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Is There a “Best” Social Media Platform for Marketing?

by Richard Sutton on June 13, 2014

This post is from an article by Michael Barry, musician and marketing strategist, specializing in arts marketing at Princeton Creative Marketing. I thought that many other writers like myself could use a concise, goal-oriented look at social media as a component of a complete marketing plan.

All writers, but especially Indie Authors, are often overwhelmed by what at first seems like an insurmountable obstacle, when they first begin to try and build an approach to finding their readers effectively. It isn’t really as big as it seems, but it does have many arms and different parts. We’re already up to our elbows in work, how can we add one more thing to our plate? The answer is to simplify and set realistic goals, both in targets and in the time allotted to reach them. Writers operate in both Business to Business and Business to Consumer modes. Social media, when used properly, can be a huge boost, and here are the stats and suggestions that Mr. Barry has assembled…

 

 

Michael Barry

Michael Barry

If you are trying to market your business, what is the best social media (SM) platform for you? Well, like many questions in marketing, the answer is: it depends.

First of all, although there may be a “best” for your business the real best is almost always an integrated, holistic marketing approach where you put not only several social media platforms to work for you, but a good handful of traditional marketing channels as well. It’s still important to use mixed techniques and include direct mail, advertising, networking, PR, SME positioning etc.

That said, the best SM platform really depends on where your customers are, and that will probably be a little different depending on whether your business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). Not surprisingly, according to a recent survey the best social media platform for B2C is Facebook and the best for B2B is Linked In. Here are the results from the survey showing which platforms marketers in both B2B and B2C felt delivered the best results.



(Source: 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry report; Social Media Examiner)

Again, not terribly surprising, but what can we glean from this? We have all heard that marketers consider Facebook to be a more personal, friendly platform, whereas LinkedIn is seen as more professional. But what I find more interesting is that there is a better balance in the B2B world. Marketers in B2B seem to be using the ideas of holistic marketing a bit more. They are using pretty healthy doses of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Blogging and spreading out their marketing efforts over several strong channels.

This makes sense, because when marketing B2B, one of the most important perceptions marketers want to develop is that their business or client be seen as a trusted expert in their field. This is often called Subject Matter Expert (SME) positioning and it is a very strong tool and one that is facilitated nicely by all 4 platforms mentioned above.

The results from both B2B and B2C marketers show some pretty clear benefits for the time spent on learning and applying the techniques of these sometimes confusing channels. When I looked at the data below, I have to say that I was struck by the fact that I have experienced all of these results for my own marketing efforts and the work I do for my clients.

So in order to achieve these excellent results, what kind of time are marketers putting into these platforms? About 64% say around 6 hours or more per week, while 19% are using social media 20 or more hours (yikes!) per week. I fall into the 6 hours or so camp. I use automation, plan ahead, employ scheduling and content tools and I don’t surf around aimlessly. There’s too much other important stuff to do!

In the end, any marketing decisions should be informed by your customers and their preferences. If they are overwhelmingly using Twitter, then use Twitter. If most of them hate Facebook, then don’t put too much time into Facebook, unless you have a well researched plan to reach a new target market that is definitely on that platform. In short, don’t make knee jerk reactions based on info, even the info presented here, that may or may not be relevant to your business. Maybe you are a B2C business but Facebook is not the best bet for you. Only you and your customers know for sure.

Research, survey your customers, ask questions and make well informed decisions and you can really profit from social media marketing. And be patient! This is not a quick fix for all your marketing problems. Results come with consistency, and in my experience, results don’t start showing up until six months to one year into a well thought out marketing plan.

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