Go With Your Goals: Finding the Right Social Platform

The OCB

When I was a kid, one of my favorite restaurants was Old Country Buffet. At the good old OCB, I could get as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted, and to a young (and chubby) 12-year-old me, this was the pinnacle of American cuisine. However, as was tradition, I ate WAY too much, WAY too quickly. My impetuous pre-teen brain was blinded by the quantity of food and couldn’t (or didn’t want to) see the inevitable stomach ache and self-loathing to come.

In the world of Internet marketing, social media sometimes seems like an endless buffet. So many delicious-looking options, all ours for the taking. But if we try to do it all, we end up with a headache, a dazed look on our faces and not much to show for it.

Instead, the better option is to devise a detailed social media marketing plan that identifies exactly what we want from social media and then find the channels that serve those goals. It’s like identifying we’re hungry for sushi and seeking out a great sushi joint, not just seeing if the local human food trough has some.

Web Traffic is Priority #1

Traffic is king. Our clients’ social media strategies include several other goals, but web traffic is the highest-quality metric when discussing campaign success. Here’s why:

  • It provides comprehensive data about your audience, which is extremely valuable when tracking campaigns and planning future efforts.
  • No matter what the organization does, the brand’s most valuable resources (blogs, gated content, web store) typically live on their website.
  • Web traffic is a factor in measuring things that are difficult to quantify, such as brand awareness.

For social clients at Brandpoint, we’re working almost exclusively with these types of content:

  • Blogs and news articles (both native and curated).
  • E-books and case studies.
  • Branded videos and images.

These types of content will typically perform well no matter where you distribute them, so long as they’re high in quality and packaged appropriately to fit the platform. However, Facebook and LinkedIn provide an unmatched number of social referrals to websites. In fact, for the average Brandpoint social client, those two platforms averaged a combined 87 percent of all social referrals. That is significant.

But What About Twitter?

Twitter, on average, accounted for less than 10 percent of the same clients’ social referrals. Now, don’t get us wrong. Twitter is certainly a valuable tool for other aspects of brand content marketing and content engagement. We just simply haven’t seen it work as a powerful traffic-driving tool in the same way as Facebook and LinkedIn.

What’s Your Goal?

It goes without saying that every business is different and every platform has its advantages and disadvantages. If you know that your audience is on Tumblr or Google+, that’s where you ought to be. But when you let your social media and content marketing plan tell you what to put where, you make better decisions and see better results.

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