It seems that with each and every passing day, a new social media platform or three springs into existence, each with their own set of outlandish claims about being ‘the next big thing’, and this seasons’ ‘marketing secret’.
The truth of the matter is somewhat more prosaic; most businesses really only need to rely on a few social media platforms to successfully achieve their marketing goals, depending on what their product or service may be. Diversifying your social media presence too much can often end up creating time sinks and wasted hours, instead of productive marketing outreach campaigns.
So how do you select the correct social media platforms for your business or organization? While this is a bit of an oversimplification, the process goes something like this:
- Start with the No-Brainers – There are a few social media platforms which are increasingly seen as ‘no-brainers’ no matter what your product or service may be. Facebook and Twitter are the two largest examples, with Google+ rapidly becoming indispensable too, particularly for those who are regularly publishing content that can take advantage of Google Authorship. Start by creating and optimizing your presence here.
- What is Special About Your Widget? – Take a close look at what you are selling, and try to figure out which social media platforms let you present it in the best light. Are you selling something that looks really cool? Consider creating some image content and hitting Instagram or Pinterest. Got some great videos? A YouTube Channel belongs in your future.
- Where Are Your Customers? – The next step is identifying any social media platforms that your target demo spends a lot of time on. Younger people are moving away from Facebook towards newer alternatives, for example. Find where your customers are, and make sure that your business has a presence on that social media platform.
- Adapt Based on Data – Last but not least, never over-commit in the world of social media marketing. Retaining adaptability and being able to change plans on the fly is part of what is required to succeed in this medium. This means building in solid metrics that let you measure the ROI you are getting across different platforms, and adjust accordingly based on the real data you collect during the execution of your campaign.
Following this simple four step process will help you decide which social media platforms are worth investing in building a presence on for your business, and which can likely safely be