Let's face it, most small businesses have little to no presence on the web and others barely have a website put together. The most common question I get with small business owners is, "What social media platforms should I be on?" Most think that they have to be on all of them, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Here are three questions you need to ask yourself when it come to figuring out which Social Media platforms your company should be on.
1. Who is MY target audience?
The most important social media platforms that you should be on are the one's where your target audience is. What does that mean? Well, if you're target audience is teenagers then SnapChat might be something you look into. If it's creative young do-it yourself mothers, then Pinterest should be on your radar.
It's important to know your target audience as specifically as possible. If they are men, what kind of men. What are their hobbies, interest, etc.. The better you know your audience, the better you can market to them and know where they go.
2. How much time can I devote to Social Media?
30 min to an hour a day is almost minimum for monitoring and managing your Social Media accounts. Ideally, you should staff a digital marketer who can do all of this for you and more, but many small business can't afford that so there are a few tools you can look into that act as a sort of aggregate to social media. HootSuite is a great one that allows you to login to one place and manage and post to any of your social media sites (well almost any of them). It also measures performance and give you some analytics tools as well.
Some have asked,"Why not just schedule a weeks worth of posts in one day then only check it once a week?" The reason is because you need to monitor what others are saying about your brand. If someone complains about you on your social media site and you don't respond within 24 hours at the latest then it can really make your brand look bad. Here are some examples of what can go wrong (6 examples of social media crisis).
3. How will I utilize the Social Media platforms I join?
So now we know who are target audience is, and where they are. We've joined the two or three social media platforms and are excited about getting started. The problem now is what do I post? This is not uncommon for small businesses to feel this way. This is why you need a plan.
Decide before hand how many times you will post each week to each social media platform. If you are writing a blog, three original posts a week are stronger than daily regurgitation. Twitter and Facebook can be updated at least 4 to 5 times a week, and more if you find yourself in conversations with customers.
It is very important that you don't just replicate the same material on all of your social media channels. Make sure each social media platform that you are on has a specific purpose that you are utilizing it for that is different than the other platforms you are on. For example if you are using Facebook for news updates about your company, don't just make yourTwitter account an aggregate for your Facebook feed. It's ok to post links for update to Twitter too, but use your Twitter account as another way for potential customers to contact you with questions, or host monthly Q&A sessions with other professionals in your field.
Just remember that you need to know your audience which will in turn help you know which Social Media platforms you need to be on. But have a plan once you decide where you are going to be and be consistent at executing your plan. And lastly, always ask for feedback so you can constantly be improving your methods.
As always, please ask me any questions on here or on my Twitter account @daviddoughty83