Picking The Right Social Media Platform For Content Marketing

Posted on August 28, 2014


Strawberry Picking

The Internet is a big place. It can be hard for midsized marketing organizations just ramping up their content marketing to pick the right social media platform to help maximize distribution.  Where are the best and most effective places to start? What should they take into account?

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First of all, understand that this isn’t the Zen Koan it sounds like. Yes, for someone who’s new to content marketing, or who may be the only social media guru at their business, the prospect of tending to ten–or more–social media accounts may be daunting. (And it’s important to make sure they’re active–don’t bite off more than you can chew. Nothing makes a company look bad quite like a dead social media account!)

Leveraging Social

But having more of a social media presence is always a good thing. Keep in mind that with some platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr) you can use free social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite that post to multiple social channels simultaneously, and that makes managing your social presence significantly easier.

Your go-to strategy here is test, evaluate, evolve. In a midsized business you’re working to be effective within budget. No worries. Start with two that seem the most active among your prospects and current clients. Test them out, and if one or both don’t gain traction, then evaluate which platform you should test out next. Rinse and repeat.

Which Social Platform Are They Talking Most About Your Industry?

In Personal Branding Audit and Action Plan for CxOs I suggested three great tools to use for research. They will work great for find out where people are talking about your company, product, and industry too:

  • Social Mention
    • Real-time social media search and analysis
  • Social Searcher
    • Search Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, MySpace, LinkedIn
  • Uvrx
    • Customized Google searches for Twitter, LinkedIn,Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn . Plaxo, Bebo, Tumblr, Livejournal, and Flickr

You will need to give yourself at least 90 days to see any results for each platform. Probably longer. However, if you feel that things are performing poorly in the first few weeks, read more about best practices for that platform. Be brutally honest and ask if you have reasonable done everything that is suggested. Here is a handy Google hack to use for researching a social platforms best practices. This will give you just blogs that have talked about that topic. Put this in your Google search box:

site:.com inurl:”blog” “best practices” AND “ADD THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM YOU ARE RESEARCHING HERE”

What’s The Research Say?

As of the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Report, B2B social media marketers report that they are flocking overwhelmingly to:

  • LinkedIn 91%
  • Twitter 85%
  • Facebook 81%
  • YouTube 73%
  • Google+ 55%

But effectiveness is different from use: while businesses of all sizes report that LinkedIn is effective, some companies tend to find YouTube the next most effective platform for B2B marketing, whereas smaller ones find Twitter and SlideShare more useful.

Does your business have a customer demographic impacted by age, gender, or education? In How to Choose the Best Social Media Site for Your Business Michelle Manafy from Inc. reported this interesting demographic data from Pew Research that is worth considering.

Finding out where your midsize business fits into this equation is not difficult, but does involve some trial and error. Just keep at it. Remember that, rather than using your personal favorite social media platform, or going where other companies are marketing themselves or finding success, your ultimate goal is to be visible where your customers are.

Brutally Review Your Data

Finally, watch your business’ social media and marketing analytics, particularly concrete metrics like website traffic and frequency of social media sharing. You may find that a platform where you weren’t expecting to have much of an impact is one where other businesses are very interested in your company.

Just because information about social media usage is true now doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever. New platforms emerge, and old ones are cast aside just as quickly. For your social media marketing campaign to stay relevant and effective, it’s important to tailor it to what’s working.

About The Author
Steve Farnsworth is a Demand Generation Strategist for The @Steveology Group: A Content Marketing agency that drive sales and dominate markets for high tech B2B. You can contact Steve or connect with him on Twitter as @Steveology.

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This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

And a special thank you for the very cool team at Racepoint Global for their outstanding work and continued support.

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