It’s impossible for your business to be on every social media platform.
I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer over here. It’s just a fact. If you don’t believe me, look at this list.
Moreover, there’s no reason why you should try to be on every social media platform, because the only thing that will achieve is driving you totally nuts rather than actually growing your business.
But before you can decide which social media platforms you should use, it’s best to take a look at why you’ll be using social media in the first place.
Identifying the need for social media in your business
There are loads of good reasons why you should be utilising social media.
Firstly, it’s (mostly) free. Signing up to most social networks won’t cost you a thing – it’s the advertising that you need to pay for, if you choose to do that somewhere down the line.
Secondly, although blindly following crowds is never advisable, it’s important to remember that most businesses these days have some kind of social presence. Your competitors are probably on social media, and it’s likely your customers and potential customers are, too.
Is that the kind of opportunity you want to miss?
Ultimately, being on social media is a great idea. But signing up without knowing why you’re doing so, or how you’re going to make it work for you? Not so clever.
Read more: Why Should You Bother With Social Media?
Why your social media strategy should drive your decisionsAll of your social media activity should start with your strategy. Click To Tweet
It’s probably the most important tool in your arsenal. Knowing what you want to achieve with social media, what resources you have, and where your target audience is, will help you to decide which social media platforms you should be using.
You should already know who your ideal customer is, so working out which social network they’re on is a great place to start. It’s also worth considering the type of content you have to share, and how suitable it will be for each network.
For example, if you have a very visual business, Instagram and Pinterest could be the best platforms to begin with because they lend themselves so well to visual content (and you’ll hopefully have images on your website that will be extremely pinnable).
If you mainly deal B2B, Facebook (especially groups) or LinkedIn could be the best platforms for you.
If your target audience is 14 year-olds, Snapchat could be your priority.
Know where your customers are, and join them there instead of trying to force yourself onto an audience that might not even be relevant.
Why social media must be part of a larger strategy
Social media platforms come and go.
Look at Google Plus. Some businesses invested loads of time and resource into growing their Google Plus community, which is now as good as dead.
Social media platforms don’t belong to you.
Your fans on these platforms don’t belong to you.
So unless you’re engaging people in an authentic way, and driving them to your website, newsletter, products etc, then you’re wasting your time. Having millions of fans means nothing if those fans aren’t providing any kind of value (which, by the way, usually comes after you provide value to them).
OK, so how to I choose which social media platforms to use?
Start by working out which social network is most popular with your target audience.
Next, build a social media strategy that complements your overall marketing strategy. Don’t just do what other people are doing, unless it’s in line with your brand and strategy. Posting videos of cats being scared by cucumbers might get lots of likes, but will it achieve anything?
Focus on that one platform you’ve chosen. Test things. Evaluate how your content is performing. Offer real value to your fans and potential fans. Celebrate the things that are going well. Learn what works for your brand, and then start thinking about using more platforms, if it’ll offer value to your business.
Don’t try to do it all at once, unless you have a team of experts who are dedicated to social media.It's better to be on one social platform & excel than be on all of them & achieve nothing Click To Tweet
I’d love to hear from you: how did you decide which social media networks your business should use?
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