There’s little question that social media is a vital marketing avenue for just about every single type of business these days. Both B2C and B2B companies can benefit from using social channels to connect with wider audiences, target specific groups, and engage one-on-one with customers.
But one fatal mistake that many businesses make on social media is using each channel the same way. The truth is that social media is evolving and changing – each platform speaks to various demographics.
In a report from Verto Analytics, you can see just how varied each channel is by age groups alone.
Each platform has really tried to narrow out their own niche in the social networking market, and each has its own features and focuses. So, it really doesn’t make much sense for businesses to assume that each channel should be used exactly the same way.
Now, this isn’t to say that you need to have “multiple personalities” of your brand on different social platforms. Brand consistency is incredibly important – and failing to do so can actually cause confusion and distrust with your audience.
However, marketers should be aware of how to optimize their company’s brand on each social platform. Let’s discuss why it’s so important and how to make these adjustments effectively.
Know Who’s Using Which Channel
The demographic profiles of each social channel is going to vary; in some cases, those variations are quite vast. Pew Research’s report shows that some platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn are male-dominated, while females are more likely to use Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, race, education, and even political affiliations also changed depending on the platform.
Since your audience reach is going to vary from platform to platform, you must re-evaluate your target market to see which social media sites your customers are most likely to use. Some platforms may be totally irrelevant for your brand – or they could open up opportunities to reach different segments within your targeted audience.
For example, some businesses have found it difficult to really connect with younger consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Zer’s. One company in particular that struggled with this was Maybelline.
In order to connect with their younger audience, they launched a Snapchat campaign with branded AR filters that applied full makeup looks on users’ faces. This allowed users to “experiment” with different shades – and helped the cosmetic brand to connect with this younger consumer segment.
Don’t Share the Same Content
People don’t go on social platforms to see the same type of content again and again. HubSpot’s research reveals that people’s motivations for social channels can vary quite a bit.
They break it down into five categories:
- Taking Action
Audiences vary with each channel and so do their preferences and motivations; so your content needs to align with their intent.
You can see a great example here from Trustpilot Facebook page. Their messaging is far more B2C-focused – and the content reflects this. Most of their posts are light-hearted and aimed at building engagement with their audience by asking fun questions or sharing insightful articles.
Since this platform is primarily used by business professionals, rather than consumers, the content and voice present a business-oriented message for a B2B audience – as opposed to being humorous and light-hearted.
Know When, Where, and How to Engage
Obviously, engagement and responses matter on social pages, but you need to be aware of the best ways to go about it. First of all, you should be using a social listening platform that alerts your marketing and customer service team whenever your brand’s name is mentioned on a social platform. This is to ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity for connection.
However, you do need to be extremely careful about the way that you engage directly with customers on social sites. These interactions are extremely public, and even though you may delete a comment, it can still do damage to your brand.
When you are using social channels to interact with customers regarding an issue, it is often best to acknowledge the issue publicly, but request to discuss the matter privately.
You can see a great example of how this should be done with the way that Royal Dutch Airlines responds to customers on Twitter.
But, this doesn’t always mean that you need to “play it safe” when you engage publicly with a customer. You need to have a clear picture of your brand’s voice and personality that you want to portray through social channels, though.
The way that you interact through social media also needs to line up with intent. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for connecting one-on-one, and many brands use these channels to respond directly to inquiries and mentions.
Some companies, like Netflix and Taco Bell, excel at using Twitter for funny and witty replies, whereas Hootsuite uses it to share insightful and helpful content to customers with questions.
Their responses help to build awareness by supporting their brand’s “personality” through the way that they interact with their followers.
On the other hand, people are more likely to use platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn to gather more general knowledge. Therefore, you should use these channels to engage with groups rather than individuals.
Many B2B organizations use LinkedIn groups to engage in industry conversations to establish their expertise and share insightful information with engaged audiences.
The important thing is that every interaction aligns with your brand.
- Do you want your brand to be perceived as lighthearted and funny or intelligent and professional?
- Would it make sense for your company to post a funny joke or witty response, or should it stick to a more serious tone?
If your messages don’t line up with your overall brand perception, it may seem very confusing and it could actually hurt your brand.
Social media is one of the most powerful branding weapons digital marketers can use – but there are some secrets that can make it far more effective.
Make sure that you are taking full advantage of these platforms by finding ways to connect with different audience segments and grow brand awareness by adjusting accordingly from channel to channel.
About the Author!
Taral is a digital marketer specializing in content marketing. He works at E2M Solutions Inc as a content strategist and helps brands in building a prominent online presence through his advanced content marketing techniques. You can read his post How did a Blog Post Earn 10K Organic Traffic in 3 Months Without Promotion which explains some of his techniques for building organic traffic on your website.