Every business is unique, and although the pressure to be on social media is felt from all directions these days, make sure you choose platforms that are a good fit. Social media efforts can be wasted if they aren’t executed in the right way and in the right places. Answering some of these questions will help you to narrow down where you should be investing your time in social networking. No two platforms are the same and no two networks are created equal!
What are you trying to accomplish?
Before implementing a social media strategy, establishing goals will help you define the purpose for your social media efforts. For example, are you trying to build credibility, feature new brands and products, or create buzz for events and promotions? These are all important questions because certain types of social media will be more helpful than others when it comes to the varying activities of your business.
Facebook, for instance, is great for creating buzz about a new business, organization, or brand. Events can also be promoted through this platform since they give you the opportunity to send out invitations and create pages for the event to keep your followers updated. It also allows you to display all the information about your business, get reviews, invite people to like your page, and really engage your audience. Twitter on the other hand tends to be more of a one-sided conversation and can be good for sharing real time information and trending content. LinkedIn is a professional networking site that breaks down barriers when it comes to linking with the people you want to meet. It can also be useful for generating leads and strategic partnerships by finding common contacts within your connects. LinkedIn also allows you to show off your professional strengths and skill sets on a personal or business level.
Explore the platforms that social media has to offer with your needs in mind. Which ones offer the features and benefits that will lead to the success of your social media strategy?
Who is your target audience?
A lot of time and effort can be wasted on a social media platform if you are not reaching your target audience. Who are your customers and what social networks do they belong to? Sometimes this question isn’t easy to answer so here are some basic demographics provided by Business Insider for you to take into consideration…
- dominated mostly by users under the age of 30
- users ages 45-54 have increased by 45% this past year
- most used social network by users with income levels of $75,000 or higher
- 27% of users are between the ages of 18 and 29
- 16% are between the ages of 30 and 40
- wide range of income levels
- business oriented, professionals
- mostly males
- 68% of users are females between the ages of 18 and 29
- highest rate of tablet users
- high income brackets
- 84% of users are female
- predominately male users
- tend to be part of the tech community
This is only a snapshot of the social landscape and the data associated with its users, but demographics like these can help you to reach the people who matter most.
What kind of content do you want to share?
Social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ allow you to share a plethora of media, and then store that media with in your profile. But other platforms only allow for certain kinds of material, like Instagram, and Vine. Twitter is only limited to 140 characters and pictures cannot be stored in multiple catergories, and YouTube only allows you to share videos. These types of limitations could hinder your strategy depending on the type of content you want to share.
If you are a B2C company selling consumer products that come in various lines and styles, Facebook or Pinterest would be good choices for displaying your inventory, and YouTube would be a great way for consumers to see the product in use through video demonstrations. If you want to establish thought leadership in your industry, Twitter can be a great way to share a constant stream of information for your followers considering the concise nature and accepted frequency of sharing. Your content plays a big role in what types of platforms are right for you, so find networks that can work together to accomplish your goals.
Unless you have the time, the people, and the need to be on every possible social media platform..DON’T. Take your time in deciding which networks will be worth your time and efforts. Establish your purpose and goals, determine your audience and find out where they hang out, then choose a set of platforms that fit your sharing strategy. Successful campaigns are focused and aim to create meaningful social relationships that will help grow your web presence and ultimately your business.