Social media marketing: Choosing the right channels

With all the ‘noise’ and the plethora of platforms out there, making the most of social media can be a daunting task for communications professionals and organizations.

Whether you’re new to social media marketing or looking to enhance your social media impact, you’ll need to develop a solid plan to make the most out of social media. Why? Because a well-thought-out plan will ensure that your efforts help achieve your broader and more crucial communications strategy(ies), while maximizing the limited financial and human resources that you have.

Choosing the right channels

Before building your plan, you’ll first need to identify and choose the right channels. Writing for the Content Marketing Institute, Jodi Harris provides a great guide for choosing the right channels. Read the full article here or the summary below.

Harris says that there are two core steps to this process: “understanding the value proposition of the platform and creating the use case for your brand to engage there.”

First, identify potential social media channels and familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each. Then, assess whether each channel is a good fit by answering the following questions:

Who uses this channel and what are they using it for? 

  • Is it an important channel for your audience personas?
  • What are conversations like here?

Will it help us meet your objectives? 

  • Why does it make sense for your business to use this channel?
  • What goals will you pursue through our actions here?

Does it fit in with your editorial mission?

  • Will your content be viewed as unique and valuable or will the community find it intrusive or irrelevant?
  • Have your competitors established a strong presence or is there a chance to lead the conversation? 

What results do you want to achieve? 

  • What should we be asking fans and followers to do after engaging with your content? Share it? Comment? Visit your site? Subscribe to your newsletter?
  • Is this an action this community is likely to take?

What kinds of content will work best on this platform? 

  • Are your topics relevant to this audience?
  • Have you created enough content in the appropriate formats to communicate consistently?

What’s the right tone and voice for this platform? 

  • Would a friendly, fun approach work best or will the audience expect a more serious, professional demeanor?
  • Does the conversation style match your brand’s voice and values? 

What’s the ideal posting frequency? 

  • Should you publish once a week? Multiple times a day?
  • What days and times of day work best?
  • Do you have the ability to sustain your efforts over the long term?

“If your responses don’t reveal a compelling opportunity to engage on that channel or if the platform’s environment isn’t well-suited to your brand’s content vision and mission, it may be best to step away and reserve your team’s resources for channels that are a better fit,” notes Harris.

Once you address the above questions and determine which channels to use, you are ready to build your social media channel plan. Join me next week as I explore this activity.

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