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Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You?

Digital marketing success starts with picking the right channels to use for your marketing. Choosing the right social platform for your business and your goals takes some research to determine.

There is no right choice for all businesses. Don’t blindly model what another business is doing. Take time to assess what is really right for you.

The key is understanding your specific target audience and determining where they are  active. There are several ways to do this:

  • Visit Pew Research and check out the latest data on social media platforms and their use
  • Ask customers, members and others who represent your target audience
  • Visit various social platforms and do some searches for your brand and related content

Once you know where your audience gathers, consider your content. You may not want to commit to an image-centric platform like Pinterest if you don’t have unique images to share. YouTube may be a great option if you have a lot of video. Understand what you have to share and select the social channels that are best for that content.

While there is no right answer for all businesses, Facebook comes pretty darn close.  Facebook is the biggest social platform, with more than 2 billion active users. You likely do want to establish and maintain a presence there.

 

 

Get Your Business Seen on Facebook

Your business can get attention on Facebook! Here are great ways to get attention in a time of almost non-existent organic reach.

Facebook has been decreasing organic (free) ways for businesses to connect with people for several years. Last year it reached the point that no one could avoid noticing the dramatic decrease in organic reach.

Every business needs to be on Facebook. The platform has more than 2 billion monthly active users. With the right strategies, you can still maintain and increase your organic reach.

Understand What Works

Facebook previously used signals like the number of people who reacted, commented, or shared a post to determine where that post appeared in the News Feed.

Now these are ranking factors:

  • Posts from friends and family over public content
  • Posts that will create interactions between users.

The days of chronological feeds and easily attained organic reach are gone.

Engage or Be Invisible

Engagement still plays a major part in Facebook news feed position. This metric must now be the focal point that businesses must tailor their Facebook strategies to meet. Businesses that increase their levels of engagement will earn exposure.

Here are six strategies to engage on Facebook.

  • Add video. Video content drives higher engagement and interaction in comparison to all other content types. Video can be recorded or live. You can use Facebook Live to promote upcoming events, capture behind the scenes moments, convey authenticity, and humanize your brand.
  • Ask questions. Write your content in a way that encourages answers/comments. Ask stimulating questions. Make sure your content and the accompanying question are unique and compelling.
  • Activate employees and influencers. Get as many people talking about you as possible. Everyone has friends and family they influence.
    Help them by creating content calendars and thanking them when they shares.
  • Avoid links. Facebook’s goal is to keep users on Facebook. Rather, focus on posting content with interesting visuals or multimedia.
  • Use Facebook audience optimization. Target your posts to people who will be interested. Log in to your Facebook Page and click on settings in the top right-hand corner of your dashboard screen. Select ‘General’ settings on the left-hand table and click ‘Edit’ to the right of the ‘Audience Optimization for Posts’ option. Select the checkbox to allow you to select a preferred audience and hit save changes. When you compose a new post, you will have the option of filtering your audience. While it may feel counterintuitive, reaching out to a smaller but targeted audience can be a smarter decision compared to posting to your largest audience possible.
  • Create a Facebook group. When managed correctly, a Business Group can create a micro-community of highly engaged users who are both advocates for, and potential customers of, your business. A Facebook Group fits Facebook’s meaningful engagement vision, as they are typically formed around shared interests and create natural discussions.

Facebook and Lessons in Relationships

I regularly help clients use Facebook effectively. My approach is always to help them build relationships with their target audience. That’s getting harder on Facebook, because the platform seems to have forgotten the value of relationships.

Any good relationship is built on trust. The expectation is that the other party will respect the parts of yourself you chose to share with them. When they don’t, you have two choices: give them a second chance or end the relationship.

Facebook’s relationship with some of its users has gone downhill since the 2016 presidential election. The news was bad through 2018 and things aren’t looking much better in 2019.

A recent Pew Research study found that 54 percent of all Facebook users over the age of 18 have increased their privacy settings, while 42 percent have taken a break from the platform for several weeks or longer.

These percentages increase in younger users, who increasingly seem to be breaking up with Facebook. According to Pew:

  • 44% of users between 18 and 29 have deleted the app from their phone
  • 64% of younger users have tightened their security

While a number of Facebook users remain, it’s clear that the social network will have to take some measures to earn back the public’s trust. In the meantime, marketers need to pay attention to how this impacts their efforts. If their core audience is migrating away from Facebook and toward other options, their strategy needs to do the same.