With more than 2 billion active users on social media, it has now become the forefront for any business wanting to promote or sell their products and services online! With such a large number, a surprising selection of these businesses still fail to achieve success with high return on investment (ROI), not because they haven't executed their social media marketing strategy, but simply because they haven't utilised the most appropriate social media platform to market and leverage their product to reach their audience.
So today we're going to walk you through a step-by-step process that will help you select the right social media platform for you business, analysing an established global company that has perfected each one of their social media strategies, with more than 22 million likes on Facebook, 145k followers on Twitter and 204k followers on Instagram.
This brand is no other than the signature green bottle with a red star. Heineken.
Let’s get started!
Define Your Target Audience
The first step in building your social media marketing strategy is to define your target market which can be explained by looking at a standard game of darts. In order to hit the bullseyes, you need to have a specific target, drive, and aim. If you throw the dart without focusing on your set target, then you'll most definitely miss and hit other parts of the board, or worse, hit outside the board.
The same goes for your target audience!
You need to find your exact target and focus group to be able to aim and drive your content directly to the right place. By knowing your audiences exact demographic will not only help you gain a higher level of engagement and traffic to your page BUT will help you select the most appropriate social media network for where they would browsing online. For example, if you owned a fashion label with a demographic of young female viewers, then the best platform choice to use would be Instagram or Pinterest where a high percentage of millennial females would be using.
How did Heineken find their?
Heineken was able to define their target audience by having an “Over-average understanding of the average Heineken’s drinker" Brand24. By knowing the exact demographics of their audience, their age, gender, and location, they're able to tailor their social media marketing strategy to appeal directly to their interests and to select the best platform to market their campaigns.
For example, on Facebook, Heineken often publishes targeted beer marketing campaigns that feature millennial male consumers who love beer and sports. In the image below you can see this highlighted perfectly, even in their caption which states "Whether you're professional footballers or an expert eyebrow lifter - everyone is legendary at something". This smart and catchy campaign is a great example of how they've created content to suit to their main demographic of males and utilising a platform where they know their consumers are going to be.
Perform Content Analysis
Now that you have your target audience sorted, you now need to determine the internal and external factors that influence your operations. You can do this through the use of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis.
Knowing your strengths/weaknesses will help you create the best content strategy to implement which is an integral part of your social media marketing strategy, whilst understanding the opportunities available in the market i.e knowing which social media network to use, will assist you in capturing your audience and targeting your content specifically towards them.
Lastly, having a clear understanding of where you sit in the market amongst your competitors will help you adapt your content strategy for each platform.
How Heineken did it?
Heineken produces fresh, new content for each platform but still conveys a consistent brand message. Even being a global brand with multiple social media pages, they still aim to adapt their social media marketing strategy to each specific and targeted country, to ensure it's relevant to their followers. This is a great social media strategy that you could implement into your own branding to establish a greater level of engagement to your brand.
Compare Social Media Networks
Before you sign up to all the social media networks, do your homework and compare each one carefully writing down the pros and cons. To choose which social platforms you’re going to use, select those that have features that broadcast the type of media you have decided to produce. For example: if you’re planning to share mainly videos, you would want to consider creating a YouTube channel. So instead of exhausting your time and resources and have a second-rate content in all channels, focus on being the first rate in a few.
How Heineken did it?
You can find Heineken on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Twitter and Youtube. And they use each social media network differently by focusing on what the platform is mainly used for. For example, Heineken uses Facebook for sharing updates about the brand, people, and stories. Whereas, LinkedIn is used for news and stories about their staff, vacancies, successes and professional best practice in the “Heineken world”.
Find The Best Social Media Network For Your Business
Once you have identified your target audience, performed your content analysis and compared your social media networks, it will be easier for you to find the best social media network for your business. Pick the best two social media networks where your target market are actively hanging out. If most of your audience are millennials, you want to stick with Facebook and Twitter (Snapchat is another platform you would want to consider too!). If you cater mostly to Professionals, go for LinkedIn and Facebook.
How Heineken did it?
Heineken may be on more than two social media platforms but they are more active on Facebook and Twitter. They have done a great job in utilising these two popular networks by actively sharing the content that most of their audience wants to see, football posts with a dash of beer!
There is no doubt that Heineken is one of the most influential and inspiring brands that have revolutionised the social media world with their targeted social media strategies. Not only have they produced engaging content, but they have also craft and select each campaign to suit their target market and social media platforms.
By looking closely at this brand, you can now start to map out your own marketing strategy that is tailored specifically to your own set target market. This will help you select the perfect social media platforms for your brand, which in turn will allow for a more targeted following and higher engagement level to your brand.