2018 News Digital Media Viability Lab

What do you use social media for?

Social media marketing is a powerful tool that helps businesses of all sizes reach prospects and customers.

If you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out on business.

In fact, the two main benefits of social media are gaining influence (of any kind) and making money.

But if your main reason for using social media is to oust your competitors, then you’re fighting a losing battle.

You need a purpose and a goal when using social media. And here are 12 goals you can choose:

1)To distribute your content

A good example of content distribution is newspapers. Plenty of newspapers have decided to switch from print to online content for financial reasons, and audiences know exactly where to find them.

2) To provoke a discussion

Last year, Fox News announced that a Washington Times CPAC poll found that 86 percent of those polled approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president. Needless to say, this provoked a heated discussion on social media where people expressed completely different opinions and interacted with one another quite aggressively. Of course, your discussion doesn’t have to be so dramatic. It can be as simple as asking the audience to choose between two products.

3) To provide a service to your audience

There are millions of pages for restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, taxi agencies, cleaning agencies and much more. Promoting these services on social media gives the brand visibility as well as leads for sales.

4) To draw attention to something important

You might have a strong political cause you wish to share with people (such as NGOs), or a matter of public interest such as Lebanon’s garbage crisis. Using the power of social media can shed light on your cause and help you attract followers.

5) To explain something

Today, a lot of professionals are resorting to social media to create and manage their own personal page where they receive and answer questions sent by their followers. They could be doctors, nutritionists, engineers, life coaches etc.

6) To express your point of view

Online media have provided platforms for people to express their opinion, with sites like Qoura and Brigade garnering millions of comments a day. The New York Times receives 9,000 reader comments per day. When you invite comments, people are bound to express their opinion online.

7) To learn the point of view of your audience

Asking questions publically is a smart way of learning your audience’s preferences and taste. Maybelline and other beauty products often use this clever trick to gain traffic.

8) To promote something

Newly founded companies and organizations that need visibility, use social media to promote their products, services and mission.

9) To give your audience a gift

There’s no such thing as a free lunch- except when it’s won over a competition in social media. The old “tag a buddy and get a gift” stunt usually works very well.

10) To show how your team does their job

Every company needs to not only create trust with its customers, but also a sense of intimacy and connection. When they get to know each and every member of your team, they feel reassured that their business is in safe hands.

11) To show your audience you need them

When you include your audience in your writing the way a blogger or a journalist does, they feel a sense of bonding with you (especially if you end the piece with a request for comments and opinions).

12) To make your audience feel something

Nothing works better than an emotional photo or video.