Staying on top of marketing tools is exhausting in the digital age and I guess I’m a sucker for punishment since I’ve been trying to do it for twelve years. Although it’s important to stay on top of the latest social media trends I’ve found that many marketers are too eager to jump into using the newest tools before fully understanding what they’ll best deliver or if they’re even applicable to their audience. Many marketers are guilty of eating their own ice-cream before asking the question “Do I even know what’s in this ice cream?” But, by then it’s too late and somebody’s got brain freeze.
You see, if you’re always chasing the flavor of the moment then you miss savoring things that will actually last. This is of particular importance when evaluating social media tools. Focus on platforms where your audience is that align with your goals and are a good match for your capabilities. Below is my assessment of what the best social media flavors are, what to use them for, and when to avoid them:
Facebook – This tool is best for people you already know or customers you already have. It’s the most popular flavor of social media and I’d say of any tool its the most akin to being the chocolate of social media. It’s savory, can be used in a variety of ways, and is generally considered a fun flavor. It’s no surprise that Facebook is most effective for consumer marketing, especially if integrated with good multimedia content that focusses on people, experiences, and stories. It’s the flavor of the people. It’s not so good for business-to-business marketing, however. For that you need something that tastes more like vanilla.
LinkedIn – It’s been around longer than most other social media platforms and been a reliable performer without the need for much pizzaz. Yes, LinkedIn is the vanilla of the social media world. It’s great to use if you’re a professional looking to connect with other professionals who share similar professional interests. It’s professional, plain and simple. If you’re in the business-to-business industry then being on LinkedIn is a must and if you’re looking to find a new job then you better have a nice profile. Do not use LinkedIn if you’re hoping to engage with people using witty marketing language or to encourage informal conversations since this requires a more neapolitan approach.
Twitter – This flavor of social media has a a little something of everything for everybody, but it’s also one of the most misused. Twitter is the neapolitan of social media since it has some chocolate for the consumers, vanilla for the professionals, and some strawberry for the entertainers. Unfortunately, if left unattended these flavors can get mixed together to form an ugly mess that appeals to nobody. Twitter allows you to mix business with pleasure but if you go too far with either one then you risk losing both. It’s best used for news and real-time information; Be informative and/or entertaining. One of the most important things to note about Twitter is that it’s easy to use but not used by everybody. It’s best for reaching young adults that are affluent, tech savvy and/or involved in marketing or communications.
Pinterest – Sugar and spice and everything nice, this social media platform is primarily the domain of females (~ 85% of users). It’s full of tasty recipes, delicious dresses, and sumptuous shoes. It’s the stuff dreams are made of and if it was an ice cream flavor it would be cookies ‘n cream. Pinterst is excellent for any organization that can utilize visuals to sell it’s wares. For this reason, it does better with products than services.
What’s your favorite social media flavor? Do you have any flavors that you think deserve an honorable mention? Thanks for reading and please contact me if you have a need for social media strategy, campaigns, or training. I can be reached at 306 229 9437 or emailed.