Social media is key for building awareness and community, connecting with audiences, increasing engagement, driving traffic and more. But each platform has its own nuance and purpose.
So, what social channels should your brand be using? Let’s explore why social media is an important marketing tool, the strengths of key platforms and what social channels brands should leverage based on their goals.
Why Your Brand’s Social Channels Matter
Actively managing and engaging with audiences online leads to a brand’s overall business success—which is why it’s essential for businesses of all sizes to establish and nurture an online community through social media that can directly support and embody your business goals.
At Motion, we work daily to guide our clients in aligning their marketing strategy with their brand needs, whether that’s for social media, public relations, digital strategy or overall brand positioning. But most importantly, we focus on their audiences’ needs—needs that may not always align with the brand’s overall business goals.
When it comes to our clients’ social media and content strategy, we weigh your goals with your audiences’ values and back it up with data like engagement rates to determine what will work best for your brand. From increasing social activity to launching on additional platforms and everything in between, we create an always-on strategy that builds and nurtures the kind of online community that will help you achieve your goals.
Of course, social media best practices continue to evolve, and user behavior shifts with it. Often, the companies behind the most popular social media platforms define what successful social media content is. Companies like Meta decide what content to prioritize in-feed, such as Instagram’s shift to featuring Reels to keep up with TikTok’s overall growth.
It feels like there have been dozens of changes across platforms in the past year alone—and this can send anyone into a tailspin. So, let’s break down our approach to social media and how to leverage each platform with purpose.
Find Your Social Media North Star
At Motion, we advise our clients to think about social media from a holistic view. Every social media platform has a specific purpose, and everything we say, do, publish, tweet and post has to check the following three pillars:
- Does this reinforce who we are and how we want to be perceived today?
- Will it help drive meaningful connection and engagement for the brand?
- And finally, does this align with our goals for the future?
An important part of any social media strategy is your figurative North Star. Your brand’s North Star is the core theme, goal or objective that guides everything you do across social. If you don’t have an objective to guide you and your methods, it’s like sailing across the ocean without a compass.
What Social Channels Should My Brand Be Using?
Once you know your social media North Star, you can successfully create a social strategy across channels to help build your online community and reach your goals. The question is, which social channels should your brand be using?
If you have limited time on social media, don’t spread yourself too thin by worrying about creating a presence on each platform. It’s better to excel on two or three with a greater potential for reaching your audience than to phone it in on more. Remember, if your content doesn’t provide value, it’s not worth creating or posting.
Facebook has one of the largest, most diverse audiences on social media, which is great for content that needs to reach an audience at scale through both organic and paid social. Facebook also encourages consumers to showcase their love of a brand to their friends and family. This can be done by viewing, liking or sharing content, engaging with chatbots and even providing helpful contact information directly to a brand or business.
On Instagram, content performs well when it highlights an individual or brand’s best of moments. Instagram as a platform is an excellent medium for thumb-stopping creative while relying less on hard-hitting product messaging.
Think about creating engagement-first content using platform-specific formats such as Boomerangs on Stories as a great way to foster engagement. If this is your audience’s preferred channel, use key features like Polls or Quizzes within Instagram Stories to spark engagement and gain insights about your audience.
LinkedIn is a great platform to position your brand and its leaders as thought leaders in your local communities and overall industry by engaging with your current and future LinkedIn connections. It’s also an opportunity to share your organization’s culture with potential partners, employees and industry leaders.
When thinking about what type of content lives best on LinkedIn, a recent platform survey showed that 44% of respondents said the last piece of content they read on LinkedIn was straight to the point and provided real value to businesses in their industry. So, take the time to understand your audience and the key themes, messages and insights that are valuable to them—then keep your content straightforward.
Pinterest is where users turn for inspiration and are nearly ready to take action, whether trying a new recipe or buying a new product. And that’s why it’s one the most popular search engines on the web, behind Google and YouTube. Give your audience a regular dose of visual inspiration that’s relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re a healthcare brand, think about ways to share healthy recipes or other bite-sized information to help your target audience live healthier lifestyles.
Pinterest is also a visual platform, like Instagram. Therefore, the core of your Pinterest strategy should be to use visuals that stand out and immediately attract the eye. Think high-quality photographs and visuals that have complementary colors.
TikTok is currently the most popular platform for consumers regarding average time spent on social media. But as a brand or content creator, it is much more resource-intensive to create a TikTok than it is to post a single image on Instagram or Twitter. We only recommend our clients launch on TikTok if they are fully committed to creating content specifically for that platform. You can’t take existing video content and repost it on TikTok and expect to make an impact.
Yes, TikTok may be popular, but you also need to ask if your target audience is on the platform. Suppose you’re a durables company, whose target audience is adults ages 50-plus. In that case, TikTok will likely not be the platform where you reach most of your target audience. That said, American users ages 35 to 54 have more than tripled year over year. Again, know your audience!
Finally, Twitter is the best channel for facilitating brand awareness and direct communication with users, and I’m not just saying this because it’s my favorite platform to use. Twitter is great for connecting with people in real-time and integrating your brand into cultural conversations. Use Twitter to help your business stay top of mind with your audience.
Regardless of platform, create content that engages your audience and publish it consistently. Showing up consistently in-feed with quality content is half the battle.
Developing Your Brand’s Social Strategy
Social media is an essential part of any successful business. With so many platforms available, deciding what social channels your brand should be using can be challenging. Here we’ve discussed the pros and cons of some of the most popular social media platforms and how to customize your strategy based on each platform’s strengths and weaknesses. By understanding the demographics of each platform, its user engagement metrics, digital trends and key performance indicators, you will have the tools to know the right social media platforms for you and activate a social strategy that ladders up to your brand’s goals.