Laurel Simon | @mslaurelsimon If you’re running a business these days, you can’t afford to make mistakes or waste time; after all time is money…YOUR money. While trying to navigate and utilize the ocean of social media platforms available, you might just feel like you’re drowning!
So it becomes quite the task to make sure you’re using the social media channels that give you the best bang for your buck and bring you the greatest return for the effort. But how do you do that? Before you even start - get your head wrapped around these facts:
- Your business is unlike any other business and your needs are completely unique. Therefore, you cannot just copy what everyone else does and think it will work…it probably won’t. Just because your competitor uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it does not necessarily mean you should.
- You will certainly have an epic fail if you think using social media such as Facebook or Twitter only requires you to post a few things to your page during the week and make some funny comments and success will follow; it won’t. There are a multitude of things that you’ll need to do to increase your social media success. Realize you need to become proficient at using the platforms, keep up with the changes (never ending!) and learn how to gauge your success through analytics.
- You will need to develop a social media strategy for your business. Similar to your business plan, it is essential to know your business inside and out, know your customers, your goals and how to measure them.
- There is no absolute formula that will guarantee success with social media marketing. It is a process that will need to be monitored, tweaked, changed and overhauled frequently until you find the secret sauce that works for you and your business.
Once you’ve come to terms with these issues, the fun part begins. It is at this point you determine some basics about your business and then match them (in general) to the dynamics of the major platforms and their demographics. Don’t get too bogged down at the start, you’re only trying to become awesome with a few channels at first.
Facebook- The Mac Daddy of channels, it is almost 100% certain you should use it and get good at engaging your customers due to its size, influence in the market and its ability to engage and advertise your business in many ways. Demographics are quite evenly split between men and women and except for the over 65 crowd, it’s used by all age groups.
Twitter- This channel can be very powerful in the right businesses. The demographics skew toward a younger crowd and work very well for businesses that have breaking news or updates frequently. Especially good if you’re a global company or have a very broad audience. It takes some getting used to, but once you do, it’s a very good way to spread your message.
Pinterest- Highly visual businesses with female customers benefit greatly from this platform. If you use it correctly, things can heat up very quickly for your business.
YouTube- Don’t shy away from this very powerful channel because you think you must hire professional videographers or spend a lot of money. You don’t. Some of the most successful businesses use their own camera on video mode in their own home.
Instagram- The younger crowd is flocking here and moving away from Facebook (partly because the mainstream isn’t here yet and it’s cooler). This is good for hip companies with lots of visual content.
LinkedIn- Though they are trying hard to be all things to all, they are in essence, a corporate channel and is best used for professionals looking to network, find jobs and learn about different companies or markets. Don’t ignore this one if this fits your business model, but it’s not for all businesses (at least not yet).
There are many other channels to consider (Google+, Yelp, Foursquare) but starting with just a handful is best. If you need more insight on how to do your company's social media, or you just can’t spend the time needed, we can help! Social Media Delivered offers tailored social media training, consulting and services for all types of companies across all industries, with a focus on developing custom social media strategy that works for your company and your social media needs. Contact us today to talk with one of our social media specialists!