Marketing September 5, 2016 Last updated September 1st, 2016 1,867 Reads share

10 Ways to Choose the Right Social Networks for Online Business Promotion

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The digital age is the arena with which businesses contend to do promotion of their brand. But this is old news. With the influx of content coming in every second, users have become used to the white noise of advertorial material coming into their news feeds.

There’s also the question of which social media sites people are more active on, and to some extent, more likely to gain you exposure. As much as we would like to believe that any platform will do, some sites will rise above the rest.

For small to medium enterprises, choosing the right social networks is necessary to gain you much-needed exposure.

Here are 10 ways to make the right choice:

#1. Identify Your Target Market

It always boils down to a well-defined target market. Casting out the net too large may make you seem vague. This is especially important if you’re starting out. You can start your promotion with one social media network where you can really gain a foothold, then work your way towards others.

As an example, if you’re targeting a more casual and millennial audience, a network like Instagram or Snapchat might be the best way to get their attention. However, if you’re looking to develop your voice among professionals, LinkedIn might be a better option.

2. Look at the Trends

Watch out for trending topics, and see which platforms you can best utilize them in. Also look at how you can spin your chosen narrative through a specific marketing strategy.

Would you prefer to tap into the trend through pictures? Or would an article work better? On the other hand, would you prefer a viral video, the likes of which can be uploaded on YouTube and spread through Facebook?

Decide which strategy works best for you based on these trending topics.

#3. Assess Possible Online Promotion Strategies

While we’re on the topic of strategy, really consider the options for your online content. After all, this is where most people find brands. As we’ve already mentioned, these strategies vary from business to business.

However, one thing is for sure – develop your online strategies with a specific framework in mind. It should go along the lines of the following:

  • Getting traffic to your site
  • Gaining concrete new leads
  • Developing a strong client-company relationship through maintained business exchanges

If your strategy is able to win you these, then it’s definitely worth investing in. This also helps you determine which networks would make it possible for you to do all of the above criteria.

#4. Look at Possible Offline Strategies

At the same time, don’t forget about the impacts of your online branding on your offline engagements. You need a holistic strategy that targets potential customers both on and off cyberspace. Even as you engage them in social media, think of possible ways to interact with clients offline as well.

Perhaps you can even think of it this way: the goal of your online strategy is for offline interaction. Leads who are just passing by your content and social media accounts are not the same as those who actually engage and become loyal clients.

Think about which platforms and strategies would enable you to activate that desired relationship between customer and business for you.

#5. Develop Your Brand Voice

You won’t be able to catch a good audience if you don’t have a defined brand voice that attracts them to you. Depending on which platform you’re aiming to develop, your brand voice may vary.

We’ve already mentioned in previous points that your audience demographic also factors in on the type of brand you’ll want to project, and the social media platform that best fits it.

That said, before committing to any one strategy, try finding out which type of brand voice works best for you first. You can do this by determining what your goals are – do you want to evoke a nostalgic feeling in your audience, or do you want to develop a sense of urgency?

#6. See What the Competition’s Up To

It’s not always wrong to compare your promotion strategy to others. In some cases, like-minded businesses that are in competition with each other will often be drawn to the same type of networks.

However, this doesn’t mean you should copy the competition’s social network strategy. Instead, you should see what they’re not doing as well, and work on it to improve your own technique.

For example, if your competition is on a site like Twitter but doesn’t have a big following and you also want to engage possible clients there, figure out how to gain those followers. It might be through constant engagement, or by riding on more contemporary topics.

#7. See Which Sites Fit Your Image

Similar to finding your brand voice, find a network that fits your image. You won’t want to use networks that won’t represent your brand.

For small businesses, it’s important to find a social media platform that fits the image you want to project. A fun, engaging personality might be a better fit for Twitter, for instance, where the character limits are short but engagement is constant.

#8. SWOT Analysis

No strategy development session can ever forget about a thorough SWOT analysis. Whether it’s for finding the right social media platform to engage with the audience, or assessing an entirely different campaign, you need to draft up a plan for this.

First, assess your strengths and its advantages, then your weaknesses and how you can work your way around it. Look at the opportunities available to you, and if they outweigh the threats that are also present, then it is a strategy worth trying.

#9. Check Your Following

Some businesses may have multiple social media accounts but not quite a large following for each. Think about it carefully – would you rather have a small following for several accounts, or quite an established one for one or two handpicked accounts?

Before taking on more than one social media platform, it’s important to think realistically about how you are engaging the audience, and how far your reach can go. Your existing followers are just as important as those whom you want to engage.

#10. Keep Yourself Updated

Finally, it’s important to keep yourself and your promotion strategy updated at all times. Social media platforms, trends, and even influencers come and go, and if you hold on to one that has already been obsolete, you’ll likely be forgotten as well.

It’s a fast-paced world, so it’s important to catch up with what’s happening. Choose your preferred social media platform wisely!

Image: Collage on business theme with business person

Stacey Marone

Stacey Marone

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