While some people think of social media as a necessary evil, I personally think it is one of the best marketing tools there are. Not only just for marketing, but great for just plain keeping in touch with your clients. When talking about social media, the question I get asked the most is “Which social media platform is best for me,” quickly followed by “Do I need to do all of them”? Social media is no different than any other type of marketing platform. It boils down to understanding some basic fundamentals and then applying that knowledge to your business. To help you on your social media journey, I have picked some concepts I feel are incredibly important and very necessary to find out which social media platforms are best for your situation.
1. Target Market
The first thing you need to do is define who your target market is. Who are they and where are they hanging out to get their information? How old are they? Are they even on social media? Digital or not, you need to know the answer to this question before you spend a moment of your time or any of your marketing dollars. Is your company more business to business focused (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C)? There is a great infographic on Social Barrel that analyzes the audiences that are on the ten most popular social media platforms. Check it out here.
2. What Are You Trying To Accomplish?
Equally important to understanding your target market is setting specific goals for what you want to achieve with your social media efforts. Are you looking to improve your SEO (search engine optimization), increase traffic to your website, increase brand exposure, promote a specific event, and/or increase customer engagement? For example, YouTube and your own frequently updated blog are the best platforms to focus on if your goal is improving SEO. Facebook and Pinterest are great for driving traffic to your site and increasing customer engagement.
3. Stay Current On Social Media Trends
Although Facebook is typically considered the go-to social media for brands, Twitter has actually surpassed Facebook in some areas of business. And a few years ago big businesses were not on Pinterest at all, yet it is quickly becoming one of the major players in the social media scene having surpassed LinkedIn in traffic. For the most part, you will be safe if you have a presence on the top platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
4. Track Your Efforts
I wrote a blog post on this last month, and I continue to feel strongly about it. You can read it by clicking here, but suffice to say, if you don’t track where your customers are coming from, you may as well flush all of your time and money down the drain. I cannot stress this point enough.
5. What Is The Biggest Mistake To Avoid?
Not having a well-thought out social media plan. You must have a plan in motion with specific goals and stick to it. Consistency and accountability is a big key. Then evaluate and refine your strategy at least on a monthly basis. Then you can identify which platforms are working for you, if they are converting into customers and sales, and which ones to ditch and focus on more. Even if you only focus on ONE strategy – be consistent!
6. Start With Your Talents
You can always begin with a platform that comes naturally to you. If you are great at video, begin with an outstanding YouTube channel. Make compelling videos with a call to action and then post them. Great at taking pictures? Try Pinterest and then tag them back to your website where people can engage with you and buy your services. Start with something that comes easily to you so you don’t get frustrated and give up. Then you can start linking that successful account to other social media accounts and go viral!
Social media does not need to be hard, confusing and cumbersome. Start with these basic fundamentals and take it one step at a time. Have fun with it too. Show off your personality – people like to do business with people they know, like and trust so make sure your personality comes through! If you make social media fun you won’t put it off!