Social media is an extraordinarily powerful marketing tool.
Through social media, you can interact directly with your connections and build strong bonds with them. You can drive traffic and gain exposure with new audiences. You can harness the power of social media to generate leads and sales, or to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
The only trouble is that the social media landscape is constantly changing. New social media sites spring up, new tools and features are added to platforms, and new ways of interacting become available. In order to harness the power of social media effectively, whatever your aim, you need to stay on top of the changes and continuously look for ways to engage people.
In the past, it was enough to simply create a social media profile. That’s no longer the case. Social media platforms are free, but now businesses must invest a great deal of time developing content, driving engagement, and monitoring performance.
How do you know whether your content is effective and engaging? How do you know if what you’re currently doing is working? Are there better or more efficient methods? How could you improve your social media presence?
If you’ve found yourself asking these questions before, you are not alone. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and professional marketers constantly struggle with these concerns.
The focus of this article is on the best ways to engage your social media followers. One thing that all social media platforms have in common, and that won’t change over time, is that engagement is vital to social media marketing. Strong engagement offers a competitive advantage that helps you build and maintain a strong customer base, which can then lead to purchases, referrals, new business, new audience members, and other business goals.
By the time we complete our numerous posts on this important topic, you will be able to:
- Select the best social media platforms and features to incorporate into your social media strategy to maximize audience engagement
- Maximize your social media profile settings to drive engagement, whether you’re just getting started or brushing up your existing account
- Incorporate top strategies to increase engagement – including proven ways to engage followers, crafting the best voice and tone for your social media content, and how to make that content engaging
- Put it all together by building a social media strategy that will save you time and increase engagement.
- Plus, learn tips to measure the success of your social media program so that you know what’s working and where to focus your energy.
Choosing the Most Effective Social Media Platforms for Your Business
The first step is to understand which social media platforms are the right ones for you to use. Each is slightly different in its audience and functionality.
The Social Media Examiner surveyed more than 5,000 marketers and published the results in its 2016 report on social media insights. It found that the top 7 social media platforms are currently:
According to the survey, as of 2016, 93% of marketers use top social media site Facebook. There are many other social media platforms, but no matter who your audience is, it’s highly likely that you will use one of the above.
In terms of the top platforms to use, there are some key differences between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customer). The top 5 B2C platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. For B2B, they are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.
There are three key things to consider when choosing your social media platforms:
- Your market and which platforms it uses, or is likely to use
- Where you will get the most engagement from your audience
- How much time you have to allocate to managing multiple platforms
You can discover the information above through a number of methods. One is to survey your customers. You can also use Google Analytics or other analytic tools to see where your customers most actively engage with your content.
Another idea is to sign up for several of the major platforms and see if you can find your audience actively using them. In the end, you’ll want to stick to two or three platforms at most. It’s better to do a few channels really well than many badly, plus splitting your focus on many may not get you anywhere near the results you are expecting. But, in the research stages, you can try out several platforms and narrow it down.
You can also research your competitors. Which social media platforms are they active on? This will give you some idea of where you can find your audience too.
When looking at which platforms to use, here are a few things to consider:
- Does the platform relate to your business needs and goals? For example, if your primary goal is to sell directly through the social media site, you’ll need a platform where that’s possible or one that has ecommerce features built-in. You’ll also need to consider the audience and choose a platform where people are shopping and buying.
- Which audiences does the platform serve? For example, there may be differences in preferences between retirees and millennials. You need to identify your target audience and make sure they’re engaging with relevant content on the site.
To help you decide which social media platforms to try, we will continue this topic with our next post; we will list some of the key characteristics of each of the major platforms. Keep in mind, the data is from 2016 and trends in social media can change quite rapidly, and as we move forward into the new year, be sure to monitor the changes along the way that are taking place in your chosen social media platforms.
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to review our post on maximizing your Social Media Engagement!
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Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you again!Mike Conkey