One of the biggest concerns that business owners have when it comes to making use of social media is choosing the best social networking sites for their businesses. In a matter of fact, most of my clients ask me this same question of whether they should be using Facebook, Twitter, Linked or all of them!
There is also another bunch of business owners who have heard that social media is a goldmine and should be harvested no matter what the costs are. These guys try to go for the whole package by making use of every social platform they stumble on thinking that they need to be everywhere targeting every potential customer that might be hanging on those social platforms.
We live in a crazy world today where information is the center of everything. With the revolution social media has made to our lives by making it super easy to share information and interact with people and brands, it’s now becoming harder for everyone to stay ahead of the game and make use of every possible opportunity. Instead, business owners should choose what are the best social platforms that most suit and benefit their businesses in order for them to focus all of their time and energy towards those few platforms instead of wasting their valuable resources on other ones that might not result in a good return on investment for their businesses.
Whether you’re a business owner who’s trying to decide on which social platform to use or a social media manager who is helping clients decide which social platforms will bring the maximum results, then here are 3 tips to help you do so:
1- What type of audience you want to be targeting
The first step in every effective social media marketing campaign is definitely doing market research. A part of that research involves describing who your target audience is.
If you get the targeting right, then all the plan making that will come afterwards will be clearer and more focused.
Did you know that there are different demographics and audience types that use various social media platforms?
Facebook for example is geared towards interacting with people in a more personal, fun and general way. I’m not obviously saying that Facebook shouldn’t be used for businesses, but your messages should really be chosen carefully if you want to make the most out of it. If you’ve been using Facebook for a while, then you now know that funny images and videos are the ones that get the most likes and shares! The reason for this is that most Facebook users log in there to communicate with their friends and family (not the rest of us who check in their Facebook pages to see if their fans number has risen).
Twitter on the other side is geared more towards instant/immediate updates, news and events that should go in a more public way.
LinkedIn users for example communicate on a more professional level. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, this platforms is geared 100% towards pure business communication.
To clear things up even more, here is a quote I found on mequoda.com “I like to say that Twitter is like a bar, Facebook is your living room and LinkedIn is the local chamber of commerce.”
So what about the new kid in town?
Yes right, Pinterest!
It has been reported lately that 80% of Pinterest users are women, so if you have a brand that is most targeted to women, you know where to go now, don’t you!
Now that you know what platforms best suit your brand, let’s move to the next step.
2- What’s your goal from using these social platforms
Many people think that social media has one distinct goal, which is making more money through sales. This is definitely correct, but there are many approaches to reach that goal!
According to Jason falls, CEO of SocialMediaExplorer.com on a video from Entrepreneur.com, there are actually 7 attainable goals from social media. You can use it to enhance your brand awareness, protect your reputation, extend your customer services, drive sales and leads…etc
For this reason you need to choose the best platforms that meet those goals. You may use Twitter for managing reputation or doing customer service. You can use Pinterest to drive sales and leads to your products or use Facebook to enhance your brand awareness. You can also use 2 or 3 of them to get a combined benefit if you see that it will work for your business.
3- Does it fit your budget?
This shouldn’t really be a priority when choosing the best social platforms to help you market your business. However, it’s sometimes mandatory, especially if you’re a small business who doesn’t have a dedicated budget for social media marketing.
When I’m talking with new clients, I always ask them if they intend to blog for example or not. Many of them tell me that they don’t have the resources for it. I know that blogging could be such a powerful weapon, but if they don’t have the resources for it, then I have to find a work around to grow their audiences without making use of blogs.
Some platforms could be time consuming or expensive to use to make the most of them (Like Facebook PPC), and that’s why you need to decide which marketing channel you’re intending to use and it’s corresponding platform according to the resources that your business has.
So are you using one or more social platforms to market your business. Tell us about them in the comment section below.