Most people now understand that as a social media consultant, my job actually doesn't consist of playing on Facebook all day. I believe there is a much greater understanding of social media- that it's not a tool just used for posting what you had for lunch. Social media is a whole new way of communicating, and most people get that.
That being said, many small businesses are still trying to embrace this new way of communication. It can certainly be a challenge! One that usually begins with the question, "Where do I start?!"
How to choose social media platforms to engage with your audience on can be an overwhelming task.
No matter what your company sells, you have to start by examining your target market.
- Who are they?
- What social media platform(s) do they prefer?
- How much time do they spend on social media?
- What mind set are they in when they are spending time on those social platforms?
These are all questions you should ask yourself before carving out a social media strategy.
Once you have a good understanding of your audience, you can then move forward with setting up your account.
Yesterday the below infographic, designed by Leverage New Age Media, was circling my LinkedIn community. I found it to be incredibly insightful, especially for those of you just starting and wondering how to choose social media platforms.
I would pick two or three of these platforms to focus on. To sum, pick based on the following:
Pinterest: If you're a B2C company that sells products or services that appeal to women.
Twitter: Your target market is predominantly in the United States and likes to consume information on the go in 140 characters.
Facebook: With 1 billion active users, I'd say just get on it and give it a try.
Instagram: Instagram is good for showing a more personal and/or fun side of your company. Even if you have visually appealing product photos, you're going to have to have other visually appealing photos to supplement your Instagram strategy.
Google+: A great platform for engaging with niche groups of people. If you have a product or service that has multiple audiences, Google's circles tool is a great way to tailor the content you share to that audience.
LinkedIn: A great place to connect with others in your industry. If you're a B2B company, I'd do some searching. If there are groups dedicated to your industry I would definitely get on this platform. LinkedIn is also a place for sharing more in depth content.
While this is a great starting point and a generic overview, it is vital to keep in mind that cases can be made for most platforms no matter what prodcut or service you sell.
I read a lot of different case studies about the successes various B2B and B2C companies have had on different social media platforms. For example, HubSpot, a B2B marketing company has had overwhelming success on Pinterest.
Use this infographic as a guideline. Do some research. Test different platforms. Most importantly? Know. Your. Audience.