Discover how many social channels brands should be using, and which ones are likely to deliver the best results. To determine effective multi-channel planning for content and promotions, we will look at the vast array of channels, how to determine if they are appropriate and how an audit might reveal surprising results. will also look at the major platforms and sketch out a broad understanding of which industries they best serve.
Quality vs Quantity
When it comes to effective online marketing, it is important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. Multi-channel marketing, which describes the many ways brands can connect with consumers, seems unlimited. With multi-channel marketing on social media, there is always a strong temptation to jump onto whichever platform seems to be trending right now.
Businesses have to choose their marketing channels carefully, with a strong focus on delivering quality messaging to an engaged audience. The danger of having too many channels is that the quality of messaging will deteriorate, the engagements will drop and sales will be lost.
There are certainly a lot to choose from. In 2021, businesses around the world were actively engaged, marketing their products and services on:
No company can realistically create tailored content for all these platforms and hope to have meaningful engagements with the users. This is especially crucial now that clients expect to receive quality customer service however and wherever they interact with the brand.
Choosing the right medium for your message
Successful marketers need to discern who their core customers are and identify which platforms they are using. A successful multi-channel content strategy recognises that customers on different platforms expect tailored messaging appropriate to that platform. Perhaps, more importantly, marketing teams need to consider their own brand and their offering, and ask themselves if their client would expect to see their messaging on that particular platform.
If you are selling corporate insurance and your target customer is a CEO, they are likely on LinkedIn and would expect your messaging on that platform. If you are an events caterer and looking to reach brides and grooms you could connect through Pinterest. You need to be the right brand, reaching the right client in the appropriate setting. Promoting international haulage to expectant mothers on YouTube is not effective marketing.
Which channels are delivering now, and why?
With all good marketing strategies, it’s good to start with an audit of your existing practices and establish what is working and what isn’t. Focus on where the engagement is right now and try to determine why engagement is high. Ask yourself if it is about the audience or about the effort and time your team puts into it. Some companies see higher engagement on Instagram because their team devote more energy to it. But when resources are distributed more equally between Pinterest and Instagram, the engagement levels even out and Pinterest is revealed to be a better source of conversions.
While it is a good idea to keep all your multi channel platforms, your audit should help you determine which platforms should have more energy and resources directed their way. For example, a small fashion company might have determined that Instagram, Medium and YouTube are leading to higher levels of conversions while Twitter and LinkedIn are delivering very little.
An effective strategy would be to increase activity on the channels that deliver but still drip feed content on the channels that don’t. When the three effective channels are as ideally optimised as they are ever going to be,
the team can begin working on how to improve the engagements on the other channels.
That strategy means there is always the potential for growth and new consumer connections. When the time comes, multi-channel content that delivers on one platform can be tweaked and delivered on another channel. By monitoring what messages and content deliver results, you can learn to tailor content for the channels that are underperforming and increase conversions.
Which social media platforms should I include in my multi-channel strategy?
What channels are likely to work best for which industries? While there is no definitive answer, there are some broad patterns that we can use to shape a strategy.
Because of its increasing image as a platform for parents, Facebook is best suited for any company looking to reach people over the age of 25. Broadly speaking, the industries that you expect to see on Facebook include fashion, entertainment, health and news. Facebook’s sophisticated B2C consumer communication tools and wide reaching demographics allow marketing teams to drill down and connect with the people most likely to engage with their content.
Reaching the under 35 demographic can be achieved by focusing on Instagram. As a highly visually focused platform, it is well suited to lifestyle, fashion, fitness products, cosmetics, food and drink or services such as travel agencies. A seemingly intimate, aspirational, community platform, it doesn’t always suit B2B marketing. Messaging about office cleaners or accountancy services are unlikely to find an audience there.
For a combination of B2B and B2C, Twitter works very well. Consumers frequently use Twitter to reach out to brands, so the messaging flows both ways and feels distinctly personal. A mention or retweet on Twitter from a big brand is a great way of creating and sustaining consumer engagement. It is ideally suited for a wide range of industries including food and drink, technology, retail, fashion, logistics, travel and finance.
Pinterest’s focus on aesthetics and aspiration makes it ideal for the travel, beauty, home decor, event planning and fashion industries. The demographic is overwhelmingly female and under 45, making it easy to know whether this is a worthwhile channel to add to your multi-channel marketing strategy. A highly engaged audience, 93% of regular users claim to use Pinterest to plan purchases.
LinkedIn, much like Pinterest, has a very clear demographic. This time, the demographic is made up of men and women over 30 years old who are actively searching for business opportunities. Usually considered a B2B platform, it is ideal for almost all industries wanting to connect with professionals within their field. However, it is more typically associated with legal, infrastructure, IT, recruitment and manufacturing.
No one can say for certain how many social channels are too many for a company. But a company can interrogate its own resources and effective engagements to determine how and where it should direct its energy. A massive company with unlimited resources can afford to try out obscure novel social media while the vast majority will need to play smart and play to their existing strengths to get the all-important conversions.