Choosing what social media platform to use to help grow your business can be tricky. There are many on offer, each have their pros and cons and most are free and easy to set up. Your choice of platform is driven by your business type and model, however as there are many variables to consider the process can often leave you scratching your head.
Luckily however, we can use one of our favourite sugary treats to help us out!
Whilst it may seem like ‘just another meme’ and a bit of fun, this image nicely illustrates how consumers use some of the top social platforms.
By understanding how users engage with the platforms, and what their primary use is, you can start to understand which will work for your business along with which ones won’t. For some businesses it’s obvious; perhaps you own a cake decorating company? It’s Facebook/Instagram and Pinterest for you! Or maybe you operate a national franchise? Facebook and LinkedIn is where we would start.
If your business lends itself to the primary feature of a social media platform, there is a good chance that is going to be your best bet for online success. However, it’s not an exact science so here are some other tips to help you along.
1. Be the consumer
If you don’t already know what each social media platform is for, how its audience uses it and what you could potential gain from it, sign up as a consumer. Spend a few weeks using it, exploring and taking note of how other businesses leverage its features.
Even if you do know what a platform is all about, but don’t use it regularly, we would still advise spending a bit of time getting to grips with it. This can save you both time and money later down the line.
2. Avoid the shotgun approach
We see many businesses take a shotgun approach when choosing platforms. By this we mean they attempt to have a presence on all platforms straight away, believing that the wider they spread their net the more people they will engage. This may be true for large businesses with lots of capital to invest and a team of marketing professionals on hand to create engaging content, but for the average business just starting out on their social media journey being on too many platforms can have the opposite effect.
Before you start to tackle multiple platforms, decide how much time you can realistically commit to each one. As our doughnut has illustrated, people use each platform in different ways meaning they expect content to be created in a way that they can easily digest. It’s better to be awesome on one platform, than below average on 5, and unfortunately a ‘one fits all’ rule does not apply in the world of social media!
3. What are you trying to achieve?
As well as each platform being different in terms of content, they are equally different when it comes to usability. Deciding what you want to achieve from social media marketing before you start is an important step and can immediately dismiss many platforms from the running.
You may want to increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your site hoping in an increase in sales, just like Kellog’s wanted to do with their little known product at the time, Eggo’s. Kellogg’s placed their product throughout the popular series, Stranger Things, in the hope that it would become a cult classic. Fortunately it did, and where do people go to talk about the latest TV show/movie? Twitter of course!
Eggo’s own Twitter account jumped up to 11.3k followers in no time at all, and still achieves great engagement on each Tweet they publish. It became such a successful social spin-off campaign that Netflix partnered up with Kellogg’s to promote the 2nd series. Not bad for a frozen waffle, ey?
4. Who do you want to target?
It’s true that social media platforms appeal to all ages and races. However, each platform has its own majority demographic and understanding that can be a huge help! There’s countless amounts of data out there to take a look at, it’s just a case of popping your question into Google and finding the reputable sites.
We’ve saved you a little time and found one here.
5. Failure is always an option
It’s unlikely that you’re going to get it right the first time, and that’s okay. It might be your choice of platform, it might be the type of content you’re creating, or it may just take a little longer than you originally thought.
If you’ve done the research, believe in your product/service and have a kick-ass strategy kiss-ass strategy then there is no reason people shouldn’t love what you’re doing! Our advice would be test, test again and then test one more time. Try different things, see what works for you and your business…you might be surprised by the outcome.
If you need help with deciding on what social media platform to use, or you’re not sure you’re currently using the right one, why not get in touch with you team today.