Social media has become the prevailing mantra in business circles as a ‘must have’ part of any marketing strategy. This mantra is leaving business owners to wonder: Do I really need to be on every social media platform out there? New social media platforms are emerging almost daily. It’s becoming a full time job just to keep up and manage your company’s internet presence. In this second article of a four part series we are taking a closer look at social media to help you understand how to take advantage of the opportunities in the changing world of internet, inbound marketing and social media.
So Many Choices
The literal explosion of social media has left its fair share of casualties in its wake. If you are trying to figure out the best options for your business you may be feeling like one of them. The good news is that you can be selective and limit your participation based on your specific needs and marketing strategy. A great resource and starting point for looking at all the social media platforms is at KnowEm.com. This site allows you to check for the use of your brand, product or personal name on over 500 popular and emerging social media websites. And for a fee they will reserve your username across all platforms. Yikes! Do I need to be on over 500 sites?
Narrow It Down
We recommend a simple process of selecting only the platforms that offer the best potential for reaching your ideal audience. We agree with Scott Levy in this article at Entrepreneur.com that:
“Most people and companies can’t be amazing on every platform; that takes a huge amount of bandwidth and resources. Instead of having a sub-par representation in a lot of places, be awesome on a few of them.”
Each social media platform attracts users from specific demographic, economic, business or industry and interest segments. You will want to have a clear definition of your target audience and the media tools you plan to use before choosing the best platforms for your strategy.
Where Are Your Customers?
Or what social media platform do they use the most? This infographic is a snapshot of the top social media platforms:
The credit goes to Leveragenewagemedia.com for providing this handy infographic. We’ve place arrows at a couple of important points you should note about the users for each platform.
The Bottom Line
As you can see in the infographic each social media platform has a unique profile. So if your target audience is a business professional over the age of 35 you can focus on LinkedIn as the platform that you master. Let’s summarize:
Facebook: a powerful tool for building relationships with your customers and projecting a ‘human’ side of your business.
LinkedIN: the consummate business networking site; great for connecting with potential clients and business partners; great place to establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
Twitter: a great platform for breaking news items and in-the-moment interaction with followers; we recommend using this tool as a customer service format.
Pinterest/Instagram/YouTube: all are powerful platforms if your business translates well visually; before and after photos, video instruction or education, products, etc.
Your Next Step: Content
Once you’ve decided on the best social media platforms for your business it’s time to plan and create content to post and monitor. In the next article in this series we’ll explore the details of content creation and marketing, monitoring effectiveness and more. Stay tuned!