A 5-Point Guide to Choosing the Right Social Channel for Your Campaign
In my webinar, How to Create an Awareness Campaign with Social Media, I outlined a step-by-step plan to create an awareness campaign from setting campaign objectives right through to measuring a campaign’s impact. Before you jump into the tactical details of your plan, you should take time for some preparatory research. In previous posts, I shared my tips for conducting a social media audit and advice on getting to know your audience better. In this post, I will share with you a 5-point plan to help you choose which social media channel is right for your campaign.
It’s important that you are able to align your campaign’s objectives with your chosen channel. If you can’t explain how a particular social channel will help you to achieve your goals, then it may not be the right fit for your campaign. When you have decided which channel you will be active on, create a mission statement for each one. A mission statement will help you focus on a very specific goal for whichever social network you are on. An example of a mission statement for Pinterest could be – “We will use Pinterest to create high-quality infographics in order to help achieve (insert campaign goal here).”
The most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. From your research, you should now have a clear idea of which demographics you are targeting. Look to existing data to learn where a specific demographic spends their time online. Statista and GlobalWebIndex are good sources of worldwide statistics on Internet usage. The Pew Research Center provides detailed breakdowns of U.S. demographics for the main social media networks.
Which social networks are your competitors using? Are they active on networks you aren’t? Use a tool like Buzzsumo to identify the social channels on which they get the most shares. Chances are if these channels match your demographics and are working well for your competitors, they will work well for you also.
If you want your content to do well on social media, you’ve got to be strategic about what you publish and where you publish it. You need to create content that aligns with your audience’s expectations on each social channel. Identify how, when, and where your specific audience likes to engage with content. Certain content formats will be more suited to particular channels than others.
How many social channels can you realistically manage for your campaign? It’s better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself thin trying to maintain a presence on every social network. Only commit to channels that you can consistently deliver valuable information on. The key here is to choose channels which integrate well with each other to create maximum impact.
Social Media Reciprocity
To Wrap Up
When choosing a social network always keep one eye on the bigger picture. Ask yourself
- What am I trying to do?
- Who am I trying to reach?
- Is this platform the right fit for the audience I’m trying to communicate with?
Always back up your decisions by aligning them with your campaign’s goals and demographic data, rather than being led by current trends.
Marie Ennis-O’Connor is a social media consultant who specializes in providing consultancy and training services to clients in the healthcare industry. Marie also works with clients to create digital patient engagement strategies, including co-designing research and increasing clinical trial recruitment.
A keynote speaker at Mayo Clinic Social Media Network’s first international Social Media Summit held in Brisbane, Australia in September 2015, Marie is a member of MCSMN’s External Advisory Board. She is also a board member of the Patient Empowerment Foundation, a Geneva-based network of people, foundations, organizations and medical institutions dedicated to empowering patients worldwide. Her work is informed by her passion for embedding the patient voice at the heart of healthcare.