I an earlier post, I discussed the importance of social media in the marketing mix.  I think most businesses are coming around to the fact that they need to do something more than simply build out a simple, static page.  But how do you figure out where you should spend your most important limited resource: TIME.  Is Facebook the place?  Instagram? Twitter?

The answer to this is directly related to the goals you set for your Social Media campaigns.  Are you attempting to grow new customers?  Influence existing customers?  Develop brand awareness?  Educate customers on new products or services?  The primary goal will dictate the best social media platform.

Over the next few posts, I’ll focus on each of the main social media sites and discuss the pros, cons, and factors that may influence its choice as a medium to participate in such as ease of posting, types of communications available, integration with other social media sites, 3rd party integrations and more.  I’m going to start by focusing on Facebook.

Facebook

With the largest audience (by far – 71 % of all internet users according to the Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms report) Facebook is definitely the king of social media currently.  While we still hear, from time to time, claims of its demise, the truth is it is still growing and continuing to find new ways to engage its audience.  As its audience continues to sort itself out and Facebook continues to work out what it thinks is the most important items to display to its customers, it will continue to be volatile.  But, at least for the foreseeable future, its pretty viable.

Facebook is really about mass marketing.  You have the potential to create a page and make a post that can be pushed out to virtually any number of users or have it shared by thousands.  But at the same time there is a lot of clutter.  So making sure a post natively gets seen and shared without some marketing $$$ behind it can be a challenge.

There are a variety of content types on Facebook.  The most common is the basic post.  It can contain links and images and will show up on newsfeeds across Facebook so long as people are following your business and their display and privacy settings.  Additionally, you can create events and offers. All three of these can be promoted as social media campaigns beyond your existing followers with a variety of options for targeting rules and whatever you set as the promotional budget on a Cost Per Activity basis..

Pages also have a “Call to Action” button that can be linked directly to another site with capabilities like “Sign Up” for newsletters or Book Now for appointment based businesses, and a more generic “Contact Us” that can point directly at the contact us page on your website.  In all there are there are currently 7 options.  The interactions with the “Call to Action” button are tracked and reported separately.

Facebook wants to be your primary choice because it wants all of the content on its site where it is in control and can figure out ways to make money on the traffic.  So it doesn’t always share or play well with other third party sites from a push sense.  But it accepts API integrations from Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and others that make it easy to push content to Facebook from those sites.

There are multiple third parties providers of social marketing services that can centralized your posting and push content out to a variety of sources from a single point of management.  Vendasta (for putposes of transparency – MS Digital Solutions is a reseller of services for Vendasta through a white labeled service), HootSuite, HubSpot, and many more providers offer ways to help you work smarter, not harder when it comes to social media.

To find out more about how to make the most of your time with Social Media, contact MS Digital Solutions for a FREE Digital Footprint Analysis and to discuss our full range of digital marketing services.

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