Choose your social media platforms strategically for best ROI

February 18, 2014By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

by Jenny Kosek

Visit the website of one of your favorite brands. How many social media connect-to icons are plastered on the front page? Just Twitter and Facebook? Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest? Or do you see a dozen icons just begging you to connect?

Just because the platform exists does not mean it’s worth your time and resources to include it in your social media strategy.


Take Pinterest. The virtual bulletin board has over 70 million users. 500,000 of those are business accounts. In the past year, web traffic referrals to Pinterest have jumped 66.52%. The average visitor spends 15 minutes per day on Pinterest (vs. Facebook’s paltry 12 minutes per day). Sounds like your brand had better start Pinning, right?many social media platforms

Not quite. Consider this: 60%-80% of Pinterest users are women. The average household income of a Pinterest user is $75,000. Average age? 25-44. Most popular Pin of 2013? A picture and recipe for taco cupcakes.

Are financially comfortable, young, taco-loving women your target customers? If not, why Pin?

Only a few short years ago, small businesses were debating if they should be on social media. That debate is closed, and the answer is an indisputable “yes.” The question now is which platforms lend themselves to furthering the goals of the business?

Perhaps the only constant: LinkedIn. B2B, B2C, retailer, manufacturer, wholesaler, or individual, LinkedIn is the place to build business relationships, scope prospects, recruit new talent, and stay ahead of developments in leadership and your industry. If you haven’t created a corporate LinkedIn profile for your brand, review your social media strategy to include this crucial channel as soon as possible.

It’s easy to feel pressured to splatter your brand across as many social media platforms as you can, but using a more cautious and thoughtful approach will save you time and money, and ultimately be more effective. Explore each platform carefully, and find out who’s using it, and how. Check out your competitors, and see what social sites they’re using, and how (a social media analysis prepared by the experts at HRG can expedite this process for you).

Once you know more about the various platforms, take an objective view of your brand and its messaging. Does it lend itself to imagery? If no, forget Instagram. Does it appeal to women? If so, consider Pinterest. Is it engaging and lighthearted? If so, Facebook’s for you.

Above all, remember that social media is not a place to advertise your products and services. Sounds counter intuitive, but don’t think of any social media platform as a digital billboard. Social media is about your brand’s personality, and making connections that are emotional and memorable. Your social media content must be personal and thoughtful, and appropriate for the platform in question. Start small, do it well, and venture out only when you’ve established solid ground to build a strategy that makes sense.

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