A Guest Blog by Julie Plumb, Digital Marketing Expert.
How do you choose the right social media for your business?
Our advice is always not to try and spread yourself thinly across every single platform that you've ever heard of. Choose 1-2 platforms that will really work for you, your business and your customers.
So, how do you know which is the right platform for your business?
Well, here are our 5 key steps to choosing the right social media:
1. Understand your customers.
Do you know who your customers are? Most business owners have a pretty good idea who their ideal customer is, but it’s a really good exercise to do 2-3 user personas for your customers. It will really help you build a more rounded picture of them as real people with real needs.
The key questions to ask yourself are:
2. What platforms are your personas using?
Once you have that rounded picture of your customers then we can look at social media demographics to see where they hang out. The headline demographics may shift a little so it’s always best to check the most up to date.
As you can see the demographics differ per platform. Based on the information you know about your customers, e.g., gender, age, etc, you should be able to match up a couple of platforms where your customers are already active.
3. Which social media suits your business type?
You may spend a lot of time loving Instagram, and scrolling through beautiful feeds but does it suit your business? Just because it’s your favourite platform doesn’t mean your customers love it too!
Instagram is very heavy on the visual side of social media so it can be more difficult to find enough content to use if your business and products are not very ‘photogenic’. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but it is certainly a consideration. There’s no reason an accountant can’t be creative and make really good use of Instagram, if their customers are likely to be hanging out there.
If your business generates blogs, how to guides and FAQs for your industry, then platforms more like LinkedIn may be a good fit. LinkedIn can work very well with created rather than curated content and is great for B2B businesses.
Higher proportions of curated content, i.e., content that you and your business doesn’t create, is considered acceptable on Facebook and Twitter, which is great if your business doesn’t generate much of its own content.
Some social media is better for B2B, for example LinkedIn, and some platforms work well for B2C, for example Facebook. Twitter can be a really fast feed platform and very ‘trending’ and can work well on B2C and B2B.
4. Choosing social media for your business
So, with the combination of the user personas and the type of business, you should be able to choose 1-2 social media platforms that you can concentrate on.
Now is a good time to check out those platforms and see if your competitors are there and what they are posting. Are there any influencers for your industry? Start to follow them.
Before you start posting tactically, try to think strategically:
5. Getting results from your social media
Getting the right platforms, the right content, and the right schedule are all a good starting point for getting results online. You also need to listen to your audience and be engaging.
By far the best results from social media will be with a social media marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals. For example, if you want to sell more products, then use social media to enable that. If you want to grow your mailing list and generate more leads, then use your social media to drive that goal.
Be engaging – don’t be like that person at a party that just talks about themselves. Ask questions, share something that they will value, share content from influences, and also reply to any comments – and try to use open-ended questions in those responses to encourage a dialogue.
You also need to adapt a test-learn-test method with social media. Keep an eye on your statistics to see what is performing well and adapt your content based on that. Do more of what’s performing well.
Ready to get started?
There are lots of free user persona templates available online to start to build up that picture of your ideal customers and work out how you can wow them with your services or products. If you can’t find one, or you want help with any aspect of digital marketing, then contact Julie by clicking here.