Which social media channels should your business use? The answer isn’t as straightforward as Facebook and Twitter.
During my early days of consulting, my clients wanted to be on every new and exciting social media platform. They wanted to have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr—and the list keeps going.
My recommendation? No.
I wasn’t a pessimist. And I most certainly wasn’t lazy. I was merely being strategic.
And it’s the same advice I’d give today.
Now that the newness of social media is slightly worn, more and more businesses understand the impact being on just a handful of social media channels.
Because the social media channels you should use are the ones that you can do right.
By right, I’m not just talking about time and dedication. For your social media strategy to really flourish, you must know how that channel works and if it’s really the best direction for your strategy.
How do you decide on which social media platforms are right for your business or brand?
While the digital social landscape has changed over the past 10 years, there are still dozens of social media platforms (the complete list here) for you to choose. And 600+ social media tools for measuring your success.
That’s quite the selection.
You can’t decide which social media platforms you should use unless you fully understand your business and your brand. When I determine which social media platforms are best for my clients, I keep these three considerations in mind:
It’s Right For Your Industry
Not every social media channel is fitting strictly by what product or service your sell.
For example, a company that doesn’t have a visual product or service probably shouldn’t be on image-driven Instagram. And higher education usually isn’t cut out for Pinterest.
To decide which social media platform is right for you, first look at your business. How do you want to convey your product or service on a digital platform?
Still stumped? See what your competitors are doing on social media. Which channels are their most successful? Which ones are their least?
You shouldn’t replicate their behavior blindly. Think of it as a starting place for deciding which social media channel is right for you. Note why some channels work, then decide if that’s the best decision for your business.
It’s Right For Your Target Audience
You probably know your target audience like the back of your hand. You know their age range, their buying habits, their buyer’s journey, how they spend their time and their birthdays.
Just kidding on the birthdays.
Knowing this will help you choose which social media is right for your business or brand. Because you must know what experience your target audience desires (and expects) not just from your business, but also the buying experience for this product or service.
How does the digital fit into their buyer’s journey? Where do they expect to find you early in the funnel and during the final decision-making moments?
That’s where you should be.
This will also help you decide on how to engage with your target audience on these social media channels.
It’s Right For Your Marketing Goals
What are your marketing goals this year? Your quarterly goals? Besides increasing sales, of course.
Do you want to amplify brand awareness? Boost customer loyalty? Increase website traffic and leads? Educate your target audience? Become a thought leader and a trusted authority in your industry?
You must know what end result you expect from your marketing strategy before selecting social media platforms right for your business. Because the desired end result determines how you want to get there.
Now, look at each social media platform through the lens of its capabilities. Does it allow you to achieve the goals you want to reach?
This evaluation process is worth doing on a regular basis. Marketing goals change. Target audience behavior changes. Even industry expectations change.
And social media platforms are ever-changing. They oscillate between effective and not so much. Some are popular today—then out of existence tomorrow.
No matter how the social landscape changes, there’s no set list of social media platforms you should be using. It’s up to you to decide what’s right for your business.