Busy trying to keep up with multiple social media channels? Wondering where to start with social media for your business? In this blog, we look at how to assess the different social media platforms and determine which would be the best for your business.
- Identify your customers
Before you start looking at social media platforms, you need to have a very clear idea of who your customers are. This is an exercise you may already have carried out in the start up phase of your business. If so, it’s worth re-visiting the results to remind yourself who you are directing your marketing efforts towards.
- Remind yourself of your ‘target customer’
- Who or what does your product or service help – what problem does it solve
- What are the USPs of your product or service
- Remember that you’ll need to do this whether you’re selling to consumers or business, and that you’ll need to keep it under review.
If your business covers a wide and diverse audience, it is worth noting that 60% of the UK population now has a Facebook account
- Assess the Social Networks
With your ‘target customer’ in mind, you need to assess the various social networks – what their primary purpose is for business users, and what makes each platform unique. You can also assess whether the aims of a particular network aligns with the aims of your business, and your digital marketing strategy – both short and long term.
- Consider the primary purpose of each network
- Look at their unique attributes
- Align your business aims and objectives and your marketing goals with those of the individual networks to establish ‘best fit’
- Consider the next 2 points
- Assess the user profiles of each Network
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – they all have different user profiles. If you take a quick tour around the internet, you’ll find that more women use Facebook than men, while it’s about 50:50 on Twitter. Similarly, there are different age profiles for the different social networks.
- Check out statistics using a Google search (try ‘social media demographics’ to start off)
- Do your own ‘online legwork’
- Look at the social media accounts of your competitors.
- Open personal accounts on the different networks and spend some time getting a feel for how well your target customers are represented.
Only 21% of LinkedIn users are under the age of 35 – and 79% of UK LinkedIn users are male
- Determine your own capabilities
It’s a point we’ve made before, but your social media marketing will only be as good as the time and effort you can put in to it. Some social networks demand more attention than others for your voice to be heard. Different networks require different skill sets, too. Facebook loves images and video, but is text driven. YouTube demands video. If you are no good with a camera, probably best to steer clear of Instagram.
- How much time does your business have to manage social media?
- Which relevant skills do you have in house?
- How often do you want to post?
- Do you have the capacity to engage online and build relationships?
It might seem daunting but far better to establish the answers to these 4 points early on, than spend time and effort working on social networks that aren’t going to bring you the results you’re looking for. The reality is that you don’t need to be on every social network, and taking a measured approach at the outset will mean you can focus your efforts in the right place, targeting the right customers.
We’ve been helping clients get their online strategy right since 1997. If you’d like some support assessing which social network is the right one for your business, get in touch!