I see it quite often where businesses and bloggers want to be on every single platform for fear of missing out. The only way this is going to benefit you is if 1. this is where your audience is and 2. if you have the resources to do all of them well. Most of the time it is the easiest way to shoot yourself in the foot.
So then I guess you’re wondering how you figure out exactly which social media platforms you should be on? When I prepare social media strategies, there are some key areas that I look at and which I will share with you in this post. Do your own research in these areas to ensure you put the time and effort into the right social media platforms.
Common goals for social media include engaging customers, educating customers on business products or services and building traffic to a website. Depending on what type of product or service you have, whether it is visual and who your target audience is will determine how it’s best to achieve these goals. This most important thing is that you have goals, going into social media without them will leave you disappointed.
It is so important to ask yourself ‘where is my target audience hanging out’? After geographic location, split it into a few key areas: their interests, their age and their gender. Send out a quick survey using survey monkey to your email list and ask your customers what their interests are, what age bracket they fall into and their gender. Once you have this information, dig a little deeper. If your audience has an interest in interior decorating, for example, they’re more likely to be hanging out on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram where images are more regularly shared.
It is also well known that Pinterest has a much higher percentage of female users to male users but then, on the other hand, Google+ is very male dominated. If most of your audience are male, then you might like to steer clear of female dominated platforms. In terms of age, if you have a broad age range, you might have to be on two platforms to cover the age range.
The industry you are in will heavily dictate which social media platform will work for you. If you’re in the Pharmaceutical Industry for example, a platform such as Pinterest or Instagram are going to be of no benefit, but LinkedIn is likely to be somewhere you can network with professionals in this industry and share relevant key information.
Work out who your competitors are and take a look at what platforms they’re on and what they’re doing. Are they successful? What are they doing well or not so well? Your competitors are a good indicator of your potential success on social media and save you from reinventing the wheel.
Think about what types of content you plan on sharing. If you’re a business or blogger heavily centred on articles, photos and videos, Facebook and Google+ could be your best bet. If you’re predominantly going to share photos, you might stick with Pinterest. Also, think about the amount of information you’re going to share in your updates. If you’re writing long status updates, then you won’t be able to stick to Twitter’s 140 character limit but Google+ is unlimited and could be a better fit.
Use these 5 areas to create a quick strategy before you embark on opening a myriad of social media accounts. Remember it’s better to do one or two social media platforms really well than to do them all half-heartedly. And if you’ve already started, perhaps revise your strategy and consider pulling the plug on a couple that are no longer suitable.
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