How Many Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?

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How Many Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?

One of the challenges that a lot of B2B companies struggle with is what how should they handle social media? Should they be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat? Do they need to be on TikTok?

Do they need to be on all of these platforms, or should they just focus on one and just do a really good job on there?

To answer these questions I turned to social media expert Amanda Fountain and this is what she had to say.

What Are Your Social Media Resources?

What you are asking is actually two questions rolled into one because what you are really asking is what are your resources and where is your audience?

Social media can open a lot of doors for businesses, but if you don’t have the right resources, it just becomes harder. Harder to manage, harder to see results, harder to feel good about what you’re doing on it. Harder to see results if it’s not overwhelmingly good.

And that’s usually what happens, when you have limited resources, you do the best you can, but it’s not great.

It’s just the best that you can possibly do. And that can hurt. Which is a weird thing to think about, but it can hurt if it’s not great for social. Because there’s so much that’s happening, that your stuff has to stand out.

When I say great, I don’t mean like the highest quality videos are the highest quality graphics, it’s just great content that is really
well tailored for your audience.

That’s the ‘great’ that you’re looking for. It doesn’t have to be highly produced content, it just has to be really well tailored for your audience.

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Where Is Your Audience On Social Media?

The second part of your question is where is your audience? If you know that you have limited resources and you know that your audience is most active on Twitter, for example, spend your time there.

This is a much better strategic approach, to find where your audience is, and put your time and effort there, rather than trying to separate your time across every single platform.

Maybe claim profiles and have a regular cadence for occasionally posting on other places, but put your time and efforts to where your audience is.

And then the next phase of that is if you can get a good cadence of producing content that your audience likes and engages with, then you can look to expand your social media presence to the platforms where your audience will be.

One of the things I always think about is who is my next audience, right? Because people grow up in their careers.

The people who are decision makers now, are maybe not, maybe not big Instagram users, but the people who are in their twenties and thirties who have them, will eventually be a decision maker

It’s a platform they’re used to using and seeing. So you can’t ignore it forever, but think about when you need to start kind of getting in front of them.

That’s why it’s more important to have a regular cadence, even if it’s only occasional, in order to be in front of those other audiences.

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How Do You Select A Social Media Agency?

Social Media Agency

When To Select A Social Media Agency

One of the questions that we get asked a lot is when is the should I use a social media agency for social versus when should I do it in-house with the people that I have?

It’s a great question and I turned to social media expert Amanda Fountain to answer that question. This is what she had to say:

Hiring A Social Media Agency

One of the reasons why a company would consider using a social media agency is to develop a social media strategy.

A social media strategy is one of the key building blocks to being successful on social media. A strategy identifies who your target audience is. What social networks they are on? What messaging they respond too? What types of messaging they do not respond too?

A second reason to engage with a social media agency is to produce more content.

A third reason is to listen and engage with your audiences on social media. Listening is an overlooked aspect of a successful social media strategy. The bigger you are as a company, the more risk you have of missing conversations about your brand if you don’t have someone monitoring and listening all the time.

“By providing great customer service through social comments, you not only retain existing customers but also win new ones.”

Handling Your Social Media In-house

When does handling your social media accounts in-house work best? If you know that your audience is not really active on social, that it is not where you want to talk to your audience then having internal resources handling your social media accounts make sense.

In this scenario, your in-house person just focused on posting content and responding to whatever comments are left.

Agency + In-House Model

The obvious best model is when you have a social media agency partner and someone -in house that’s your social media expert.

You have your in-house person who can lead what needs to happen, can share all that in-marketing insight from the other pieces that are going on, and help with the execution pieces of it.

Your agency partner then becomes your strategist, your person that’s there to tell you what’s happening, tell you what’s going on, counsel you to make changes or consider new things. To push you in new ways that if you’re in the trenches day to day, it’s not always easy to see those things.

So that’s a good model, having a social media agency partner who can be your strategist, and then the in-house person that can oversee implementation and execution of your social medium campaigns.

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Instagram Tactics: Most Brands On Instagram Post Content Daily

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Instagram Tactics: Most Brands On Instagram Post Content Less Than Daily

Some interesting data from the 2019 Social Media Benchmark Report about how often brands are publishing content across social networks.

While brands publish the most often on Facebook (0.97 posts per day) compared to Instagram (0.7 posts per day), and Twitter (.86 posts per day).

social media stats 2019
social media stats 2019

It is Instagram however, where brands are seeing the most engagement at they are seeing the most engagement at 1.60%.

Higher Ed dramatically outperformed other industries on Instagram again, while brands in other industries saw a slight drop: last year’s median engagement rate was 1.73%.

What is Working On Instagram?

More isn’t necessarily better on Instagram (or anywhere else, really): with the exception of Sports. Teams, the industries with the highest per-post engagement rates post less often.

instagram posts vs engagement

It's All About The Pictures

Sports Teams are seeing great engagement on Instagram, and are taking more advantage of highengaging carousels than many other industries this year.

Instagram Use By Sports Teams

Eight Steps To Creating The Best Instagram Post In 2020

How To Create An Effective Instagram Strategy

Instagram Takeaways

Some takeaways from the the Social Media Benchmark Report that you can use to grow your social media presence on Instagram. 

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The Three Traffic Sources For Startups

Paid Earned and Owned Traffic

The Three Traffic Sources For Startups

I was recently re-reading Randall Stross’s book, The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s Most Exclusive School for Startups. Inside is a quote from Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham about growth rates for start-up

A good growth rate during YC is 5-7% a week. If you can hit 10% a week you’re doing exceptionally well. If you can only manage 1%, it’s a sign you haven’t yet figured out what you’re doing. A 5%-7% weekly growth rate is extremely aggressive but if you want your start-up to get traction in the market, it’s a good growth number to aim for..
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Paul Graham
Y Combinator

The big question then is “how do you do that”?

There are three sources of website traffic for a startup. In order to be successful and meet Paul Graham’s growth target you need to master at least one of these, if not two of these traffic sources.

Rented or Paid Traffic

The first traffic source that most start-ups use is paid traffic. Paid traffic gives you time to allow your other traffic channels to grow and evolve. It allows you to get product market fit, find those those first customers and find out if you have product market fit.

The most common paid traffic sources are Google Adwords (PPC), Facebook ads, display ads, retargeting, paid influencers and paid content promotion.

With paid traffic you are able to contribute content and engage with the audience. You might be able to control the conversation, but you do not own anything else (data, relationship, creativity, etc. etc.). Hence the name rented traffic.

Without the initial steady stream of visitors from paid traffic, you might never get enough data to growth hack your way to success. That is why paid traffic is the most important traffic source for many startups. Over time, that might change, but it is rare to see a startup succeed who does not buy their initial visitors.

Owned Traffic

The second most common traffic source is owned traffic. Owned traffic is traffic from properties that you own. You own the customer relationships. You make the decisions around content, creativity and evolution. The more owned properties you have, the more chances you have to drive traffic to your website.

Examples of owned properties are websites, blogs and customer forums. Social media properties like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter can also be considered as “owned sites”.

One of the most overlooked owned traffic sources is your email list. You have total control over the timing of the messages you send to your subscribers. And when you click “send,” your messages get delivered straight to them.

The challenge for start-ups is that owned traffic takes time. It takes time to organically grow a following via social media or build an email list. That is why owned traffic is usually the second traffic source that startups tackle.

Earned Traffic

The third traffic source is Earned or influenced traffic. This traffic is online word of mouth, usually seen in the form of mentions, shares, reposts, reviews, recommendations, or content picked up by 3rd party sites.

It is traffic source that you cannot directly control. For example you cannot directly control whether people will “Like” you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, and then visit your website and become your customer. Nor can you control whether a a piece of content you have produced goes viral.

Earned traffic also includes organic traffic from search engines. Traffic from organic search is considered earned traffic as you cannot control how much traffic the search engines can send you. But like other influenced traffic you can impact this by following SEO best practices.

The challenge for startups with earned traffic is that it is too difficult to predicate, especially in the early stages. You cannot build a growth strategy hoping that you make it to the front page of Hacker News or Business Insider. That is why this is usually the third traffic channel that startups focus on.

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Social Media as Distribution Channels For B2B

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Social Media as Distribution Channels For B2B

I was reading the 2020 Content Marketing Trends Report and it reinforced my belief that social media is an increasingly important distribution channel for B2B marketers.

When asked what social media platform they use to distribute content on, 96% say that LinkedIn is their primary distribution channel followed by Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Interestingly, for all the buzz about Medium (6%), Periscope (6%), and SnapChat (5%), these channels are still heavily underutilized by B2B marketers.

b2b content marketing usage

When it comes to the effectiveness of those social media channels, Once again, B2B marketers rated LinkedIn most effective (64% last year vs. 66% this year). The effectiveness ratings of YouTube and Instagram also increased slightly, and Twitter’s rating stayed the same.

effectivness of social networks

B2B marketers are also using paid promotion to amplify their message across social media channels using tactics like promoted posts or social ads. The one amplification tactic that is growing in popularity is content discovery tools which increased from 36% of marketers using it last year to 45% this year.

social media amplification

Social media marketing is changing and evolving for B2B marketers. Does your strategy need to be updated or refreshed? Is yes, then contact us today!

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The BEST Way To Generate Leads In 90% Of Industries

Lead Generation

The BEST Way To Generate Leads In 90% Of Industries

A new report from Bizible analyzed more than 480,000 leads through its Salesforce marketing analytics platform and the data showed that Search does a better job of generating leads than any other marketing channel.

A Hubspot report last season showed that SEO provides the best ROI of any inbound marketing channel, and the Bizible study reinforced that data. There is a subtle difference between the two reports as the Hubspot report was able to track both SEO and PPC separately. In the Bizible study they combined both organic and PPC under the single search umbrella.

The Bizible data showed that when looking at first touch, Search drove 56% of leads generated. When looking just at last touch, Search accounted for 41% of the leads generated.

Not a surprise then that the combination of Search first touch and Search last touch was the most productive channel for lead generation, accounting for 37% of all leads from first/last touch combinations.

Lead Generation by First/Last Touch Combinations.
Lead Generation by First/Last Touch Combinations. Source: Bizible

For those marketers who believe that search will not work in their market, Bizible refuted that. The data showed that Search was the leading channel for 9 out of 10 of the industries measured for generating leads by first touch. The software/SaaS sector was the only sector in which search did not drive the majority of first touch leads.

First Touch By Industry

Don’t Overlook Social In Lead Generation Process

Social is a market that has really matured into a valuable inbound marketing channel in the last year of so. When Bizible looked at the percentage of closed deals that were won by first touch in each channel, social impressively came in third with a 30% win rate, despite driving just 5% of leads. Social impact on lead generation is a not widespread yet because the social leads were concentrated among two industries; Education and Finance.

Note that Direct and Search had the two highest closed rates at 56% and 40% respectively with Display having the worst at only 12%.

First Touch Lead Generation By Industry
First Touch Lead Generation By Industry. Source: Bizible

Social shortens the length of the marketing cycle. When Social was the first touch, the marketing cycle was 30% shorter than average.

Marketing Cycle

Takeaways

Search is the most popular first touch channel for lead generation accounting for 56% of all leads acquired. Search, especially organic SEO, has to be a part of your company’s inbound marketing strategy. Whether your market is B2B or B2C, Search generates more leads, more cost-effectively.

The Bizible report shows that the last touch severely undervalues the top of the marketing funnel and does not account for the buyer’s decision journey. Companies need an inbound marketing analytics program that allows for Multi­touch attribution.

You can’t ignore Social in B2B marketing; it has a 30% shorter marketing cycle than the average inbound channel. Social is not just for posting statuses anymore. It is also a valuable lead generation channel.

The full paper “Multi-touch Attribution for Companies with Sales Teams” is available for download here.

We’re offering a free inbound marketing assessment. We will evaluate your current website, and show you the most direct ways you can get more traffic and leads from your website.

Click here to receive our FREE Inbound Marketing Assessment.

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Why SEO Still Provides The Best ROI Of Any Inbound Marketing Channel

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO Provides The Best ROI Of Any Inbound Marketing Channel

I built my first web site in 1996. In those days I just needed to update a meta keyword tag in order to have a site rank highly in the search engines.

Today’s search engine algorithms are very sophisticated and you’ve got to have deep knowledge and well-honed skills to win at SEO. SEO is still the most productive and economical way to generate qualified leads and customers. It’s also the one that Marketers say is the hardest to execute. As a result, more and more companies are letting their marketing budgets get eaten up by PPC and switching their attention away from SEO to the latest shiny toys like Instagram. SnapChat or TikTok.

Despite the appeal of all these new social channels, one thing remains consistent: SEO ROI provides the best return of any inbound marketing channel.

Marketing Spend closely tracks led generation rates

SEO on average is 12% of a typical marketing budget, but generates 14% of leads. PPC, on the other hand, is generating only 6% of leads, despite having 8% of the marketing budget. If you are spending more of your marketing budget on PPC than SEO then your lead generation program is likely upside down.

It’s not just the number of leads generated from SEO that makes it such an important inbound tactic it is the QUALITY of those leads.

In the same study, Hubspot asked marketers for the average percentage of leads converted to sales by marketing channel. SEO leads inbound marketing conversion rates, netting 15% above the average conversion rates.

SEO delivers best ROI of any marketing channel

SEO continues to deliver the best ROI of any inbound marketing channel. It’s worth more attention from marketers. Don’t let the idea that SEO is hard keep you from winning the online game. The right resources will make it easy for you.

Has your organic search traffic has fallen over the last couple of years? If it has then a technical site audit will uncover why the search engines are not ranking you as highly as they used too.

Contact us today and learn how you can increase the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns.

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How to Amplify Your Content in Four Steps

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How to Amplify Your Content in Four Steps

The Content Marketing Institute estimates that 83% of all marketers are utilizing some sort of content marketing strategy.

With so many brands producing blogs, videos, and whitepapers every day, companies can no longer rely on just developing compelling content to get their message out, which is why so many marketers are turning to content amplification—a strategy that focuses on increasing brand visibility across multiple channels.

One of the best ways for you to amplify your content is through paid social content amplification. With the average life of a Tweet on Twitter being four minutes, and the average Facebook update being seen by less than 5% of your fans, paid social amplification is a necessity. 

Paid social amplification keeps your content from getting lost in the social media void, so your content can get more exposure with your fans AND your potential fans.

Four of the best ways to use paid content amplification:

1. Social Media Ads

Unlike PPC ads (see below), social ads give you the option to hyper-target with ads featuring specific attributes of your target audience. You can target consumers who have certain likes and interests as well as consumers who fit within traditional demographics (age, gender, location, etc.). And, if you rotate your ads every couple of days, users won’t get ad fatigue, which means—they won’t stop clicking.

2. Paid Content Discovery

While Social Ads allow you to focus on your target audience, paid content discovery is a way to expose your content to a wider audience. Companies provide services that promote your content on sites such as CNN, Slate and ESPN, allowing you the potential to reach hundreds or thousands of people who you wouldn’t have reached on your own.

3. Pay Per Click

Traditional pay per click (PPC) advertising is another way to promote your content to new consumers and obtain a higher reach.

The data from PPC analytics, as well as social ads and paid content discovery, will help you understand what your ideal audience is looking for and give you the data to enhance your content marketing efforts.

4. Retargeting

Most marketers spend all their time and effort (and money) on bringing a visitor to their website once, but they fail to focus on making that visitor a returning visitor. That is where retargeting comes in. In its simplest form, retargeting is the paid strategy of bringing visitors back to your website.

Retargeting allows you to focus on people who have already shown interest in your content and/or business. Your goal is to bring them back to your site through social or banner ads. This is a strategy that should be a part of every content marketing plan. The goal of content marketing is to keep consumers coming back to your website and retargeting does just that.

Braveheart Digital has been working with companies since 2001 to develop and execute online marketing strategies that help companies achieve their goals. Contact us today to see how we can help you drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website through content marketing amplification.

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