Time is money, as they say. It is no good creating amazing content if you have no one to look at it, and sharing content without a strategy or plan is simply wasted time as it is unlikely to reward you with engagement or leads.
It is obvious that your time should be spent on the most effective things for your business. Social media platforms all attract different kinds of audience, who interact in different ways. You cannot simply share the same content on all platforms and expect contracts and customers to come rolling in.
A far better use of your time is to pick the most likely platform and strategy for your audience and spend your time and effort there. You can then analyse the results to see what progress you’ve made and amend your strategy if it is not working.
Which platform you choose will depend on several factors. You will need to analyse your audience and consider age (e.g. which generation or social cohort - millennials or baby boomers), whether you are targeting businesses or consumers as well as perhaps how will you be selling (online or bricks and mortar). Other things to consider are whether your audience is likely to respond more to video, visual or more discussion based content.
Here are four steps you can take to help you choose the right social media platform for your business:
Identify your audience
Note down who your customers are - consider age, gender, education levels, other interests. Create a profile of your typical customer.
Define what you will use your chosen platform for
Are you going to use this to generate leads and sales, to inform current customers of classes or new products, or more as a customer services type role. Will it be to develop brand recognition, or to develop relationships?
Once you have a clearer idea of what you are trying to achieve, you are best placed to decide where to put your time and effort.
Work out where your audience hangs out
Facebook has over 2 billion active monthly users, so it is likely that your customer has a profile there, but do they use it beyond keeping up with friends and family?
Millennials may have a profile on Facebook, even one that is deemed ‘active’ but you may well find that they are actually more active, and crucially more receptive, on Instagram.
Is your audience more visual? Have you considered YouTube and Pinterest as well as Instagram. Pinterest’s users tend to be more female.
LinkedIn is likely to resonate more if your audience is largely in the 30-50 age group.
Be realistic about your content ability
In order to be successful in using your chosen platform you will need to be producing consistently good content which is appropriate for your chosen platform as well as your audience.
While it is good to push your comfort zones and learn new skills, creating videos or podcasts or even Pinterest/Instagram worthy graphics and images takes time. Factor this into your decision making process.