’21 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Be Snapchatting Every 5 Minutes!’
‘Your Business Isn’t Using Instagram? Here’s Why You’ll Go Bankrupt Within The `Next 12 Months’
‘Still Using Facebook for Business? That’s Sooo 2006’
These are the kind of – admittedly very exaggerated – headlines that appear daily online, sending waves of panic through businesses everywhere. Social media trends seem to be constantly changing. In fact, as I was writing this blog, Instagram launched the suspiciously Snapchat-like ‘Stories’, sending the world of social into a spin. When you’re trying to manage the day-to-day running of a business, keeping on top of all this can be challenging. Nagging questions sit in the back of business owners’ mind, such as, ‘Should we be doing that? It works for x, so surely it’ll work for us too?’
So how do you know which is the right social media platform for your business? Should you be using all of them, just in case you’re missing out? The answer is probably no, you shouldn’t – quality not quantity, remember? But you do need a strong social media presence, and that doesn’t necessarily mean being found on every platform. Choosing the right social media platform for your business can be trickier than it seems, but choose the right one(s), use it well, and you’ll certainly see the benefits.
We’ve put together a series of blogs to help you decide whether your business is a Snapchatter, a Facebooker, or anything in between. In this first part, we’ll look at the essential things you need to consider before deciding which is the right social media platform for your business.
First thing’s first – research and resources
As with any business decision, researching options before making any final plans is key. You might think you know Facebook and Twitter well already, especially if you have personal accounts, but there are many factors that you might not have considered that’ll make or break your business’ social media presence.
Look into each social media channel and determine which will work best for your business, by considering the following important factors:
Is the social media platform suitable for the product or service your business offers? Will it help you in your aims?
The first thing to consider is whether the platform you’re considering is suitable for your business’ service. To decide this, you need to know what your aims are, and how a specific platform is going to help you achieve them. What key things are going to attract your audience to your business? Are these things easily achievable on this form of social media? For example, if you’re a restaurant or a business that sells clothes, visuals will be extremely important, but text is probably also a must. Sites like Instagram and Facebook – where images can take centre stage, but can also be accompanied by substantial amounts of text – might be your best bet. If you’re a shop, and your aim is to regularly interact with customers, you might want to try out Twitter as it offers an easy way of communicating on an equal platform. Think about what you’re offering your audience, and what features of social media you’ll need to make use of the most.
Do you understand how the platform is used?
In some respects, this is pretty straightforward – it’s common sense not to use LinkedIn in the same way as Facebook. However, it’s worth noting that there are subtle differences in the way different social media platforms are used and what users expect from them. For example, Instagram and Pinterest are both platforms centred around images, but their uses are very different. When researching a social media platform, looking at the functions available alone is not enough. Make sure you’re familiar with the tone of the platform, and the kind of expected content – posting the ‘wrong’ content on the ‘wrong’ social media platform will make you look like you’re only interested in sales, not your customers.
Are your target audience active users of the social media platform?
Social media is a great way to target based on location, demographic, what thing they’re searching for, and more, but all of this goes to waste if the audience you’re targeting aren’t on the platform you’ve chosen in the first place. Do your research, find out where your customers are, and go there.
How can you use this platform to convert social-media followers into customers? How will you track your ROI?
This is key. It’s all well and good to create a Twitter account and tweet regularly, but if you’re not getting a return on your investment, your social media can be a waste of time and money. Consider what things you need to track, how you can track them, and how they will benefit your business. For example, do you want to track your post reach, or site traffic? How can you do that on this platform, and what can you do on this platform that improves these things that you can’t do better on another site? More importantly, how can you turn these things into incoming revenue? Consider how well the platform lends itself to things that will win you business, such as special offers or competitions.
Do you have the time and resources to dedicate to the social media platform?
Will a colleague be able to add social media management to their workload efficiently or will you have to outsource it? Running a social media account takes more time and effort than it might first seem, especially when you consider that social media algorithms means you probably need to be posting multiple times a day to be seen. If you end up neglecting your business’ social media channels, when customers look you up they might think that you’re out of touch, or worse, out of business. This is also why using using all available channels isn’t necessarily a good idea – having a really strong presence on one platform is always going to win over a weak one spread across multiple channels.
Asking these simple questions should help you determine which platforms work best for you.
At Digital Glue, we advise our clients on the best social media strategy for their business; sometimes simply Facebook is suitable, other times a mix of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook may be best.
Still unsure which is the right social media platform for your business? Look out for our next blog in the series where we’ll detail the pros and cons of social media sites, or get in touch with us and see what Digital Glue can do for your social media presence.
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