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How to Choose a Social Media Platform for Your Digital Campaign

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You’ve heard the same calls growing louder and louder for years: Your brand needs to be on social media.

Social media is indeed a critical component of any digital marketing strategy. An optimized presence on social media can increase your company’s reputation, improve your SEO, and drive more web traffic and sales.

But with so many different social networks, how can you choose the most important ones for your company to be present on? And how do you decide which media platform to focus on for a digital campaign?

Read on to learn the steps to help you choose the networks for your brand’s social media campaign.

Set Your Goals

Before you begin your campaign, you need to have a purpose for it. What is the point of your digital campaign?

Do you want to sell more of a specific product? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Do you want to increase brand awareness?

The best campaigns set SMART objectives before they begin. These objectives are specific and lay out a measurable target outcome and a timeframe in which to accomplish it.

Setting up pre-campaign goals gives you a more focused direction. When you know what you need to accomplish, you’re better equipped to choose the correct channels with which to communicate.

Consider the Personality of Your Brand

Every brand needs to have a personality on social media

This personality is derived from a few places. Ownership, company culture, and the social media manager all contribute to a company’s digital persona.

Some brands are funny or a bit goofy. Others like to play along with the most recent memes and pop culture news, while some like to throw down and talk trash, like the Wendy’s Twitter account. Still, others are more serious and professional and don’t like to push the envelope too much.

One of the most critical steps to deciding on the right social media platform for your campaign is to understand your brand’s personality. Once you know your character, you can choose the platform that will best accentuate it.

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Twitter is the best platform for more humorous brands. The ease of interacting with others and playing off of the latest meme or trending hashtag makes it perfect for lighthearted banter.

For serious companies, LinkedIn is the place to be. As a professional networking site, users tend to be on their best behavior and take things a bit more formally.

Take Inventory of Your Team’s Talent

Before you start posting things on social media, it’s essential to have an idea of what you can post.

The content you share will largely be dependent upon the talents of the people in your marketing department.

Different people are great at different things. Some are great writers who can pen blog posts for you to distribute. Others might have an eye for graphic design or can film and edit videos.

The content you can produce might impact which social networks you use for your campaign.

If your staff can make some great videos, YouTube and Facebook should be central platforms. If you don’t have a video producer but have photographers and graphic designers, Instagram and Pinterest might be more appropriate.

Understand Where Your Target Audience Is

If your company mainly serves people in Florida, you wouldn’t put up a billboard in Montana.

When choosing a social media platform for a campaign, you need to go where your target audience is. It’s also important to not go where your audience isn’t.

For example, if you mainly sell products aimed at high schoolers, then it might be a good idea to concentrate on Instagram. You should also avoid Facebook, which continues to lose younger users.

Remember, marketing isn’t about letting people come to you; it’s about going to your audience.

So how do you know where your audience is? Finding out might require some primary research. Try surveying your customers and find out which media platforms they favor.

Prepare a Budget

When social media first came on the scene, brands were giddy. Social networks offered a free platform to market to their customers without having to pay for advertising space.

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In some ways, this still is true. Some brands have built up enough of a natural following where they can get more than enough organic impressions.

But social media is changing. In an effort to better monetize their massive platforms, many networks are changing how their timelines work, and it’s bad news for small businesses.

In order to ensure your audience is seeing your brand’s posts, you’ll likely need to pay to promote your posts. That means social media campaigns aren’t as cheap as they used to be, and you now need to prepare a budget.

Once you know how much money you can use to promote your campaign’s social media posts, you’ll have a better idea of what you can and can’t afford to do.

Don’t Be Wasteful

If you are a smaller company and have a tight budget, then you can’t afford to wasteful with the resources you do have.

Depending on the limitations of your resources, you might be forced to trim some of the fat off of your campaign. In some cases, this means ignoring one or several social networks that you don’t really need to be present on.

Social media takes a lot of time and effort to do well. If you try to establish a dynamic presence on every single social network out there, it’s likely your efforts will be stretched too thin. Your content on the more important channels could suffer, and the overall quality of your campaign will be damaged.

If you simply don’t have the resources to dedicate to a Pinterest page on top of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, then don’t worry about it. Don’t waste time and money you do have and commit yourself to the most important options.

More Media Platform Tips

Choosing and using the right social networks is critical for a successful and effective campaign. Most importantly, you need to identify a platform that holds most of your target customers.

To learn more about getting the most out of a social media platform, check out our social media blog.

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