The 5 W’s (and H) of Social Media

The 5 w's of Social Media

If you are a business owner, you no doubt understand that Social Media must be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. The actual execution of an effective Social Media plan, however, can often be confusing.

To simplify this, let’s use the 5 W’s (and H) to look at Social Media.

WHO – The first thing you must decide is who you want to target. Each Social Media network has its own nuances and demographics. For instance, the majority of Pinterest users are females under the age of 50. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is used primarily by working age adults and college graduates, as well as users with relatively high household incomes. The key of the ‘who’ is to concentrate your Social Media efforts on the networks where your target audience is online.

WHAT – What to post is as important as who you are posting to. Pinterest and Instagram are image-based networks which work well for business selling products to consumers. Other networks, such as Facebook and Twitter also allow the use of images (and now video) but are also used for mainly text-based posts. It is key to post a variety of posts types (text, images, video, etc), but most important is posting valuable content that people want to consume – how to articles, new product announcements, special offers, etc.

WHERE – This works hand-in-hand with ‘who’. Understanding where your clients are spending their time is vital to any successful Social Media strategy. Whether you sell to consumers or businesses is a factor that you will want to consider. Facebook, for example, is mainly a consumer-based network, whereas networks like LinkedIn are used more often for Business to Business marketing.

WHEN – Knowing when your customers are online can greatly increase your success rate on Social Media. Many social media networks have analytics that can tell you when the majority of your audience is online. There are also third party tools such as Buffer and SociaBro that can provide these metrics. Posting at opportune times will increase the success of your Social Media efforts.

WHY – Any marketing strategy must have a purpose, and Social Media marketing is no different. Before you engage in Social Media, you must know what you want to achieve – in other words, why are you doing it? For some businesses, the goal is to increase brand awareness. For others, it is a portal for increasing customer service, to increase business leads, or to drive traffic to a website. Once you know the ‘why’ you can more effectively concentrate your Social Media marketing.

HOW – This is often the toughest nut to crack. Once you have figured on the who, what, where, when and why, you are now faced with the ‘how’. This is where many businesses get stuck. There are 3 ways of handling this.

  1. Hire a Full-Time Social Media Manager – If you are a large business, it may be very well worth your while to hire a dedicated full-time employee (or even create a Social Media team). They will be the ones who are most informed about your particular business as well as your products and services.
  2. Outsource to an outside Social Media Manager – This is normally someone you hire on a monthly contract for a set number of hours per month and is often the best option for small businesses who do not wish to bring on a full-time employee. The Social Media Manager will post on your behalf as well as provide regular reports combined with weekly or monthly meetings.
  3. Do it Yourself – This can be the optimum choice for very small businesses or solopreneurs. It is less costly from a monetary point of view, although it can take up a good chunk of your time. The downside is that it takes away from your billable hours and there is often a steep learning curve.

Every business has different Social Media requirements and deciding which route to go can be daunting. If you would like to know more about how Social Media can help you grow your business, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter (and get a free gift) packed with tips and information about using the power of social media and an online website presence to boost your sales.

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Mark Pridham

Mark Pridham is the owner of The Pridham Group, a digital agency based in Saint John, New Brunswick. A life long resident of Saint John, Mark is passionate about design, entrepreneurship, and supporting and promoting local businesses.

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