According to a study done by LinkedIn, 81% of SMBs are using social media to connect, inform and grow their consumer base. Of those active on a social platform, 94% use social media for marketing. These numbers continue to rise steadily. This level of saturation stands alone as a testament to the value of a strong social media presence for both B2B and B2C companies. While you may understand that showing up to the game is vital, how do you choose which players to focus on?
If you’re in the B2B environment, most of your peers are focusing on LinkedIn. This makes sense, of course, LinkedIn is the space where all of your competitors, customers, and connections live. Building a larger network of industry related individuals will certainly strengthen your position, and having a robust presence on LinkedIn lends credibility to your brand image. If you’re looking to branch out from LinkedIn, Facebook is probably the way to go. Even of those B2B SMBs surveyed, the vast majority reported ad spending on Facebook as their largest social expenditure. Very few are advertising on LinkedIn. A strong presence on both of these platforms should get your brand started on the path to better recognition and trust.
For B2C companies, the waters are a bit murkier. There are a ton of players clamoring for the attention of your potential audience. It can be difficult to break through all the noise, and often brands find themselves overextended and unsure where to direct their time. For those just starting out, Facebook is almost universally the correct first step. It is by far the most widely used platform, and their ad platform is inexpensive and highly customizable. Pick any set of geographic and demographic features, and target them easily and directly. Once your Facebook strategy is in place, you should extend your presence to the networks which best match your product or service offering. Companies with visually intensive products would do well on platforms like Instagram, or Youtube. Most will find some benefit in a Twitter presence. The most important thing to remember is that your goals and your target audience should dictate where you direct your energy and resources.
Regardless of your vertical, the ROI and overall impact of your Social Media efforts can be very difficult to measure. This is why it is so important to establish realistic, specific goals for your strategy, and to focus on those. In addition to a structured set of actions and desired results, it is important to understand your target audience. Know where your customers are, speak to them in their language, on the platform of their choosing. Take advantage of the opportunity to become more intimately involved with the people who drive the success of your products and services. Finally, always be aware of the resources you have available, and gear your strategy to be effective within your constraints.