These days, nearly everyone has a social media account of some kind with the most popular being Facebook. These days, Facebook commands an impressive 1 billion users worldwide; which is one seventh of the world’s population. Aside from Facebook, there are a number of other social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Linked In, Instagram, Snapchat, and the list goes on. As a small business owner, you have your choice on where to allocate your marketing budget. The million dollar question of the night though is which one do you use?
Before deciding that Facebook or any other platform is the way to go, you need to first define your target audience. If you are a chiropractor, your target audience might be in the range of 40+. On the other hand, if you are a trending clothing retailer, your target audience may be sixteen to twenty-five year olds. And if you are a convenience store, your target audience could range from twenty-one year olds to sixty-five and older. As you can see, your business will automatically dictate what your target audience is; whether it be a more refined audience size or a broad customer base. This also will help you to define the best social media platforms to use.
Part of our marketing process is to define your target audience and then help you to choose the best outlets for you advertising budget. If you are trying to reach the first group of forty and older, Facebook is the most popular platform. This generation likes to see what their friends are doing, what their family is doing, and likes to see what is in the area that is new or innovative that could help them out. Oh and guess what, this audience likes their tablets so you can forget the modern day computer. If your after the second group of people, the Generation Z or Millennial crowd, Instagram and Snapchat are the best way to go. This group likes to take photos of themselves and see what their friends are doing through the sharing of quick messages. While these two social media platforms compete with each other for your attention, it is important to note that they deserve your advertising budget equally.
The last group mentioned caters to a much wider audience and therefore is one of the hardest to market to. Clearly you need to use a wide variety of social media platforms to reach your target audience but there is a delicate balance of where to spend your marketing budget to get the most return. The bottom line is proper planning will be the biggest advantage you can have over your competitors when it comes to either surviving or thriving.
So again I ask, what is the best social media platform to use? I’m not trying to dodge answering this question but there are a number of other questions to answer first. When you started out in business, you likely had a business plan and part of that plan would have been a marketing analysis. For many newer businesses, this will be relatively up to date but for many of the established businesses, you may need to take a few minutes to review and revise. This is a crucial step; like laying the foundation of a house. You wouldn’t start building your house by laying the floor boards on the ground would you? Having a proper marketing plan in place is of paramount importance. This will help you to determine who your target audience is right down to age, gender, geographic location, etc.
Armed with this information, selecting a social media platform is easy. Knowing what age group you are marketing to will help you determine the social media platform they are using and then you have your answer. From there it really is a matter of planning out your various ad campaigns, setting them up and running with it. I know this sounds simple, and in reality it is, but there are a lot of little steps and expertise that is needed to really get this right. My only word of caution is failure to properly plan not only will make your ad campaigns ineffective, but could cost you thousands of dollars in both wasted advertising dollars and lost revenues.
Our goal as a marketing agency is to help you be successful. We are the experts in the industry and as such, we help many small businesses with their marketing needs. We have clients that we simply consult for and they are in charge of their own campaigns and we have clients that we do everything for. If you have any thoughts on which platform to use or even just questions regarding where to get started, give us a call. Feel free to email us or hit us up on Facebook. The more informed you are, the better you will do and the more your business will succeed.