Social media is a major mover and shaker of traffic online. Facebook is still the king of traffic generating platforms, and Twitter is maintaining its hold on relaying an up-to-the-minute connection with its audience.
Forbes tells us that Facebook is making huge advancements in how it engages with small and medium sized businesses, attracting over 50 million businesses to use Facebook Pages.
In fact, social media drives 31% of overall traffic to websites, says Shareaholic. Consumers are relying less and less on search engines and homepages, discovering exciting brands through social media, influencers and direct messaging on mobile apps.
The amount of social media statistical information available to your B2B business is vast, and you’ll soon get a feel for which brands are primarily using which platforms.
For example, a recent Shopify study found that 87% of Pinterest users make purchases while pinning. Those are impressive numbers, but 83% of LinkedIn users do not use Pinterest. In contrast, only 13% of LinkedIn users do not have a Facebook account.
Finding the most profitable social media platform for your business will depend on what you do, what type of content your ideal audience responds to, and your unique business goals.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to find the most profitable social media platform for your growing B2B business.
Define Your Ideal Audience
The beginning of every marketing plan relies on filling in the blanks of your audience and discovering who they are. You need to find out:
- Job title/role
- Computer literacy
- Goals (primary and secondary)
Once you know whom you’re targeting, begin to build your business profile to suit their tastes and begin to build a market persona.
For a B2B campaign, a marketing persona means identifying motivation through a sketch of a key segment within your audience.
Maybe the motivation of your prospective client is to grow their brand, and if so – your goal is to find ways to help make that happen. Pull it off, and the client will be happy to pay for your services or products, which in turn helps you to achieve your goals.
Creating 3-5 market personas will help you to cover the basis of your customers, but breaking them down into subcategories will help add value of specificity.
Additional persona information specific to your customers
Getting really specific with your marketing personas is really important. They can vary from business to business and will help you put an actual face to a set of keywords.
It’s only when you get down to the nitty-gritty about your customers that you’ll begin to see how quickly differences start to appear.
There are many great examples of market personas available to view online, here are a few examples of completed persona shared by Hubspot.
Once you’ve got your personas ready and you’re feeling confident who you’re aiming to target, start to concentrate your efforts on how your brand voice will sound on different social media platforms.
Tone is important because it’s going to dictate how formal or informal you’re going to sound to your audience. A formal sounding professional vocabulary on social media can sound professional and authoritative, but the other side of the coin is – it’s stiff and not very fun.
Finding a balance of tone and voice means trying to write how you speak. Apply the same mannerisms and considerations to vocabulary. If you’re finding it difficult, consider how you’d speak to a customer face-to-face, and over the phone. What are the major differences?
Identify Where Your Audience Spends Time Online
Online services geared towards targeting the most efficient & relevant keywords and social media platforms like Buzzsumo are great tools to help you find your ideal social media platform.
You’ll begin to understand – and see where and how – the most shared content is consumed, along with the social networks where it resonates with an audience best.
Buzzsumo does not account for the likes of popular youth-oriented social media platforms like Instagram or Snapschat.
So if you’re looking to cater to a category aged 16-24, know that Facebook can easily sync to Instagram and Twitter, making casting a larger shadow on multiple platforms an easy hurdle to get over.
Buzzsumo also helps your brand understand more specific aspects of each applicable social media platform by breaking down content information into durations, formats (links, video, photos) and headlines types.
Consider User Overlap
Not every social media platform is well used by the same age groups. User demographics shift, swell and deflate as time passes, and people change their online habits.
Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr have, by far, the most youthful user demographics, while Linkedin is predominantly used by high-income, highly educated people.
Knowing how networks like the ever-faithful Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest weigh in to age distribution among social media users is valuable information for your interests.
32% of US teens cite image-based social media platforms like Instagram as their most important network.
You can also define your preferred social media platform by looking closely as different characteristic types.
- Image-based (Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr)
- SEO/author (Google+)
- Video (Vimeo, Youtube)
- Business (Linkedin)
- Jack-of-all-trades (Facebook, Twitter)
It’s difficult to cater to this many users on so many different platforms, so using the pareto principle on your multiple channel choices will help you limit your platform choices to the ones that help you engage with the majority of your desired audience.
Simply put: cut the unproductive platforms by using the 80/20 rule, coined by Vilfredo Pareto.
Plotting the frequency of shares, posts and social media engagement will likely reveal that 80% of the vital platforms result in 20% of desired results.
Vice versa, 20% of the best social media platforms for your B2B business will probably amount to 80% of the desired results.
Cutting out the 80% workload means less emphasis on networks that don’t benefit you.
Build, build, build
You’ve boiled down your target audience, you’ve carefully crafted your social media tone/voice, and you’ve picked a few social networks that will directly benefit your business.
Now it’s time to deliver.
Remain active on your social media networks to encourage your following to grow. An inactive account does nothing for you, or your audience.
We’ll use the term “viral” sparingly, but having your social media activity go viral means identifying different elements which occur frequently in viral content, and jumping on that bandwagon.
Most importantly, make sure your social media posts direct your users to an actionable landing page on your website to harness their interest even further.
Use content that features:
- Emotional elements (inspirational, amusing, heart-warming, shocking)
- Content elements (images, facts, charts, quotes, video)
- Topic elements (trending topics, health and fitness, babies, love)
- Format elements (Quiz, stories, curation, practical tips)
Also, make a point to post about more personal topics. This builds an element of authenticity with your clients, customers and followers in a way that encourages brand loyalty.
There’s no doubting that social media can put you in touch will literally millions of engaging users worldwide.
The important aspect of finding social media platforms that suit your B2B business is focusing on what works for you – not doing what everyone else is doing.
These multifaceted steps will help you to make the right decisions for your business by weeding through the exciting world of social media. Enjoy!