While many business owners still tend to think of social media as a more or less homogeneous space, successful brands and professional marketers have learned to segment their social networks in channels with specific rules and uses.
By doing so yourself, you will be able to craft content and messages that address predefined audiences, and leverage the full power of each social network’s strong suits.
What Social Channels Are Best For
You need to find the right social channels to convey each message in order to obtain maximum impact and engagement.
Let’s look at examples of what each of the most popular social networks are best at:
Facebook: Develop brand image, increase website traffic.
Twitter: Improve customer relationships, increase website traffic.
LinkedIn: Increase leads, find talents, build business relationships.
Pinterest: Raise brand awareness, increase sales.
Google+: Improve search engine rankings, build brand influence.
Match Social Channels With Social Audiences
Matching social audiences and messages with specific channels will quickly help you meet your target audiences’ expectations.
Adapting your social media strategy to each social network is no guarantee that your will do everything right, but will certainly prevent you from doing it completely wrong.
Just find out where your ideal social media audience personae is more likely to spend most of his online social time, and you will find out which network to put most of your efforts in.
While we’re only touching water here about the many specifics of each social network - leaving many aside for now not to be overwhelmed - you should be able to see quite quickly which one is best for your target audiences. If you need more details on this topic, you can read Stephen Riley’s summary of the major differences between social networks.
Social Channels: Facebook
Touting over 1 billion users, Facebook is the most popular and widely spread social network, touching every possible age group with almost an even split between women (45%) and men (55%), which makes it a prime channel to raise brand awareness, promote informative content, and therefore increase organic traffic to your website.
Social Channels: Twitter
With half a billion tweets being sent daily, Twitter a great channel for simple sales messages with a straightforward proposition, business development and customer relationships, and to let you interact with your audience at every stage of the engagement process.
Social Channels: LinkedIn
Built as a professional network, LinkedIn is a business-minded social network, and a perfect channel to research and develop business B2B and B2C relationships. LinkedIn is where a young company can become a top influencer by bringing high value content to like-minded professionals, find talented individuals and new partnerships.
Social Channels: Pinterest
Far from being a simple image-sharing platform, Pinterest is a visually oriented social network that can be of high value for retailers. Primarily used by women (85%) interested in leisure services and products, Pinterest offers exclusive features (Rich Pins, boards...) that can yield tremendous results in terms of sales and brand recognition.
Social Channels: Google+
Google+ is also a major social channel, if only for SEO and content marketing purposes. From integrations with Gmail, Maps or Youtube, to MyBusiness, Hangouts and Authorship, Google+ has a lot to offer and should be part of your social media strategy despite a smaller overall audience.
Other Social Channels: Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube...
While mobile-only Instagram is great to target younger crowds, Tumblr has proved a great viral marketing tool, both offering further avenues for any marketing campaign that proved successful on other social channels.
While not a social platform by nature, Youtube is the foremost channel to share videos and informally interact with media-minded audiences.
Social Media Channels Key Take-Aways
- Social networks each have their own demographics, social codes, and particularities, which you can leverage to reach specific audiences.
- Adapting your global strategy to each social channel is the most cost-efficient way to optimize social reach, and brand reputation.
- Segmenting your social landscape lets you develop specific content, adapt your voice and branding to each individual social channel.
- There are many tools available that can help you find precious insights on who your potential customers are, learning to use them will give a tremendous edge over competitors on social networks.
Social Media Channels Digest
- TheHub has recipes, tips, and short case studies to market your brand on every social media channel.
- You can also follow Steven Van Belleghem’s 4-step program to learn how to spread content across social channels.
- For another perspective on segmenting social channels, you can read Cara Shorey’s post on B2B marketing using social media.
- Jeff Bulas looked at how many and which social media channels big brands are actually using.