It is very easy to go wrong here, and the decision you make might waste lots of your company’s resources if it’s the wrong one. I took a quick look of how people answer this question in blogs and forums and saw that 70% answer this with: FACEBOOK!
Yes Facebook has probably 1/7 of earth’s population, but basing your decision on that metric alone isn’t enough.
Here are the 3 factors that you should consider when selecting the best social networks for your business.
1- Your Customers
Your existing customers are probably the most important asset your business has!
Not only because they pay you money, but also from the amount of data they can help you collect.
People with similar needs will probably have similar habits as well.
If you discover that most of your customers spend lots of time on LinkedIn, then it’s a good indicator that other prospect who might benefits from your product or service are there as well.
Whenever I’m building a buyer persona for a client, I always include 3 questions for their customers.
• What social networks you spend the most time on?
• Where do you go for information related to “Your Industry”?
• What websites/blogs/magazines you like to read the most?
I include these questions in the “Benefit Information” section. This way, I’ll know for sure that I’m using the right channels where my prospects are spending the most time.
If their answers were:
• I spend most of my time online on Facebook, but I love to spend time on YouTube as well.
• I mostly go to Google for information OR just ask friends on Facebook.
• I really enjoy reading Mashable.
There you have it!
You have your primary social network “Facebook” and your secondary one “YouTube”.
You also know that you need to invest more in search engine optimization + you now know that friend recommendation is a great deal for your customers, so you better start a social referral program.
The other goldmine is that you know which websites they like reading, so you might consider some guest blogging or native advertising opportunities there.
Not all social networks are created equal!
Some social networks are more expensive to manage then others.
For example, producing videos for YouTube is way more expensive then posting a tweet.
If you notice that most of your customers/prospects use only one social network, then you don’t really have a choice, but to start investing in it even if you take small baby steps.
On the other hand, if your audience uses multiple social networks, then you might consider the one that makes more sense to you from a resource standpoint (budget and team).
There is a major trend that is continuing to rise which is the importance of visual content today. Soon enough, more platforms will join the bandwagon to stay competitive. Visual is harder and more expensive to create, but it’s easier to consume and that’s exactly what today’s consumer wants.
Each social network is very different in nature. What Facebook does for your business is way different than what Twitter does.
If your objective is to reach out to influencers, then you might consider using Twitter or LinkedIn if those influencers are using them.
If your goal is to get lots of traffic to your website, then Twitter won’t probably send you that much traffic since your tweets have very short life spans.
If your objective is to increase awareness for your business, then using Facebook or YouTube is a great option because of their viral nature.
To sum it up, selecting the right channels to market your business should always come after you determined your business objectives + buyer personas.
Note: When you interview your existing customers, it doesn’t always mean that they are the only segment that uses your products or services. There might be other segments that might benefit from your company which you don’t know about. Using your customer base to build your buyer personas is a great start, but you should always experiment and explore so you don’t miss on those segments that aren’t probably aware of your product/service or even don’t know if you can help them.
That being said, I would love to hear your thoughts on which social network you’re using to market your business and why. Leave a comment below!
Image Credit: DaVinciS