There’s no doubt that social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. It is cheap to use and can help you reach thousands, if not millions, of potential customers provided you get your strategy right.
With so many to choose from, however, which is the right social media channel for your business?
Keep it simple
If you’re a small business you will have limitations over the amount of time you can devote to marketing. It’s better to concentrate on a few social media platforms than try and meet the demands of all of them. Some brands work on certain channels better than others. For instance, a fashion or craft shop is primarily visual so will benefit from a platform such as Pinterest or Instagram. A services B2B business will undoubtedly be better off focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Research the best platform for your business: look at what your competitors are using and find out where your customers are.
Who are your customers?
Key to picking the right platform is knowing your potential customers habits. You might be able to attract young fashionistas to your Pinterest page but you’ll also be aware that they’re involved in Facebook and YouTube, so you won’t want to miss out on these either. Pick the single best option if you are just starting out and try to master that before you move on, particularly if you are short of time.
How your brand looks across different platforms
You should, as far as possible, try to keep your messages and brand consistent across all platforms. There are going to be differences, of course. Facebook, for instance, allows you to post lengthier content than Twitter. You will find that some platforms simply work with your brand or sector much better than others and this will define how you choose them.
Keep time in mind
Many small businesses will try to work social media themselves, however this can be very time consuming, so it might be worth considering a marketing consultant. What you must keep in mind is how much time you need to devote to social media and where you are going to fit it in. It is best to set up alerts on your phone, so you can be notified of alerts and easily respond to comments when you are out and about.
Finally, when you do choose a social media channel, it will take time to become familiar with using it. Whatever you do, don’t set up your social media page and abandon it. Keep updating it with fresh content which is relevant to your target audience and reflects your brand. You might find the sneezing panda clip hilarious but if it isn’t relevant to your small business, don’t post it!