Published: 03 January 2017
It’s all about your audience.
I’m a bit of a board game enthusiast, and one of the best parts of the hobby is introducing new friends & family to the fun, intrigue & storytelling potential they can offer. I mean, nothing can strengthen companionship like sabotaging your friends attempts at success, obliterating their armies, or throwing them out of an airlock into the cold vacuum of space to suffocate and freeze (they deserved it, and you were entirely justified).
However, when it comes time to play, selecting which game to try out depends entirely on my audience. Some games might be a bit too complicated for newbies, or the sheer sight of the board might send my prospective playmates running for the hills.
(guess which one I’d ask my mum to play)
Basically, I’ve got to consider who I’m with, and specifically cater to them by taking their interests and situations into consideration.
If you haven’t cottoned on yet, I’m not just talking about board games for the fun of it (well, maybe a little). What I’m really talking about is the mindset you need to approach with getting your brand on Social Media. Virtually every business has set up a Facebook Business Page at some point, but just because it’s the most popular platform in the world doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for you and (say it with me) your audience.
Recommended if you are: willing to pay for promoting posts, able to produce genuinely interesting storytelling content, not sure who your audience is, willing to try out new tech.
Facebook contains the most-sizeable blend of user demographics of any Social Media platform, with a fairly in-depth targeting app for advertising, but I wouldn’t say that makes it perfect for targeting every demographic at the right time. Your audience might well be spending hours browsing Facebook in the evening, but are they going to be thinking about purchasing or investing in your products & services whilst scrolling through their feed in bed?
In my opinion, Facebook works for genuine, shareable storytelling, rather than direct targeted advertising. If you can make a link between your business and genuinely inspirational storytelling, informing, or just something pretty to look at, Facebook should be something you consider. Rather than investing in advertising, splash a few bob on producing a 30 second video for organic sharing, or (even better) consider ‘going Live’ for a few minutes. At the time of writing, Facebook sends notifications out to all of your followers when you start broadcasting, in a bid to encourage more users to start using their Live feature. Stop being camera shy and take advantage!
Oh, and if you’ve got something nice to shoot with a 360 camera, consider buying one. User engagement & retention is much higher with 360 photos & videos than with normal imagery. With the rise of consumer VR, consider jumping on the bandwagon while the trend is hot – this is a must if you’re in the Travel biz.
Recommended if you are: B2C, witty, able to dedicate time and staff to regular communication with customers, ok with ‘taking off the tie’ from time to time.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is great for visibility. While Facebook recently put limits on how many people will see your non-promoted posts, you can rest assured that everything you tweet out will be seen by your followers, should they scroll over it in their timeline, free of charge.
Retweeting your content is easy and painless for users, but more importantly it opens a direct channel between you and your customers, which makes Twitter a perfect platform if you are a B2C business & good at engineering brand loyalty. This communication can be as ‘professional’ as you like, but in fact more engagement and lasting impact comes from keeping a conversational tone of voice and taking risks with your content, so try it out even if you fear coming off as (gasp) too relatable and human. You might be surprised at the positive reaction you get from being a bit silly.
Recommended if you are: B2B, a well-known brand, able to produce case studies, hold some insight/authority in your industry, willing to put in time networking and researching.
While some users might confuse the site with a place to send out generic e-mail pitches (“Hello Sir, I am a professional SEO expert with years of experience in filling your inbox with junk…”), LinkedIn’s true value is threefold:
- It gives you a platform for sharing professional content such as case studies, news posts & Thought Leadership pieces without asking anyone to subscribe to your newsletter.
- The Advanced Search feature allows you or your sales team to research critical information about decision makers in businesses, before even thinking about picking up the phone.
- The numerous groups are fantastic for asking questions or learning more about a particular niche in your industry, OR answering questions and demonstrating your knowledge to others who might consider you an authoritative expert in future…
Utilising all three of these aspects correctly should result in people coming to you, rather than relying on those rubbish pitch messages (please, never do that).
Recommended if you are: able to share great images, a bit of a dab hand with photoshop, looking for creative inspiration, not expecting direct conversions
I’ve grouped these ones together because when it comes to brands, they all rely on fantastic imagery. The key here is to establish yourself as a producer of lovely images, and get your content shared.
Don’t think you’ll be immediately doubling your ROI with these ones, but instead weigh up your investment against the value of getting your images shared by millions of people. There are a few opportunities to add things like e-commerce links, but don’t push it by coming off as ‘too corporate’, man.
Recommended if you are: a B2C storytelling MASTER, able to quickly produce content that takes advantage of news & current events (commonly referred to as ‘newsjacking’) or you market to the dreaded M Word: Millennials
Facebook may have been the biggest platform for the MySpace generation, but since Aunties, Uncles and (the horror) Mum & Dad signed up, the kids have gone somewhere else. It just ain’t cool anymore.
Chances are, if your audience is on Snapchat, you already know what sort of tone you need to hit with your content. Run with it. Oh, and make sure your content creators can ‘speak that language’, or you’ll be ignored and ridiculed by the other children – a pain that will last and follow you for years (did I mention I play board games).
Recommended if you are: Mental.
Ah, poor Google+. In a lot of ways, Google+ is far better than Facebook (I love the ‘circles’ feature), but it suffers from the same problem every would-be Facebook-killer has: No-one you know is on it.
So what’s my advice for marketing on Google+? Just don’t do it. Utilise Google My Businesses for Local SEO & SERPs, sure.
But that’s it. Your time is better spent elsewhere.
If you’re asking yourself “which Social Media is best for my business”, I’m willing to bet you’ve tried to promote your brand on social platforms before, and you’ve asked yourself “why should I bother with Social Media in the first place?”, check out Nick Towers’ quick post on the subject, and let me know how you get on at firstname.lastname@example.org