There are now a multitude of social media platforms for businesses to choose from: everything from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to Pinterest, Tumblr and Vine. What’s more, new ones are coming on-stream all the time making the choices even more difficult and complex. The question often asked by business owners new to the arena is which social media platform will suit my needs best and deliver the best return on investment? The answer unfortunately is that there is no definitive answer: it all depends on the nature of your business, your market and the type of audience you’re hoping to appeal to? Is it any wonder then that businesses get frustrated?
The best way to deal with these frustrations we believe is by going back to basics. Most businesses who choose to have a social media presence do so because they want to choose a channel that promotes their business and reaches and impacts on the widest possible audience. Unfortunately, not all platforms are capable of delivering that: some may deliver fantastically well with certain demographics, but fail abysmally with others. Others may reach new audiences but fail to reach the demographic you’re specifically targeting.
So is it then best to have some sort of presence on every platform to reach the widest possible audience? The short answer to that is no. If you try to do that you’ll spread yourself too thinly and dilute what little impact you might be having. Having said that, it also doesn’t pay to put all your eggs in one basket. This sort of narrow approach is just as bad and ineffective as trying to appeal across multiple platforms. The best advice we have found is to only utilise those social media platforms that support your business strategy and help you to reach a tailored audience, creating new business by building brand awareness.
So armed with those basic facts, what else can business do to build a better and more- focused social media strategy? Here are top 4 tips:
Choose the right platform for your business
Brand on the correct platform for your business. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be everywhere online all the time. It’s impossible, unless you have unlimited resources. Don’t be a slave to all the latest platforms, trends and ideas on social media platforms either. Although it is important to stay up to date with all the latest trends and releases in social media, thoroughly evaluate and analyse the suitability of each new platform before integrating it into your marketing strategy.
Connect with the right people
If you want to run a successful social media marketing campaign, then you need to connect with the right audience. It doesn’t matter which social media platform you choose to run with; the same rule applies – a tailored audience is paramount. So follow industry influencers, engage with audiences and interact with and comment on relevant posts. All these things will help you broaden your market reach and further your business goals.
Aim at sharing relevant industry information and data
Once you’ve got to know your audience, you’ll also get to know what sort of information they’re looking for. It’s generally industry-related content they’re after, so publish blog posts on current issues and helpful tips, carry out market industry research and create infographics to keep your audience informed. You should also consider sharing curated content, and responding to trending issues in your network.
Only share content when someone is likely to see it
There’s no point sharing content on social media platforms if no-one gets to read it. That defeats the purpose. The trick is to only post on social media platforms when user activity is at its highest. So post and share at regular times and post consistently. If you’re posting on Facebook, popular times when most people are using the application are between 12.00 and 3.00pm. For LinkedIn the best times for making an impact are between 7.00 and 9.00am and 5.00 and 6.00pm. Information on other social media platforms can easily be found.