Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest (just to name the obvious): these are the social media profiles that companies try to juggle on the daily. With the “social media explosion” on our hands, it may sometimes feel overwhelming trying to keeping your social media profiles active and up-to-date. Most marketing guides tell you that you need to be on every possible network to expand your reach and therefore, you may be opening up new social media profiles on the daily to keep up with “The Joneses”. We are here to set the record straight, you don’t need to be on every social media platform to be successful, you simply just need to be dedicated with the ones that you are on.
Unfortunately, it has become all too common: businesses big and small have every social media profile listed on their website, but when you click on the profile itself, it is blank or inactive. Social media is a tool used to add value and when you aren’t engaging online, social media can often be detrimental and take away value that a customer perceives in your company. Customers and potential customers that see a half-finished profile or have written to you through a social media page and been ignored, feel like their opinions and feedback is not your first priority. Sometimes, dedicating your time to a variety of profiles causes your entire social media strategy to fail because of a lack of focus and detail.
So, how do you choose which social media platforms are right for you?
Who is your audience? Who are you trying to target with your social media profiles? Current customers, potential customers or both? By narrowing down the audience that you want to reach you can begin to cross off certain social media platforms from your list. Which platforms are your competitors using? Businesses that have similar sales structures are great references to see which types of social media are working best. For example, is your target audience stay-at-home moms? Then maybe you want to reach them using Pinterest. From the 70 million users on the 3-year-old Pinterest, 80% are women according to expandedramblings.com. Because of this, Pinterest may give you the best access to your target market. It is important to look at who is using each social media platform and who you are trying to reach to maximize your potential influence.
What do you want to provide your network with? Social media is all about value. You cannot expect people to visit your profiles and interact if you are not providing equal value in return for their time. Think about what type of business you have. Do you have a salon where your marketing goals are to advertise promotions, coupons and display pictures of recent hairstyles? Then maybe Facebook would be your best option as it gives you the opportunity to post pictures, advertise and create contests all in one page. It is important to consider what you want to provide with your social media profile and then see which social media platforms provide the best tools to do it.
Keep up with it: Though basic social media profiles are free, you need to remember that there is another huge significant investment, your time. If you are going to invest in social media, you need to dedicate time to it each day. It is better to have one social media site that is buzzing, successful, and updated than have multiple inactive social media sites. If you plan to go all in and focus on one social media platform you need to remember that social media is a conversation, and you must be prepared for praise, questions, and complaints. It is important to respond to ALL THREE promptly and professionally to encourage future correspondence on your profile. Make sure to never leave your customers unanswered and your profile lifeless.
Social media is an investment and it will take time to build your fan base up and make your profiles active. For every business, some social media platforms are going to be more beneficial to certain businesses than others. You don’t want to pressure your business to be spread too thin across many networks as it will only make all of your profiles suffer. Remember to focus on one or two social media platforms to begin and put all of your energy into making those thrive. Once you find out what works best for your business you will reap the rewards that other businesses with social media presence receive such as new leads, successful promotions, and active feedback.