Social Media: Choosing the Right Platform
Have you been wondering if you’re handling your social media marketing the right way? Is there a right and a wrong? How about adding a platform in, because more is better, right?
Let’s talk about choosing the right social media platform for your business. How do you decide?
Social Media Platforms
Here’s the thing with social media—the right social media platform is a very subjective fit. What works for my business might not be a good idea for yours. So, how do you determine what’s right for your business?
Really Listen to Your Customers
Every piece of advice I’m about to give you isn’t going to help you if you don’t understand your customers. Why? Because it’s all based on the fact that you know your customers well. Who buys from you? Who are your most loyal customers? What other things interest them? Do they travel often? Are they business owners? Are they dedicated professionals? What do they like to do in their spare time?
Think about them. Really get to know your customers as much as possible. Listen to them when you’re interacting. Listen for more than what relates to your business or the transaction. Get to know who they are.
Research Social Media Platforms
Take a look at the demographics of the users on each platform. If your business primarily serves women, then look for the platform that has the most women. It’s a great place to start. If you primarily serve women but men are the ones purchasing your products (if you offer something men like to pick up as a gift for the woman in their life, for example), then going where the women are may not be the best choice. Or, staying only where you reach women would mean missing out on a significant portion of your potential market.
Take a look at this research that covers the demographics of Facebook’s active users. What you’ll discover is that Facebook has a lot of people. Facebook has reported that over 1.71 billion users are active on Facebook. You’ll also discover that there aren’t as many young people on Facebook as there once was. Now, they’ve migrated to other platforms such as Snapchat.
So, start with the numbers. If you have nothing else to go on, they can give you some direction.
Every Social Media Platform Has Its Own Tone
While the numbers may be a good indicator of where you should start, you won’t make it anywhere if you can’t approach people in a manner that fits with the platform you’ve chosen. What the heck do I mean by that?
Take a look at LinkedIn. It’s a social media platform comprised on professionals and business owners. The overall tone of the platform is professional. Most of the posts are somehow related to business. When a post is too casual on the network, you might even see a few people commenting to take it to Facebook and keep it off of LinkedIn.
If you need to reach consumers and connect with them on a very personal level, then LinkedIn most likely isn’t the platform for you. Instead, if you need to connect with other professionals and businesses, then LinkedIn is ideal. Looking for those who are in human resources because you want to reach their employees? Then LinkedIn is a great place for that.
Now, let’s say you have a creative business that is very visual. Instagram is the perfect place for you. If you have a product (even if you are the product) that can be displayed with great photography, then check out Instagram.
You Must Be Present
Whether you choose Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, or something else entirely, you must have a presence on the platform. Dropping a post here or there (or multiple times a day) won’t net you followers if you aren’t spending any time interacting with posts.
It seems as if almost every platform has its own algorithm these days. While it’s fewer than you might expect, it’s still important to be aware of them and where they are. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the three that always come to my mind when talking about social media algorithms. The result for each has been that you either need to pay to reach people or you must spend time on the platforms, engaging with your own posts and those of other complementary businesses and individuals.
To begin to build a following on any platform, people first have to know you exist. If you aren’t reaching out to others, how will anyone ever know you exist?
Pick One Social Media Platform
If you’re just beginning and you don’t have hours to spend on your social media marketing each week, then narrow it down. Pick one. Excel at that platform. Make an impact. Why only one?
Because it’s better to do one thing really well than to do five things poorly.
Choose the social media platform that you understand well. You can always expand to other avenues, but start simple. If you don’t enjoy that platform or don’t understand it, then you’re less likely to post frequently and engage with others. And if you’re not posting often or engaging, then there’s no point because you’ll never gain followers.
You Can’t Decide
You read every word I wrote. You took my advice. And yet, you’re still sitting there saying, Mindy, I have no idea which one I should pick.
That’s okay. You don’t have to know right this minute. Maybe you need to take some time to evaluate things. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have time to devote to creating/updating my business page or profile on social media?
- Do I have time to field new inquiries into my business in about 60 days?
- Am I at a point where I must use a new avenue to seek out potential leads and customers?
If you don’t have the time to create a great profile, I can certainly do that for you. If you don’t have the time to take on more clients or follow-up on leads in around 60 days, though, then you might want to hit pause. Why do I mention 60 days specifically? Because that’s about how long it takes to see results from a new marketing avenue that you’re approaching organically. Paid approaches may have a shorter runway, but generally 60 days is the soonest you’ll see any results from brand new organic social media marketing efforts.
Hire Professional Help
If you need a new avenue for sure and as soon as possible, then jump in. Focus on creating a really great profile that makes it clear who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why you do it the way you do it. Have a graphic designer create a logo for you. Figure out your brand visuals and message and then make sure it is clearly represented on your chosen platform.
And if you still can’t choose one, then schedule a consult with me. I offer social media evaluations. So we can figure out your goals and a path that will help you achieve those goals.