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TIPS FOR CREATING YOUR PLATFORM STRATEGY

It’s certainly possible to just dive right into Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or whatever your favorite platform is, these tips for creating your platform strategy will help you make the best use of your time and/or money!  

As a small business owner, you may not have much time for full-blown strategic planning. But your future success relies on doing more of the right things when it comes to marketing. If you want to cut down on wasted time and effort take a little time now to make sure you’re using the right platforms and methods to reach your audience. 

Making sure you’re posting in ways that will serve your actual business goals will make a big difference to your bottom line.

TIP #1: Figure out the role you want social media to play in your business 

Social media, more than many other marketing channels you could choose, is a true communication channel—a means of communication that flows back and forth between you and your audience. It also flows between your audience and their audiences, of course, and that’s one of its great benefits, since they can instantly share your message directly with others. 

TV commercials, print ads, even direct mail sure doesn’t give you that kind of access!

So ask yourself: why do you want to engage with your audience in social media? What are your goals? A few common reasons might be: 

  • Increase awareness/visibility for your business and what you offer?
  • Get to know your prospect and/or customer interests, needs and wants?
  • Start conversations with your followers?
  • Get people to visit your website or store?
  • Sell products and services from posts?
  • Get people to call you?
  • Find referral partners and influencers to help spread the word about you?

Getting clear on the role social media can and should play in your business will help you know who should be managing and actually posting. It will also help you decide on the types of posts, their frequency and the kinds of messages to share. 

Bonus Pointer: each one of these goals could warrant its own messaging and posting strategy and campaign, so be conservative if you’re just getting started and/or don’t have a team to support your efforts. Choose maybe two or three priorities and build from there.

TIP #2: Decide which platform(s) make the most sense for your goals

While each of the major platforms have large followings, each also has its own personality, and attracts people for different reasons. Who are your main buyers? And what are they looking for when they visit each platform? 

Some of the bigger platforms to consider:

Facebook

  • 69% of U.S. residents and 82% of college grads use it; 
  • 56% of all users are male; 
  • The largest single demographic is 25-34 yrs (18.8% male, 12.8% female)
  • 81% access only via mobile device—only 1.7% use a laptop or desktop computer. 

One of its main pluses: all the active groups, subdividing audiences by every conceivable way to slice-and-dice people’s lives and interests.

Instagram

  • 71% of 18-29 yr olds use Instagram in the U.S. (48% of 30-49yr olds), though only 13% of ALL users are in the U.S.; 
  • 50.8% are female; 
  • 73% of teens say Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them; 
  • 70% of shopping enthusiasts go to Instagram for product discovery.

LinkedIn

  • 37% of U.S. adults are on LinkedIn – and 51% of college grads; 
  • 48.5% of all users visit monthly; 
  • 56.9% of all users are male.  

Pinterest

  • 50% of users are from the U.S., including 46% of all adult U.S. women; 
  • 38% are 50-64 yrs old, 34% 30-49 yrs and 32% 18-29 yrs.; 
  • 89% use it for product inspiration — 2/3 of pins are brand- and product-based;
  • 85% use the platform on mobile. 

TikTok

  • numbers are changing extra rapidly for this fast-growing platform but there are roughly 130 million active monthly users, 
  • 25% of are 10-19, and 22.4% 20-24 yrs. old; 
  • 53% of all users are male, though a 3/21 report shows 61% of active users were female.  
  • One reason it’s so notable: very high engagement rates, with users spending nearly an hour a day on the platform. 

Now that you know a little about which people can be found where, decide on the best platforms to focus on to reach your goals. How could you connect to the people you want to reach? How could you inform and/or entertain them, provide help or encourage them to take action? 

Do these tips for creating your platform strategy give you the jumpstart you need to move forward with more clarity?  Want even more? Every month we dive a little deeper into an aspect of social media and share ideas for using it more effectively. Join us on Facebook, or become an insider as part of the Social Media Coaching Club.

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