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1 Choosing Your Social Media Channels Brave New Media 2015

2 Overview Navigating social media doesn t have to be overwhelming. It is about choosing the channels that are going to be best for the content your business will be generating, who your business is going to try to reach, and what works best with your time and budget. Key considerations: What content will the business be posting? Who is the business trying to reach? How much time does the business have to dedicate to social media? What is the budget for social media spends? Once you have established answers to the above questions, consider them in context of the 7 social network types. Does your content include a lot of images? Video? Is SEO a concern for your business? Is your business a physical location that you want people to visit? Are you primarily B2B or B2C?

3 Consider the core demographics of who you are trying to reach. Male? Female? What ages are you trying to reach? Facebook continues to be king in the 25+ category, with Instagram and Pinterest performing much better with the younger crowds. Consider your top age range and make note of the top five channels they are active on. Does gender make a difference to your target clientele? Video-based platforms perform better with men, whereas still image & photo-based platforms perform better with women.

4 Where is the biggest audience on social channels? What percentage of people are using what percentage of the channels and who are they? The top five channels are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Education level and income level also make a difference. If you re trying to decide if your company should be on LinkedIn, consider who you re trying to reach and what you re trying to reach them with. Finally, consider time and budget. Are you going to be using a third-party dashboard (such as Hootsuite) to schedule posts to channels in order to keep content consistent without having to manually post each day? Or do you have a staff member who will be in charge of posting? Do you have a budget for paid promotion and you want to know if there are advertising options? Paid advertising options Imagebased posting importnat Compatible with Scheduling Dashboard Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Instagram Youtube Pinterest X X X X X X X X X X X X X X You probably have a more detailed perspective of which channel(s) will work best for your business. So let s break down individual channels to see where you should be. Should you be on Facebook? Yes, generally speaking. Facebook is far and away the most popular social network, with twice as many monthly active users as the runner-up. Facebook still dominates the social landscape. If your customers use the Internet, they re very likely to be on Facebook.

5 Consider, though, that with great popularity comes great competition. The News Feed is a crowded place for your business updates. Also, due to the changes in algorithms, it is now more difficult for your posts to get seen in your fans newsfeeds; approximately 5% of your fans will see your content, according to a recent study. Due to this change, Facebook has become a pay-to-play outreach tool, necessitating paid media spends to get content in front of potential as well as current customers. So a paid media budget is important when considering your Facebook presence. Additionally, it is losing some traction among younger users, but with more than 70 percent of online adults actively participating in Facebook, it remains the most popular social media site by far. Should you be on Twitter? Yes, if you ve interested in a younger, tech-savvy crowd. Michelle Manafy of Inc calls many of the users information junkies, and it can be a wide variety of information: technology, news, sports, marketing, journalism, and so on. Topical and timely work great on Twitter. Be aware that a tweet reaches its peak after 18 minutes, so get your next tweet ready fast. Twitter is an ongoing conversation that, like text messaging, has become widely popular. Unlike Facebook and other social media platforms, where people can choose what to look at on your site, or respond later, Twitter is more "in the moment." To be successful on Twitter, you need to tweet more than just a couple of times a day, otherwise your tweets get buried. Also consider communication style and content type, if you can t express yourself in 140 characters or less, then this site isn t for you. Should you be on LinkedIn? Yes, if you play the B2B business game. LinkedIn s audience is full of great insights on work productivity, networking, and job hunting. B2B companies love it. B2C companies

6 are still figuring it out. While LinkedIn is trying to broaden the scope of its information, most users are in work mode on LinkedIn so it is optimal for peer networking and industry-specific information. Should you be on Google+? Yes, if you want to impact your SEO. There are other reasons to join Google+, of course. One of the biggest is that its user base is so large and the competition is so low. Each new post comes with SEO juice, too. A word of warning: Things might seem a bit quiet at times. Should you be on Instagram? Yes, if photography is in your wheelhouse. Instagram works great in a pairing with Facebook or Twitter, and business is booming. More and more users join every day, albeit young ones. A word of warning outreach and growth on Instagram are organic, there are not paid options for the average business. Additionally, posts cannot be scheduled, so this is a more labor-intensive route. Finally, a great deal of outreach comes from hashtag use, so the user should feel comfortable with the use of hashtags to get in on this scene. Should you be on Pinterest? Yes, if you have big visuals in your content. There s a great demographic fit, too, for business that cater to women or brands that focus on categories like food or DIY. Pinterest does offer promoted pins, and there are becoming more and more 3 rd party platforms that support scheduled pins, however, both the paid media and pin scheduling are in their infancy and still have kinks to be worked out. Working with this channel organically is the best option, making it slightly more labor-intensive. Key Takeaways and Next Steps Social channels each represent their own challenges and present their own possibilities. Here are some key considerations about the main social media networks and what they are for whom: 1. Kitchen-sink networks: Twitter and Facebook 2. Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr 3. Video networks: YouTube, Vimeo, Vine 4. Business-focused networks: LinkedIn 5. SEO and authorship networks: Google+ 6. Location-based networks: Foursquare, Yelp 7. Niche networks: reddit

7 Once you ve selected your social channels, it is important to make sure they re all branded with your business logo as the profile image and a quality, engaging image that represents your business as the cover. Set up your process. Who is responsible for posting? What is important for your business to say? Consider creating an editorial calendar. This not only helps organize the month, but allows for alignment with marketing and other initiatives. Also, consistency is key when it comes to posting, an editorial calendar puts all of that together in one place for ease of use and delegation. Make sure the appropriate time and resources are in place to hit the ground running with your social media management. Will you be incorporating a 3 rd party monitoring or scheduling tool? Hootsuite and Sproutsocial are among the top organizational tools. Both have free trials to allow you to choose what sort of program works best for you or your employee. Check out your competition. If someone else is doing something well, what is it? How can you do something similar or better for your business? What are they saying and how are they saying it? What images are getting likes? Consider all that you ve got going on versus your top competitors and don t be afraid to try something new to see how it works. We ll see you online! Resources

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