTube is focused on video, Instagram is all about gorgeous images (and videos lately), while Facebook combines both video and image with text. Not to mention Twitter, which is a completely different species!
So, how do you choose between so many great options?
If you feel lost in this sea of possibilities, don’t be too disappointed by it; most beginners (and sometimes professionals) feel that way. This is why everyone needs some guiding steps to help them sort through this madness and choose only the channels that would work for them.
#1: Always Have a Strategy
There is no way to understand how or why your campaign went a certain direction if you didn’t implement it based on a strategy.
Now, any marketing strategy (be it for print or online) is built around the customer. In conclusion, you can’t build a healthy and effective strategy if you don’t know the people who are supposed to buy the product or service you’re offering.
Identify your target audience
This is one of the most sensitive steps, as it’s crucial that you identify them correctly.
Data shows that campaigns who target specific types of people or specific categories are more successful than campaigns that take a broad approach and hope for the best.
For instance, if you’re promoting luxurious watches that can be used to accessorize expensive suits and apparel, you may want to take your campaign to Instagram (it’s more visual).
But not every Instagram user will be interested in or can afford to buy your product. As such, you should try a collaboration with specific influencers who have a more select audience. Also, bloggers who promote a high-end lifestyle or the ones who create content for business people may be another great channel.
As you can see from the example above, the focus is on groups of people who present a higher chance of becoming customers. While the broader approach may be more tempting (due to the increased number of possible leads), you’ll only be wasting resources and time which should be focused on high-quality leads.
#2: Know Your Enemies
Here we use the term enemies loosely since we actually mean competitors. Still, the idea stands, as you have a lot to learn from successful rivals. Watch their social media campaigns and try to figure out why they went with a certain platform and not the other.
Study the way they create and send messages and have a look at the people they are targeting. Not to mention that, by studying the competition, you get to learn about mistakes and pitfalls to avoid, which is an incredibly valuable lesson.
Monitoring your competitors is also crucial for another reason – being quick to react in case of brand infringement. Sometimes, careless competitors believe they can use anything they see on the Internet. In a worse case, they can use your intellectual property (such as a logo) on purpose – for example, to spoil your reputation. Logo trademark registration is important is you are want to be 100% sure your brand identity is safe online.
#3: Identify the Best Channels
Once you have a clear idea of your target audience and the competition, it becomes easier to pinpoint several channels that will work best.
Given that you know about possible customers’ wants and likes, you also know where they like to spend time on social media. Moreover, the data collected from competitor brands help you thin the list by checking their success status on each of these channels.
A Few Final Words
If you reached this point in your strategy, you’re ready to move forward with content creation and message dissemination.
But why is it so important to identify the best channels in social media? Why not go with the most popular platforms and see how it goes?
Since we receive these questions quite often, it’s clear that some people see the steps mentioned in this article as being a waste of time. However, if you truly want a campaign that brings a nice ROI, you must do everything in your power to make sure the target audience will not only receive but also perceives and understands the message.
For example, if you post something on Facebook and no one reacts, the post gets buried by the platform and your work will be in vain. So, it pays to make that extra effort to make sure you find the people who are most likely to react to your campaign.