Is Your Business Doing Social Media Right?
In today’s social media world, there are an endless amount of channels at your disposal. The primary social media channels consist of “the big 3”, which are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Secondary channels include Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more. If you're new to social media, it can be pretty overwhelming, and the following will probably be running through your mind: I know I need to be on social media...but where? Which platforms? How many? How often? With so many platforms comes even more questions! While it’s great to have so many options, choosing the right ones for your business can make or break an effective social media presence. Often times, businesses can spread themselves too thin if they try and conquer too many platforms. Their messages may not reach intended audiences, and fall flat. Have you ever heard the famous phrase “the medium is the message” by Marshall McLuhan? Sometimes the medium you choose can overpower your message, or even worse, lose your message entirely.
Now let’s tackle the main question at hand: how do you know which channel is the right one for your business?
Consider these three questions:
Why are you on social media and who are you talking to?
Let’s begin by defining your business objectives and target audience. Who are you speaking to? What demographics make up your target audiences? Each social media platform differs in terms of what they will be able to accomplish for your business, and who your content will reach. For instance, let’s say the target audience for your business or product is young women between the ages of 18 and 30. Your business may choose to utilize Instagram, a platform where this demographic makes up more than half of its users. If there are no core objectives in terms of what you are trying to communicate and who you are trying to communicate to, choosing the right social media channels for your business will be much more difficult.
What can the platform do for my biz?
When choosing the right social media channels for your business it is also important to take a closer look at the features that each platform specializes in. If you are looking to share content and messaging that is lengthier, your business may wish to utilize Facebook versus a platform such as Twitter or Instagram. Facebook allows for longer written posts that can be accompanied by photos or videos. If your content is much more visual, Instagram or Pinterest may be the better choice. While these platforms are not necessarily the right platforms for a lot of written content, they are the perfect platforms for products. If you want to create short posts that are easily shareable, Twitter may be the one for you. Twitter is perfect for short written posts that can be accompanied with pictures or videos, and then easily retweeted.
What if I don’t have a lot of available time and resources?
We all know how busy the daily grind can be, and that might mean that you don’t have a lot of time to run your businesses social media. In this case, you should choose how many platforms you take on based on how much time you have available to manage your social media channels. It’s better to do one or two well than to spread your efforts too thin on too many channels. Focusing your energy on one, or a couple of “the big 3” (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) will ensure that your brand is visible online and that you won’t burn yourself out.
There are also many social media tools that you can use to best utilize the time that you do have available, such as Hootsuite, or Buffer. These platforms allow you to schedule content in advance (for free), so you don’t have to worry about remembering to post on your channels everyday or every week.
Ultimately, you can definitely use multiple channels, but always take a step back to stop and think about how effective each channel is for your business. Quality over quantity should be your focus, so tackling “the big 3” is a great first step when starting out on social media. Remember that there is no one size fits all recipe for social media success, there are best practices but ultimately social media success looks different for every business and depends on your audience and objectives.
What social media channels do you use for your business?