At this point, it’s hardly news that social media provides excellent opportunities for businesses. But with so many different platforms available, it can be hard to know where to begin. If you want to make sure you are using the best social networks for your business, start out by answering the following questions.
Who is your target audience?
This is probably the most important step. You need to choose relevant social networks that fit your target market. For example, Facebook has a broad audience, while Twitter skews to a slightly younger crowd, and Google+ is more concentrated on niche communities and ‘techie’ types. If you’re targeting professionals and looking to grow your network, LinkedIn might be best for you, but if you’re marketing to women, you might want to consider Pinterest. Find out where your target audience is and focus on those platforms!
What types of content will you be posting?
Different networks are best suited for different types of content. If you’re selling products and plan to post a lot of images, you should consider Pinterest and Instagram, which are focused on beautiful images. For video-focused platforms, check out YouTube, Vine, and Instagram (with its new video capabilities). Twitter is best suited for anyone that plans to post short, up to the minute text updates, while Facebook and Google+ are well suited for a mix of post types. Decide what types of content you will be posting and then take a deeper look at various social networks to determine which one best suits your goals.
How often will you post?
If you plan to post quite frequently throughout the day, you might be best suited for Twitter, since an overload of posts may turn off some other platforms’ audiences. Ideally, you should be posting to your social networks daily, or at least several times a week, so you might need to think about how to work this time into your schedule.
How much time do you have?
The amount of time you have to devote to social media will also determine how many social networks you utilize. Don’t cave to the pressure of trying to belong to every new platform that comes out. If your time is severely limited, try starting with just one social network and go from there. Just remember, quality over quantity!