We’ve discussed before the need to be judicious with where you put your social media attention as a small business. In short, there are so many social media platforms out there, with new ones constantly emerging, that unless you have unlimited resources there is really no way to give more than a handful of platforms the attention required to have an impactful presence. That isn’t to say you have to pick just one (though one is absolutely the right number for some), but you should place realistic limits on how many platforms you can engage on effectively.
Besides, not every social network is going to be right for your business, in the same way that not every street is the right place for a shop, and not every newspaper is right for a full-page ad.
So, how do you decide which social network (or networks) are right for you? Here are some factors to consider when making that decision, and tips to help you choose.
Find Your People
Your business has a target audience, and that audience has certain habits, preferences, and patterns of behavior. You may have even written those things down in one place by creating a buyer persona. So, ask yourself if and how those behaviors and preferences align with certain social networks and how people tend to use them. Or better than asking yourself, ask your customers. Don’t underestimate the value of a simple survey.
An important sidenote here. If you ask people what social media platforms they use, they’ll likely say “Facebook and…” This is because Facebook has 1.4 billion active users per month. That’s a solid fifth of the population of the entire planet. So, the question with Facebook isn’t so much whether your customers are there at all, but more how they use it, and if that usage aligns or intersects with your business.
Make A Plan
It’s going to be hard to know whether your customers’ usage of a platform aligns with your usage of that platform, if you don’t know what your usage will be. Maybe you want to provide better customer service. Maybe you share pictures of design that inspires you. Maybe you want to offer industry specific advice. Figure out what the real goals of your business are when it comes to social media, and create a strategy to accomplish those goals.
The Emerging Question
While certain social media platforms seem to be well enough established to potentially outlast the apocalypse (Facebook), others come and go with each passing year. Getting in on the ground floor of a network on the rise can have huge benefits to your business, but there’s also quite a bit of risk. You wouldn’t want to invest a ton of time and energy into establishing a presence in a house that is just going to collapse in six months. Before taking that leap, figure out which platforms are on the rise and which are on the way out, and how much risk you are willing to take on your social media strategy.
Have Fun Out There
The best social media platform is the one that you are actually going to use. If posting meaningful content and engaging with your customers is going to feel overly-complicated or too much like a chore, you’re less likely to actually do it. So, when choosing a platform, make sure you pick one that you actually enjoy using yourself. You’ll be better familiar with how people interact on it, and way more likely to use it in the right way, therefore getting better results for your business.
Need help deciding on a social media strategy for your business or creating content to keep consistent and relevant on the correct platforms? We can help! Contact the team at 10twelve to get going!