Amidst all the hype around social media marketing, some of the most critical questions are often neglected as brands push to stay up with trends.
When you think of social, the platforms that immediately spring to mind are likely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and maybe Instagram as well as Pinterest, depending on your own personal leanings. So those are the platforms you should be looking at, right?
Well, not so fast. While the major platforms obviously have the largest audience share, what’s more important is being aware of where your target customers are at and the platforms the people you need to reach are using.
Before you go jumping into the social media ocean and heading for the biggest ships in those waters, it’s important to do your research – you may find that your specific audience isn’t even active on Facebook, despite its 1.44 billion user base.
So how do you work out which platforms your target audiences are using? Here are three apps that’ll help you do just that.
1. Social Crawlytics
One of the most helpful tools for ascertaining which social media platforms your audience is using is Social Crawlytics. This is best for brands that have had an active web presence for some time, but even those with a relatively new website can get some good insights from Crawlytics reports.
First off, Social Crawlytics is totally free – you’re allocated a number of ‘credits’ when you start a new account and each report costs a certain amount of credits to run. If you run out, all you have to do is tweet out a link to promote the app and you’ll be allocated additional capacity.
What Social Crawlytics does is, as per the title, it crawls a chosen URL and locates all the social shares generated from that website.
Once complete, Crawlytics will provide a report on where content from that website has been shared across the major social platforms, showing you where your business should be paying attention, as these are the places your audience is already sharing your content.
But you probably already know where your content is being shared, right? Well, one of the best aspects of Crawlytics is that you can run it on any website, not just your own. So you can do the same for your competitors to see where their content is being shared and use that as a guide to identify where your biggest opportunities are in the social landscape.
Another way to work out where your brand should be present is to use BuzzSumo.
Similar to Social Crawlytics, enter a URL into BuzzSumo and it’ll return a listing of the most shared content from that domain. You can then export the list, total the shares by network and there you have it – a listing of the social platforms where you’re brand is seeing the most shares.
Where BuzzSumo has more firepower that Crawlytics is in the additional features and functions – not only can you conduct the same search for your competitors in BuzzSumo (as you can with Crawlytics), but you can also search by topic, and by region. So if you were a cheese maker in Melbourne and you wanted to know which social networks are generating the most discussion amongst local cheese enthusiasts, you could enter in ‘cheese’ as the topic, then put ‘Australia’ in the country filter and BuzzSumo will give you a list of the most shared content about cheese in the local region, which can then be filtered by shares for each network.
Of course, neither of these options include Instagram, which is increasingly becoming one of the first questions people ask when I show them these tools. Because Instagram is image-oriented and not big on links to content, it’s a little harder to assess, but there are ways to work out whether it’s a good fit for your business.
Klear is a social media analytics platform that provides an overview of any chosen profile, based on their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram presence. To get details on how any brand or person is doing across those three platforms, enter their handle into search and see what comes up.
As you can see, Klear provides a detailed profile of platform-specific performance. If you’re not sure whether Instagram is for you, look up your competitors, or the major players in other markets, and see whether they have an active Instagram presence and what sort of engagement they’re seeing.
The best part of this is that once you do identify a brand that’s succeeding on Instagram, you can click through and see how, providing you with additional insights for your own Instagram strategy.
Being active on social media is becoming increasingly important, but more than that, being active on the right social platforms for your specific audience is key to maximising your social media marketing success.
There’s no point being on Twitter if your customers aren’t there and there’s no point being active on all platforms and not doing any of them particularly well. The best strategy is to do your research and understand where your audience is interacting, then meet them where they are.
The author: Andrew Hutchinson is an internationally published author, an award-winning blogger and social media consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. If you need a writer, or assistance with content or social media marketing, get in touch at www.andrewhutchinson.com.au