How to Choose the Right Social Platforms for Your Business (Part 2)

In an earlier post, we looked at the major social media platforms marketers have to choose from. We examined the overall strengths of each, with the goal of making it easier for you to decide which ones are worth your time and effort.

Now, we’re going to go a bit farther and look at the factors that might persuade you to emphasize one social platform over another. In some cases, the answers might be obvious. Be careful about making assumptions, though – sometimes, what seems like the easy answer isn’t the best one.

To help you make the most of your social media marketing efforts, here are a few questions you should answer for yourself:

Where Are Your Customers?

Typically, the first consideration that matters is which social channels your best customers prefer. If you like using Facebook, but you’re trying to reach Fortune 500 executives who prefer LinkedIn, then it’s a good idea to start with the latter first. It does no good to say the right things and post the right kind of content if none of your best prospects will see it.

How Much Time Do You Have?

Most businesses will use more than one social media platform to find customers. However, very few owners or executives have room in their schedules to experiment with all of them. Make a decision early about which platforms you want to focus on. You could spend an afternoon setting up profiles on all the major social sites, but you’ll probably gravitate towards a handful that show the most promise on a day-to-day basis.

How Can You Spread the Word about Your Company?

Sometimes, the medium has to dictate the message. In other words, if your business is well-equipped to use images as a marketing tool, you might pay closer attention to Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter than you would LinkedIn. Or, if you produce short videos, those might work best on Facebook and YouTube. The more you can say about how you’ll spread the word, the easier it is to choose the right platform.

Does Your Marketing Have Viral Potential? 

While all the major social platforms can help you spread viral content, images and ideas tend to be shared more quickly on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook than they do elsewhere. If your marketing has high entertainment value and would be applicable to lots of diverse groups, consider starting with those sites.

Which Social Media Sites Do You like?

It’s always easier to stick with social media marketing if you choose websites you actually enjoy using yourself. You’ll notice that we put this item last on the list, however. When given the choice, opt for the social sites your customers prefer over the ones you like personally. You can always spend time catching up with friends later; don’t waste your precious social media marketing time on activities that aren’t likely to lead to sales in the future.

In the end, there’s not a right or wrong way to approach social media marketing. But, because we are all working with finite amounts of time and money, it’s a good idea to prioritize your efforts so you are earning the highest possible return on both.

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