It’s official. There are too many social media sites and apps. Snapchat, Heard, Frilp, WeChat, Whisper, Line, and the list goes on. I experienced the rise of the first big social media sites. I even remember the early days of Facebook. Yet, even as a millennial, I feel overwhelmed.
This can get even more hectic for marketers. You’re expected to be on the lookout for the next big trend and pounce. But there’s simply too much out there without enough opportunities for monetization.
Even worse, you probably have some slightly terrifying vice president or director of marketing breathing down your neck, wondering why you haven’t built a Woo Woo page yet. (But, I mean, come on. My mom’s on Woo Woo.)
So how do you determine which social media trend to invest in?
Understand your audience
Understanding your audience is key to understanding exactly which social media trend you need to go “all in” on. Their habits, their connectivity, their usage, they determine your marketing strategy.
Who is your audience?
An easy way to do this is to research your audience. Luckily for you, especially if you’re a marketer or recruiter in the trucking or construction industries, we have already done a lot of that research for you. You can find our connectivity studies, which cover social media, here on our industry research page.
For this article, we’ll take a second to look at a specific audience: contractors. Now, don’t tell anyone I did this, but I’m going to give you a little sneak peak into our 2015 Equipment World Connectivity Study (which hasn’t been released yet).
According to the report, 45.1% of contractors visit social media sites. Now that seems like a small number, but let’s do something similar to what we did in a previous article.
There are 729,345 construction companies in the United States, which includes building construction, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors. 45.1% of that number is about 328,934. If you only take into account one person at each company, that’s your audience on Facebook.
But that’s not quite right.
There is usually more than 1 person you need to reach at a construction company. Many of these companies have millions or even billions of dollars in annual revenue. That being said, one person can’t do everything. Taking into account that most companies have multiple executives, managers, and supervisors who have purchasing power, your audience can expand into the millions.
Let that set in for a second.
This still doesn’t tell you want you need to know. At this point, you only know that there are a lot of contractors who visit social media. Ok, touche.
Let’s boil that down even more. According to the same report, of those who said they visited social media sites, 94.2% use Facebook, 62% use YouTube, and 43.1% use LinkedIn. There are also some small percentages for Twitter and “other”, but in this case, those don’t matter that much because the audience just isn’t there.
Your audience is telling you exactly where you need to invest your limited resources and budget.
Understand your metrics
Oh, but a marketer’s job is never done. Now that you’ve figured out which sites to use, and you’ve invested some time into building your accounts, your new task is to determine whether it was really worth it.
Yep, that’s right, it could have all been for naught.
Social media is a funny thing. Research and stats can tell you a lot, they set you on the right track. But humans have a tendency to defy statistics and go outside the norm. In other words, just because a social media site has a large number of users who fall into your target audience doesn’t mean that they will engage you.
This is where metrics come into play.
There are a number of metrics tools which will help here. First of all, the social listening tools available to marketers have proliferated. There are even a number of analytics programs built into some social media sites themselves, i.e. Facebook.
Your metrics will quickly become your best friend. They will help you keep watch over organic posts and your engagement with fans and followers. And this is important. Getting paid engagement is great, but you want your audience to build a community around your brand or business. This can be extremely valuable.
Other programs, like Google Analytics, will help you understand the traffic you’re driving from your social media pages. You can tell where all of your referral traffic is coming from and determine which users are the most valuable. For instance, if you’re driving 100 users from Facebook who have a :30 time on site and a 98% bounce rate, you’ll probably want to invest more in YouTube, which might drive 60 users with a 3:00 time on site and a 45% bounce rate.
Determining which social media sites are driving the most engaged and valuable traffic is critical.
Social media can be a bit overwhelming. Ok, fine, it can be a pain in the . . . well . . . you know where, but it is still valuable if you’re looking in the right place. You don’t have to jump on the social media bandwagon for every new app or site that launches. Instead, you need to find the sites where you can drive the most value for your business.