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The Beacon Way podcast with Adrienne Wilkerson and Jennifer Christensen

The Beacon Way Episode 11: Brand Messaging Part 4

Brand messaging is such an important foundational step when setting up your business and business strategies. We have spent quite a lot of energy on the subject and pieces relating to it because without knowing who you are, who you are not, who your target audience is, and how you will solve that audience’s pain points, you won’t be able to reach your ideal client.

Once you’ve concreted your message, you can start reaching out to your target audience, which almost always includes social media. You know the who, now we will talk about the practicality of the how and lead you through some ideas for implementation.

Understanding Where Your Clients Are in the Digital Marketplace

There is such a wide variety and offering of social media platforms out in the digital landscape today, how do you know which ones to use for what? What are the best social media platforms for organic social and for PPC or pay-per-click ads? Dialing into top social media platforms, this takes a little bit of time to understand how active users will be ingesting what they get from each source.

Whether you are considering LinkedIn, Facebook with Facebook messenger integrations, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram you need to first understand the demographic using the platform and what type of content they expect to gain from it.

Leveraging LinkedIn

Infographic #1 “LinkedIn is so popular right now as it has the ability to actually be seen organically without having to do paid ads and to reach the types of clients that you want to reach and interact with and have social engagement.” — Jennifer Christensen

There are several ways that page activities are tracked; organic social is a term that means that potential customers are coming to your site organically through post images and page searches but don’t have any paid ad funds behind them and they are traditionally harder to track. PPC or pay-per-click is paid platform advertising that directs clicks to your ad or site, which will give you greater direct conversions and offer the ability to track your leads and conversions.

LinkedIn has long been considered a professional networking platform but what many don’t know is that it is a great example of a site where organic leads are going to be much more prevalent. Once you discover where your organic traffic is, you can then begin to funnel your engagement to those users. Organic traffic can also help you strategize on how to direct your paid ad dollars as well.

LinkedIn has become more popular in recent years because they have focused more on the organic aspect than any other social media platform. Facebook made a huge shift into a business page when it started making organic content harder to find. That shift into “pay-to-play” was incredibly frustrating for businesses.

Standing Out from the Crowd on LinkedIn

According to the Sprout Social blog by Tracey Witt published on February 28, 2023, compared to other social media platforms 82% of B2B obtain more tremendous success on LinkedIn, and 93% of B2B marketers used LinkedIn for organic social marketing in the 12 months preceding October 2021.

LinkedIn has a high number of monthly active users but has a low percentage of users who post content. In 2019, only 1% of user-generated content appeared on LinkedIn but post engagement was somewhere around 70%.

If you or someone who actually composes content and becomes active on LinkedIn, you can make a large impact in the online community for your business page and your brand. Organic search can be done without using a paid service which allows you to connect organically with your ideal clients.

Approach Your Ideal Client with Connection, not with Sales Gimmicks

We at Beacon like to connect with our LinkedIn network by sharing content and commenting on their content and building relationships inside and outside of our local market.

LinkedIn, in its origination, was a professional social networking site for B2B companies that used this social media platform more for job searches, posting of resumes online, and advancing careers. Over the years, LinkedIn has become one of the more popular social media platforms because it allows Business to Consumer companies to also connect organically to other active users in groups join communities and fields of interest that may need their services.

Whatever your company may be, you can use this social media site to connect to your ideal customer because there are so many daily active users that are people and not bots or advertisers. When you begin engaging with groups that relate to your services by posting relevant content, you can do very well.

Organic educational content does very well on this social platform. It allows for the education of consumers while they are in a business mindset. This social networking and publishing platform is designed to engage users under the premise of a professional network, it is not just for sharing social media.

LinkedIn allows you to build brand awareness in a way that other platforms don’t provide. While LinkedIn users are there for a more professional social networking site, they are also still consumers who want to create meaningful connections.

Facebook Still Reigns as Social Media Platform King

monthly active users by social media platform

According to the 2023 Forbes.com article, out of the estimated 4.9 Billion monthly active users on social media platforms, Facebook has 2.9 Million of them!

One thing that has made Facebook successful and allowed them to maintain its social media audience of monthly active users has been to help people get really connected to others and stay connected that they don’t want to leave because of the fear that they will miss something.

Facebook Messenger is a large part of that as well, it is an extremely popular feature of this social media platform. Younger users are active on Facebook Messenger as well, although they focus more on other platforms like Instagram.

Attempting to organically grow brand awareness on popular social networking sites has to make sense based on the platform. Facebook has moved away from organic traffic but it is still a fantastic option for recruitment, showing your culture, and telling the world who you are.

Instagram for Organic Makes More Sense

As a photo and video-sharing platform, Instagram burst on the social network scene in 2010. It quickly gained popularity and within 2 months its registered active users numbered 1 Million.

Instagram become one of the most popular social media platforms with younger users and gained notice from Facebook, which acquired it in 2012, and is now the parent company known as Meta.

This social media platform became known as a place to organically connect with user-generated content in photo and video format along with its instant messaging platform gaining the following of many people who use it for influencer marketing campaigns.

Pinterest Emerges as a Happy Platform

Pinterest is one social media platform where no one is talking about politics or another divisive subject, there is just an overwhelming amount of good information laid out in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Pinterest allows the online community to search out the information they are looking for and pin it to a vision board. It is unlike any of the other popular social media sites or platforms in this way. It does not require the user to post images or video content while allowing them to build a personal brand.

Each image selected to be featured on the Pinterest pins comes directly from the webpage uploaded to the Pinterest post, which is great for saving small businesses time finding the perfect image for this platform along with the content relevant to the user.

Pinterest: Not your average Social Networking App

According to The Social Shepherd, the monthly active user number for Pinterest is over 400 million world wide with 98% of Pinterest users saying they have tried something they found there.

Often, users head to Pinterest instead of Google to research specific items or topics. What Pinterest offers that differs from other social media platforms is the facilitation of the ability to save all the information in an organized and easily accessible way.

Pinterest has become a popular social media platform and we at Beacon advise that you utilize it for creating connections for your business page. When potential customers like what they see from the content you’ve posted, they will pin it to come back to again and again. Pinterest has the fewest number of active users, but this social platform packs a punch when it comes to value.

So many social media platforms to choose from, which is for me?

Many businesses think that one or the other may be best, but the best strategy we can recommend is to look at your brand and decide which social media platform will best connect you to your ideal audience.

Facebook and YouTube may be performing well but if your ideal target audience isn’t there, neither should you. Pinterest or TikTok might not seem like it fits your brand, but those social media platforms might be the best fit for you. We advise that you give it a shot, you may just be surprised at what a great platform they could be for you.

Stereotypes of the Social Media Platforms for Younger Users

Snapchat and TikTok are two top social media sites for younger users, but are they entirely off-limits for anyone outside of the typical 14 to 24-year-old demographic?

Snapchat originated as a disappearing photo and video-sharing messaging app, with lots of fun filters and quickly rose to popularity with 3 Million snaps and videos sent each day in 2020. Snapchat has since stayed popular among the younger demographic and usage percentages decline after age 25.

TikTok is a social media platform that is dedicated to short-form video content. It allows the posting of 15-second user-generated content which is then watched, shared, boosted, and advertised.

TikTok, an instant messaging app, unlike Snapchat, is popular with other users outside of the 14 to 24-year-old demographic, with 60% of its users being 25 or older.

TikTok can be an effective, social media marketing strategy for the right client if they are willing and able to invest the time that it takes to create content by producing a lot of videos.

When deciding if one of these social media platforms is right for your client, also take into consideration what type of return is this going to get them versus a solid paid ads strategy. Can your user-generated content for that client bring in leads or will they just become “TikTok Famous”? For the right client and the right demographic, the time it takes to create a following on TikTok may just be worth the effort.

ROI: Analyze the Demographic of the Social Media Platforms for Your Clients

Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat all have a risk and a reward. The risk is if you choose to go to a platform where your ideal audience isn’t then you’ll miss the benefit of that investment. The reward comes when you use social networking sites to your advantage and curate trust with your audience, converting followers into customers.

Compare and contrast the demographics of the target audience to the goals and strategy for your client, for example, Facebook’s audience has changed in recent years. Males now make up the majority of users for that social networking site since positioning itself as a resource for news than a place to create meaningful connections. Of those monthly active users, 75% of them make $75,000 a year or more. Good news for your strategy if you plan to use a paid platform for advertising!

Let’s not forget about YouTube users!

Youtube users tend to also be heavier in the male demographic, depending on the region you’re trying to hit. Youtube is the opposite type of social media platform from Pinterest, it’s the how-to central of social media platforms.

Building a youtube channel for your client’s business is a great way to raise brand awareness and communicate authority in their sphere. Youtube users go there to learn from experts.

There is a phenomenal amount of educational material spread across millions of Youtube channels. Youtube is one of those media platforms that transcends age, race, and gender. Targeted ads can do very well on this video-sharing platform.

Youtube allows user-generated content to make meaningful connections by offering personal and professional support to other users who need what you have. Organic search does very well on Youtube because you are using this social platform to give away the expertise that people are searching for.

Can giving away your expertise hurt you?

Beacon always advises that you don’t have to worry about giving away your expertise, especially not when you are working to build your social media presence. Influencer marketing campaigns are built on expertise, right?

When you establish yourself as an expert in your field, some users will take your content and run with it on their own, and other users will understand that they can’t do that thing without you and they will seek you out as their partner because of the trust that you have cultivated with them.

Think of it in the mental health realm, thousands of daily active users are searching mental health terms and modalities, but they won’t be practicing them on themselves, they want a partner. Giving away your expert knowledge on the subject creates trust that allows them to seek you out for help as a professional expert.

Being vulnerable enough to share your secrets, how you do what you do, and why it makes an impact puts you in a position of power in a positive way. Your vulnerability comes back to you in trust with people valuing what you do, which is a unique and beautiful way to leverage social media platforms.

To learn more about Brand Messaging, check out our The Beacon Way Brand Messaging series in parts one, two, three and four at the following links or anywhere you find podcasts.

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